I wasn't behind the wheel when the police arrived at my car but was arrested just the same.

Asked almost 5 years ago - Marysville, WA

They say they have a witness and are looking for a conviction based on a 3rd party. Is this feasable and if so, what might be your approach to a case like this?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Sharon Elizabeth Chirichillo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Unknown if you were driving, or were safely parked on side of road, or even at home.

    Did the officer ask you to do tests vountarily and if so did you do them, and if you did do them, which ones did you do- such as Walk & Turn, One Leg Stand, The Eye or Pen test (officially called a psedo scientific name - Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus), were you offered a Preliminary Breath Test that is voluntary and can't be used against you at trial (but that won't stop the Department of Licensing, another sericous headache you need to address. You have only 20 days to ask for a DOL Hearing (see link below). Then there is the official breath test machine known as the Datamaster that would have been offered at the police station and if you did take the test what was the reading? Was it under .15 or above? Did you take the test? Or another test.

    As you can see many unknowns to answer your question effectively. Then there are scenerios such as- If you were driving and pulled over because of a witness called it in. Then should your case go to trial then that witness would be subpoena by the prosecutor and need to testify credibly for the state. The state has to prove its case using a standard of beyond reasonable doubt.. If you were stopped by the police, then what were you told was the basis of the stop? When did the police arrive? Were you already over by the side of the road?

    Being arrested for DUI is not a boiler plate experience. Each accused individual such as yourself have unique fact patterns. Truly check Avvo for DUI consultation in your area. Check with www.ncdd.com The National College for DUI Defense. Make sure who you seek know DUI law and actually fight for your rights. The recomnnedations above, I concur. Best, Sharon

  2. Nathan L Webb

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Being charged with "driving" under the influence can occur based upon 3rd party testimony; however, without that testimony you could still face the charge of being in Actual Physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence, but this is not likely because if you were out of the vehicle it could be difficult to prove. Keep in mind the government has a burden to prove you were identified as the driver and that the witness is credible and reliable. I would address the 3rd party by interviewing them and assessing their prospective testimony. I have had many clients charged with DUI even though the arresting officer did not witness my client operate the vehicle. You can call me to discuss your case anytime.

    Webb Law Firm, PLLC
    www.WashingtonDUIarrest.com
    (425) 398-4323
    (206) 218-5532

  3. Karyn T. Missimer

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . I am assuming you were arrested for a criminal DUI. If so, then the prosecution must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt means 100%, but if the witness is credible enough and depending on the facts of your case, one witness may be enough.

    Respectfully, you would need to give us more information for us to tell you how to approach your case, but I am not sure this is an appropriate forum for such a discussion. If you were sick, you would not email your symptoms to a doctor and ask him to diagnose you. A doctor would make you come into his office and pay his fees. Similarly, this is the kind of information attorneys charge for; and you will likely have to pay some fees before an attorney discusses case strategy with you.

    I can recommend some top notch DUI attorneys in Washington:

    Linda Callahan, who is on Avvo.com: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/98104-wa-linda-ca...

    And Scott Wonder, also on Avvo.com: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/98004-wa-scott-wo...

    Good luck!

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