I was stopped during a routine stop, no hazardous or unsafe driving of vehicle noted and given 3 separate breathalizer tests on 2 machines. My vehicle was registered and insured. I am mobility impaired with handicap plates on my motorcycyle. I was not told of the results of the breathalizer tests and given the field sobriety tests and was told it was up to the officer to arrest me or not. So he did. He told me, I could have blood drawn and I did. The results came back clean. I had to pay a bondsman to get me out and had to pay again to get another court date. I have plead not guilty and ready How can I get my money back and sue the county for harassment, and false imprisonment and defamation of character. I am a nurse and have had a clean record thus far.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Before you start having fantasies about suing anyone (and I don't hear a basis for a suit anyway), you first have to beat this DUI charge. With no breathalyzer, no blood test, and no field sobriety tests, an officer can still arrest you for DUI if he thinks that you are under the influence of an intoxicant to the extent that it is less safe for you to drive. No sane officer will say that he arrested you for no reason, so of course he's going to say that he thought then and still thinks you were intoxicated.
There may be a video of the incident and your performance on the field sobriety tasks. Maybe you did well. Or maybe you did poor enough that would convince a jury that you were, in fact, DUI.
You sound like you are cruising along waiting for this case to go away on its own. If you are, I think you are in for a rude awakening. It sounds like you have a pretty good case, probably even a winnable case, but it isn't going to win itself. You need a lawyer ASAP.
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I think you are "jumping the gun" thinking about how to file an action against the county and not trying to WIN your DUI case first! Although the tests returned and appear to be in your favor - under 0.08 and no drugs - you can still be prosecuted for DUI. Most people understand the DUI "per se" charge, that means you had a test result of 0.08 or higher. However, most people aren't familiar with DUI "less safe". This charge means the officer believes that because of your use of an intoxicating substance you were a "less safe" driver rendered incapable of operating a vehicle safely. You can be convicted of this charge without a test result at all - based on the officers observations of your driving, admissions of drinking, physical manifestations of impairment and your performance on the field sobriety tests etc.. Based on the info in your question I would recommend that you retain an experienced DUI defense attorney ASAP!!! Your case is progressing toward a trial and you are blindly walking into court without the experience, training and ability to effectivley defend yourself! Finally, I don't see a case against the county based on the facts from your question. I understand that this is not the answer you wanted to hear, but I believe it is accurate. Please take my advise and at least talk to (better yet - hire) a DUI attorney before you get a very rude awakening at trial!!! I hope this information has been helpful to you. Good Luck!!!! George McCranie www.mccranielawfirm.com
The information provided in this response to a question is not legal advise and is provided only for general information purposes. My response should not be taken as legal advise as no attorney / client representation exists. Additionally, the information given in this answer is specific to the State of Georgia only and should not be applied to any other state.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Douglas County is very aggressive when it comes to any alleged criminal activity, including DUI. You need to be retaining counsel to help you with this case. YOur first mistake may have been going to court and pleading not guilty without demanding a jury trial. YOu don't want this case simply to go before a judge that may have a longstanding relationship with the officer's involved. You don't want that kind of bias affecting the outcome of your trial. You have also probably waived your right to file a motion to suppress and/or discovery motions in the case. Douglas County is very strict about the timing for filing motions. An attorney may be able to fix this for you. YOu especially want to get your hands on the videotape of your field sobriety evaluation so that you can determine whether a factfinder (judge or jury) will believe that you were impaired by some intoxicant at the time. To do this, you need an attorney to file for and obtain discovery for you in the case.
I notice that you have handicap plates. Do you take prescription medications? A less safe DUI can be made based upon your ingestion of prescription medications and evidence of impairment. If you admitted to the officer that you had taken some prescription medications (or even some over the counter meds) and did poorly on the field sobriety tests, you could be successfully prosecuted for DUI. The law provides that you can be prosecuted and found guilty for DUI if you are under the influence of "any" drug to the extent that it is less safe for you to drive.
If you performed poorly on the field sobriety tests, you may still have valid defenses to this charge based upon the manner and/or grading of these tests in your case. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes guidelines for the administration of these tests that are to ensure their accuracy. Officers often do not follow these guidelines when performing these tests. If your officer had you conduct the one leg stand and walk-and-turn tests, the officer probably did not follow the NHTSA guidelines. YOu need to hire an attorney familiar with those standards to obtain your videotape and review it for defenses.
Allen R. Knox
125 TownPark Drive, Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
DUI / DWI Attorney
First you must deal with the DWI charge. If what you have said is true, then a competent DWI attorney should be able to get that charge taken care of. This must happen before you try to file a lawsuit against the officer. Hire the DWI attorney let him know of your ultimate goal and also contact a civil rights/PI attorney.
Individuals can be convicted of being impaired absent a positive alcohol of illegal drug scan. Many states allow for impairment of driving ability to be from any source: prescription drugs, inhailants (like model airplane glue), etc.
I urge you to get a qualified DWI Attorney not just any attorney that does DWI part-time.
Many states can and will prosecute based upon the officer's observations alone, Missouri is one of them. So get an attorney ASAP