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I fucked up, and got a DUI

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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    cabsy wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    Perpetual wrote: »
    OP wrote:
    I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.

    Contrary to popular belief, "cooperating fully" with the police doesn't earn you any bonus goodwill points. They're trying to bust your ass and you're just making their jobs easy. Next time this happens, do not volunteer to take the fucking breath test - tell them that you want the test taken at a nearby hospital. Those are more accurate and your BAC will go down a bit while you're being taken to the hospital.

    Depending on your state, simply refusing the breath test may have consequences of its own.

    Last I knew, in Indiana at least refusing to take a breathalyzer means you are ticketed and charged as a DUI and you get to spend the night in jail. You do have a right to refuse but in some states it is definitely not at all worth it. And cooperating fully can get you "bonus points," generally police are more receptive to asking the judge to reduce charges or writing you a lower ticket if you're honest and cooperate. There's not a lot of letting you off with a warning you can do if you're driving intoxicated but being a dick just to be a dick provides no benefits to an interaction with police and can be detrimental.

    Also for future reference, driving at night with your headlights off will always get you pulled over under suspicion of DUI if a cop sees you.

    If the cop is giving you a breathylizer on the side of the road, chances are they already have enough probable cause to arrest you. There's really no upside to agreeing to a field sobriety test or breathylizer at a traffic stop unless you are stone-cold sober and there's no chance you are at the limit for DUI. All you're doing is providing evidence the cop will testify about later. "He failed all three standard field sobriety tests which I administered" carries a lot more weight than "He refused a field sobriety test and was arrested pursuant to the state's implied consent law."

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    OP wrote:
    I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.
    Contrary to popular belief, "cooperating fully" with the police doesn't earn you any bonus goodwill points. They're trying to bust your ass and you're just making their jobs easy.

    This actually is very dependent upon the arresting officer. Some officers (particularly the younger ones) tend to get a hard-on when they're handed a badge and a gun, and they don't really care what happens to you after they drop you off at booking. A good many, however, are just doing their jobs. It pays to be polite in either case because the officer in question will almost certainly be asked by the judge for his input when considering sentencing.

    As a general rule, I advise people to request a blood test in lieu of a breathalyser because the hand-held units can on occasion return false positives for one reason or another. But (a) you have to be polite about it and get the officer to understand the situation from your point of view -- "I mean, you'd do the same thing if you were me, right?" -- and (b) it's kind of important that you actually be sober at the time. If you were drunk enough to blow a 0.12, you probably weren't going to fool the officer into thinking he didn't have probable cause to arrest you and bring you into the precinct for a blood test. If you are undoubtedly going to be arrested, you might as well be pleasant about it.

    And then get a lawyer. Work out a payment plan with them if you can't afford to pay it all out at once, but it is undoubtedly going to be worth it.

    SammyF on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    cabsy wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    Perpetual wrote: »
    OP wrote:
    I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.

    Contrary to popular belief, "cooperating fully" with the police doesn't earn you any bonus goodwill points. They're trying to bust your ass and you're just making their jobs easy. Next time this happens, do not volunteer to take the fucking breath test - tell them that you want the test taken at a nearby hospital. Those are more accurate and your BAC will go down a bit while you're being taken to the hospital.

    Depending on your state, simply refusing the breath test may have consequences of its own.

    Last I knew, in Indiana at least refusing to take a breathalyzer means you are ticketed and charged as a DUI and you get to spend the night in jail. You do have a right to refuse but in some states it is definitely not at all worth it. And cooperating fully can get you "bonus points," generally police are more receptive to asking the judge to reduce charges or writing you a lower ticket if you're honest and cooperate. There's not a lot of letting you off with a warning you can do if you're driving intoxicated but being a dick just to be a dick provides no benefits to an interaction with police and can be detrimental.

    Also for future reference, driving at night with your headlights off will always get you pulled over under suspicion of DUI if a cop sees you.

    If the cop is giving you a breathylizer on the side of the road, chances are they already have enough probable cause to arrest you. There's really no upside to agreeing to a field sobriety test or breathylizer at a traffic stop unless you are stone-cold sober and there's no chance you are at the limit for DUI. All you're doing is providing evidence the cop will testify about later. "He failed all three standard field sobriety tests which I administered" carries a lot more weight than "He refused a field sobriety test and was arrested pursuant to the state's implied consent law."

    All I know is that, in Oregon, refusal gets you a license suspension independent of your actual DUI status. It also might disqualify you for any first time diversion programs. Just be mindful of your local laws.

    Better yet, find someone like me who abstains in order to drive other people around and you won't have to worry about it. smile.gif

    Fats on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Note, in Texas, we have "no refusal weekends", where they can write a warrant, on the spot, to arrest you and take your blood if you refuse the breathalyzer test.

