First time ever been charged with anything.
It depends on the country. I have had people turned away at the border in Canada. You need to check with the US Consulate in the country to which you are travelling.
If you do not have a lawyer for your current case your should consult with a local attorney.
Ellis Klein, Esquire
Ellis Klein hit the nail on the head. You need to contact the consulate for the country you plan to visit to make sure they will permit you to enter, even though you have only been charged and have not been convicted of anything. As Ellis said, Canada would likely deny you entrance.
There are no restrictions from the court as long as you are on a good bond. Your bond company may have a condition of your contract that says you can't leave the county without notifying them. And Mr. Klein is right as far as leaving the country. It is up to the other country to allow you admission or not, and Canada is particularly strict on this.
The court will have no problem with it. If you have no other impediments to re-entry, this should not be a problem. Countries you enter or travel through, may. Canada certainly has problems with people convicted of DUI. I would strongly suggest contacting their consulate if you plan on going to or through Canada.
Often people think that because it isn’t a murder case, a drunk driving case is simple. Nothing could be further from the truth. These cases can be among the most complex a criminal defense lawyer handles. The government is willing to spend an incredible amount of money to convict you though. They will have expert witnesses available for consultation and trial.
That you have been charged or that some contraption says your alcohol level was at a certain level does not mean that you are guilty. It certainly does not mean that you can be proven guilty using competent, valid evidence.
Field sobriety “tests” are designed to give police a reason to arrest. You cannot “pass” them. The police will admit that almost a third of healthy young adults who take these tests without any alcohol will be judged to be “under the influence” – and that assumes they are properly administered!
After even a first drunk driving conviction, you may face employment discrimination. You will certainly be charged higher for insurance. Having such a conviction will also make you a target for drunk driving arrest in future interactions with police. You will automatically become a suspect.
You will want a lawyer who is familiar with field sobriety “tests,” perhaps one who is certified to administer these tests. You will want a lawyer familiar with the weaknesses of the contraptions that are used to report alcohol or drug levels. You want an experienced trial lawyer, used to cross-examining police officers. Police officers are practiced, experienced witnesses.
That is, you want an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer, whether you call the offense DUI, OWI, DWI, OUI, or drugged driving.
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