Stop was justified by an "abrupt stop" as I was leaving a pvt. parking lot. Officer justified FST based on alcohol smell and a wrist band from the restaurant I was in that indicated I was 21+. He did not observe slurring or stumbling on my part. Failed FST due to not following instructions. I forgot to mention this to the officer (I did mention at jail), but I have documented ADHD. I refused a breath test on the field, and at the police station I was told that I would only have a suspended license for 7 days for refusing (not one year as I now know). Officer did thank me for being completely cooperative through the process. Another officer even commented to him "are you sure this guy is drunk? He seems fine to me."
Every case is different, but any chance to reduce to "reckless"?
You should definitely hire a local DUI attorney who knows how to challenge the issues in your case. From what you describe, you have several areas that are ripe for cross-examination - probable cause for both the stop and arrest, non-standard FST, and potentially exculpatory evidence by the other officer.
Don't wait until the last minute. These issues will take some time for your lawyer to prepare your defense.
You have a few issues that should be explored by you and your attorney. The first issue is the probable cause for the traffic stop. There is no law that governs "abrupt stops", particularly on private property. Next would be the probable cause for the DUI arrest. Probable cause is gathered from the time you are stopped up until the time the cuffs are placed on you. There are any number of things the officer is trained to look for, but the main element of PC is the result of the field sobriety tests. If you only took one, that may be challenged in court. You should be sure to mention this other officer to your attorney as well. While it's unusual for a fellow police officer to offer conflicting testimony against the arresting officer, it should still be investigated.
If you attorney is able to successfully challenge either the probable cause for the traffic stop or the arrest, both of your charges will fall. This is not something with which you want to waste time. Contact an attorney sooner rather than later.
Get free answers from experienced attorneys.
25,176 answers this week
2,663 attorneys answering
Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.Browse our legal dictionary