The CHP officer that pulled me over told me that i got pulled over for switching lanes without signaling and for almost cutting off a car. He told me that I smelled like alcohol and asked me to take breathalyzer test and or blood test, but I refused to take any of them. I was taken to jail and released after about 14 hours. I'm currently in school to become a special ed teacher. A misdemeanor would completely throw me off track for a few years. Is there any possibility of getting the case dismissed or dropped to an infraction? I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be great, please help me. Thank you
You owe it to yourself to hire the best criminal attorney who concentrates on DUI that you can.
There are a few pressing issues that you must address immediately like the DMV.
Most of us on AVVO offer a free consultation. Call some attorneys ASAP! You have nothing to lose.
Due to nature of your job, obviously you cannot have a conviction of a DuI. Since you have refused both tests, then you are facing not only criminal charge but also DMV issue. At this time, it is highly advised that you retain an attorney as soon as possible in order to handle both DMV and Criminal side of your case. There is always possibility but probability will depend upon facts of the case.
Hire an attorney to help you with your criminal case and DMV issues. Most criminal attorneys will give you a free consultation. Get some. Fees are variable and sometimes negotiable; attorney experience and track record matter.
Misdemeanor convictions can create problems for aspiring teachers, among others. Spend some time setting up appointments. The DMV only gives you 10 days to call to request an APS hearing to contest the suspension and likely refusal allegation you now face.
Retaining an experienced DUI lawyer immediately is paramount to increasing your best possible outcome. Many aspects of DUI cases have critical timing issues especially when it comes to DMV mandatory license suspensions for refusals and these deadlines are generally strictly enforced. I can't stress enough that timing is critical in DUI cases so find yourself some legal counsel right away.
As my colleagues have pointed out: you have two issues 1) The DMV and your licence, and 2) The DUI. You haven't really provided a great deal of detail, so the best thing to do at this time is start interviewing qualified DUI attorneys to handle the issues.
These attorneys are going to want to know: did you do FSTs? were you actually cited for a DUI? were you given a DS367 notice re your license? etc.
Have you requested a DMV hearing re your license? (this is very important!)
Don't delay - time is very important and it is running out for you. There's always a possibility of dismissal or getting an infraction, but with a refusal you've really stacked the cards against yourself. You're going to need a qualified attorney for this one. Consider any money spent on legal counsel to be an investment in your job and your future.
A refusal may trigger a one year hard suspension of your driving privilege with DMV. Even without a BAC, the State can still charge you for a violation of vehicle code section 23152(a) with a refusal allegation which in some jurisdictions requires mandatory jail time. Both the DMV and Court cases should be handled by a competent DUI attorney as they can be fought and won!
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