not only was i stopped for no reason but i did a blood test expecting it would come out okay and when I went to the court date and they pulled us out in groups to read our consequences, the paper the guy gave me said i blew a .08. I asked him if this meant i could get it dropped to a wet and reckless and he said oh thats not right and took the printed paper and crossed out the .08 with his pen and put .18. I dont know how he could have even known what my bac was. after that i was rushed into the court with no one else to talk to & felt like i had no choice but to pled guilty since i couldnt afford a lawyer at the time. i recently got a copy of my driving record and it shows the .08 i had on the arrest date and then it says i was convicted of a .18. Is there anything i can do now?
First - I am confused youmsaid you took a blood test, but they told you you "blew" a certain level. Was it breath or blood? Or both? Was it the "official" test or the roadside test (the PAS- preliminary alcohol screening) device?
Ordinarily, once you enter your plea, you're stuck with it unless you can convince a judge why you should be allowed to withdraw your plea. Your problem is that you plead guilty a year ago. The law says that within 180 days of entering your plea, you can seek to withdraw your plea.
You're in a little different boat and if you want to try to do something, it will be a motion to vacate the plea. You'll need to convince a judge that you were mislead regarding your blood alcohol, etc.
I hope you still have the paperwork with the crossed out alcohol level, etc.
Unfortunately, this is not a do-it-yourself project. You're going to need a lawyer.
Did the judge not tell you that you have a right to an appointed attorney? If not, you could file a petition for writ of habeas corpus and your plea will surely be set aside. If you were advised of your right to a court appointed attorney and you still pled guilty, you really did yourself in. Pleading guilty to a DUI without talking to a lawyer is beyond stupid. With a good lawyer, like Mr. Dane, above, you have a long-shot chance of getting the court to allow you to vacate your plea.
I agree with Mr. Dane's assessment completely. You will need the documents you were provided with, and it is absolutely essential that you have an experienced attorney. Unfortunately, because this is now a post-conviction matter, you are looking at an increased expense when compared to what it might have cost had you gotten an attorney at the time. The attorney must now seek to set aside your plea and, if successful, your case will simply be re-opened and you will have to defend it.
I practice regularly in Orange County and know from experience that Mr. Dane is both well known and highly regarded by his peers there. If that doesn't work out, you're certainly free to call me.
This scenario is the exact reason the people should not go to court without a lawyer. You should have asked for a public defender at the very least.
Also you waited so long to have "buyers remorse". You need to get an attorney to review this issue. You need to get in front of a judge before more time ticks away. The judge may have taken notes in the file that indicates the BAC was .18 which means the court was mislead too.
If your attorney provided what is called ineffective assistance of counsel, that can be a ground to withdraw a plea. You should get a lawyer to assist you with this; it cannot be the same lawyer you had for the plea. On the other hand, if you were properly advised and have "buyers remorse," you will not be allowed to withdraw your plea. So you need an independent evaluation.
The consequences of a DUI are very severe and last for a very long time. No one can just tolerate a DUI conviction that is an error, even if the error is in the BAC. That error has the potential to do too much damage over the course of your future. If the facts are as you say, you need to do what can be done to try and right this situation. You are fortunate to be in Mr. Dane's "neighborhood." He is just excellent. I recommend that you call him and get the ball rolling right away.
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