    GungHo on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    Note, in Texas, we have "no refusal weekends", where they can write a warrant, on the spot, to arrest you and take your blood if you refuse the breathalyzer test.

    Most states have some form of implied consent law, where a refusal of a breathylizer or field sobriety test is automatic probable cause for an arrest. But if the situation you're looking at is either (1) fail the test and get arrested or (2) refuse the test and get arrested, then option (2) is always going to be the better one.

    There's always a chance that you might have failed a field sobriety test or portable breathylizer but when tested at the station or hospital you're under the legal limit. Remember, the legal limit is only a legal presumption of intoxication. You can still be convicted of DUI if you're below the legal limit but there's other evidence that you were too intoxicated to operate a vehicle.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I got an underage drinking citation in college (2 months before i turned 21) and when i went to court there were at least 10 DUI cases ahead of me. This was in Southern MD, and if i recall EVERY SINGLE ONE got PBJ (probation before judgement). Some of them were even repeat offenders. Your life is not necessarily ruined.

    Dr. Frenchenstein on
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    Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    Note, in Texas, we have "no refusal weekends", where they can write a warrant, on the spot, to arrest you and take your blood if you refuse the breathalyzer test.

    Most states have some form of implied consent law, where a refusal of a breathylizer or field sobriety test is automatic probable cause for an arrest. But if the situation you're looking at is either (1) fail the test and get arrested or (2) refuse the test and get arrested, then option (2) is always going to be the better one.

    There's always a chance that you might have failed a field sobriety test or portable breathylizer but when tested at the station or hospital you're under the legal limit. Remember, the legal limit is only a legal presumption of intoxication. You can still be convicted of DUI if you're below the legal limit but there's other evidence that you were too intoxicated to operate a vehicle.

    Well, there's refusing the handheld breathalyzer, which I fully endorse since those things are notoriously inacurate, and then there's refusing to take any test. Do not do this, as if you do, you are automatically assumed guilty of DUI, and they absolutely throw the book at you in court for being so obstinate. My uncle tried this in Minnesota and good lord did he pay for it. (Though in truth I was kind of glad they did, as he was pretty bad about driving home drunk from the bar.)

    Bottom line, try and know the DUI law in your area so you understand your (few) rights during a stop, and the repercussions of your actions, such as what happens if you insist on the blood test. (Usually means spending the night in jail.)

    Dark_Side on
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    Cptn PantsCptn Pants Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As for a lawyer: "If you can not afford an attorney one will be provided for you"... Miranda rights rule.

    Cptn Pants on
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    HerkimerHerkimer Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Cptn Pants wrote: »
    As for a lawyer: "If you can not afford an attorney one will be provided for you"... Miranda rights rule.

    You have to be really poor, like indigent poor, to qualify for state-provided counsel. It doesn't mean "oh shit I should probably get a lawyer but I'm not sure how I'd pay my cellphone bill."

    Herkimer on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Those public defenders have a lot of clients, so don't be surprised if you don't feel very confident with him representing you. I wouldn't take the risk of going for a public defender, but it worked out for a buddy of mine who also got a DUI. It's really up to you, personally I wouldn't take a risk on my future employment like that.

    Demerdar on
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    LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Herkimer wrote: »
    Cptn Pants wrote: »
    As for a lawyer: "If you can not afford an attorney one will be provided for you"... Miranda rights rule.

    You have to be really poor, like indigent poor, to qualify for state-provided counsel. It doesn't mean "oh shit I should probably get a lawyer but I'm not sure how I'd pay my cellphone bill."

    Oh, and you aren't entitled to free counsel, no matter how poor you are, if the direct, legal consequences aren't severe enough. Like 1 year in jail severe. Loss of license, fine, and perminently screwed up record? Not what the framers had in mind.

    LaPuzza on
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    SpudgeSpudge Witty comments go next to this blue dot thingyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You blew and didn't come up excessive (over .17). Good. If you refused, your license would be automatically suspended for a minimum of one year over the normal suspension (9 months usually)

    DO THE APPEAL TO THE DMV! It has nothing to do with the charges, it's just an informal hearing where they make a judgment on your license status. If you don't do it, you face mandatory suspension (see above). If you do it, you can get your license back immediately, or after a greatly shortened suspension.

    Yes legal representation is the best way to go. If you can't afford it though, well just do your best. Did you do a roadside blow? Get the calibration report from the breathalyzer (you are entitled to it, go ask for it.) Did you blow after the arrest? Once again, get that calibration report. These can show things that may help you get a lighter sentence.

