I was recently pulled over for suspicion of DWI and charged with DWI-First Offense and Refusal to Consent. How to proceed?

Asked over 1 year ago - Blacksburg, VA

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"?

Additional information

-Kept at jail for 7 hours without a phone call. It took 6 hours just to start the booking process. The officer from the police station said I could be released as soon as I blow a .000 and got bonded. This extended containment reduced my evidence gathering time. -Only administered 1 NHTSA test. Other tests were non-standard (counting backwards and finger count) -Did not read Miranda rights upon arrest, but did ask questions at station. -I was on the restaurants private property when the suspicion occurred. As I approached the sidewalk that border the street and lot, the cop then stopped, didn't turn on their lights, and waited for me to turn onto the street before immediately turning on their lights. I then immediately pulled over. -Pulled over b/c wheels were turned slightly as if I was going to turn left, but I was intending on turning right since it was a one way street (that is what I ended up doing prior to being pulled

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James Donald Garrett

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . 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.

    By responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and... more
  2. Benjamin Pearce Titter

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . 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.

    Responses on AVVO do not establish an attorney-client relationship. All responses to questions should be used for... more
  3. Andrew P. Connors

    Contributor Level 5

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need a local criminal defense attorney.

    Please understand that no attorney-client relationship exists until entry of a representation agreement setting... more

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