    If this is your first DUI, and you didn't damage anything (pulled over for crossing the line, etc) you have a good shot at getting off on a lighter sentence. Your BAC was low enough. See if the DA is willing to drop to a DWAI. You have no chance of getting off entirely but a DWAI is much less severe than a DUI - no mandatory jail time, much lighter fine, community service and an alcohol class (average sentence for first time DWAI)

    (IANAL)

    Spudge on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Oh yeah, forgot to give out this little gem.

    Before you go lawyer hunting, get a copy of the police report and read it. Also bring it around to different lawyers so they can give you really good legal counsel based on your police report.

    Get the police report.

    Demerdar on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I know in washington state the advice I've been told from multiple lawyers and friends of lawyers and people-who've-had-duis-and-talked-to-lawyers is always been to refuse to take the breathalyzer test until your lawyer is present. Just shut up and wait for the lawyer.

    What happens is they can't force you into the test until your attorney is present, and by the time he's present you're sober. So they can still charge you based on officer's judgement of intoxication, it's a much much more defensible case for your lawyer.

    Captain Vash on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    LaPuzza wrote: »
    Herkimer wrote: »
    Cptn Pants wrote: »
    As for a lawyer: "If you can not afford an attorney one will be provided for you"... Miranda rights rule.

    You have to be really poor, like indigent poor, to qualify for state-provided counsel. It doesn't mean "oh shit I should probably get a lawyer but I'm not sure how I'd pay my cellphone bill."

    Oh, and you aren't entitled to free counsel, no matter how poor you are, if the direct, legal consequences aren't severe enough. Like 1 year in jail severe. Loss of license, fine, and perminently screwed up record? Not what the framers had in mind.

    This is pretty fucked up, considering the drastic life consequences even minor convictions can have (six months in jail probably still means losing your job, your home, etc.)...but yes, this is true. But it varies. I had a public defender for my Driving on a Suspended License charge, and I think that carried a max of like six months or something. It was definitely lower down on the ladder than a DUI. This was in Arizona, BTW. And I was poor as fuck, obviously.

    Oh, and that lawyer was worth about what I paid for him. He recommended I just go no-contest and hope the judge is lenient, even though I wound up arguing that I hadn't been notified (I hadn't...I had moved and not received the notice) and got off entirely. Of course, he was the one who was able to inform me that not having been notified was a valid defense...so I was still better off with a lawyer than without. He had good information, I was just better off (in this instance) ignoring his actual advice.

    mcdermott on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Generally a lot of misdemeanors that have jail time are for repeat offenders and what not. On my court date when I was waiting for my lawyer to show up I was overhearing some of the other people in there talking with their prosecutors and most of the penalties were greatly reduced from the max sentence. I'm talking like, 6 months of jail, a $5,000 fine, and a year without a license as the maximum and people getting off with "pay $300 and don't drive without a license again".

    YMMV.

    Demerdar on
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    Romero ZombieRomero Zombie Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    cabsy wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    Perpetual wrote: »
    OP wrote:
    I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.

    Contrary to popular belief, "cooperating fully" with the police doesn't earn you any bonus goodwill points. They're trying to bust your ass and you're just making their jobs easy. Next time this happens, do not volunteer to take the fucking breath test - tell them that you want the test taken at a nearby hospital. Those are more accurate and your BAC will go down a bit while you're being taken to the hospital.

    Depending on your state, simply refusing the breath test may have consequences of its own.

    Last I knew, in Indiana at least refusing to take a breathalyzer means you are ticketed and charged as a DUI and you get to spend the night in jail. You do have a right to refuse but in some states it is definitely not at all worth it. And cooperating fully can get you "bonus points," generally police are more receptive to asking the judge to reduce charges or writing you a lower ticket if you're honest and cooperate. There's not a lot of letting you off with a warning you can do if you're driving intoxicated but being a dick just to be a dick provides no benefits to an interaction with police and can be detrimental.

    Also for future reference, driving at night with your headlights off will always get you pulled over under suspicion of DUI if a cop sees you.

    Refusing a breath test in Arizona will automatically suspend your license for an entire year, and the police have to get a search warrant for your blood. Which in of itself is a simple phone call to the judge and he/she faxes over a warrant.

    As everyone has said though, you will be way better off getting an attorney, otherwise you will get boned in court. If ever there was a time to get a loan...now is that time. Someone mentioned it earlier, prosecutors and defense attorney's go golfing and hang out all the time and make little deals with each other. Find one of those "We specialize in DUI" guys and talk to them. Being that you just woke up from a nap, they might use that in your defense as you may have been "sleepy" during your FST's, which they could try to throw out in court. Throw out the FST's, then they will usually get to throw out all the other crap found afterwards. Not saying that is exactly what could happen, but they know the ins and outs and how to get people out better than people on this board. So just suck it up and get one man. You will be so much better off.

    Romero Zombie on
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