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Stopped by PA state police for speeding and suspected DUI. Was never given a citation or any paperwork.

Collegeville, PA |

I was stopped for doing 85 in a 35 and crossing the yellow line. I performed the sobriety tests which I failed because my feet are extremely flat and that makes it very hard for me to balance, and my prescribed medications (taking for years) caused dilated pupils. I took the Breathalyzer but I never drink. They arrested me, towed my car to a garage and took me to the hospital for a blood test then gave me a ride home. I was never given any citation or anything. The only thing I signed was the blood test I initialed. Should I expect something in the mail? Should I get a lawyer now or wait until I have some paperwork?

Attorney Answers 8

Posted

You may indeed by charged with a DUI depending upon the blood test results and the Troopers observations of you while operating the vehicle and after the stop. The fact that you have prescriptions for the medications in your blood does not mean you can't be charged since validly prescribed medication at therapeutic dosages may place you in violation of the statute. If you are charged you will receive a Criminal Summons by mail with a copy of the charges and instructions to appear for a preliminary hearing. There may also be a Fingerprint Order in that mailing directing you to appear for fingerprinting if it was not done during the time you were in custody. I would at least start talking to qualified criminal defense attorneys in your area who are experienced in handling DUI's. Most here offer free, if limited, consultations. Take advantage of that to speak privately with one or more lawyers to gain some insights into your situation and to begin the process of interviewing candidates for the job of representing you should charges be filed. In my end of the state (western) State Police blood test results may take several weeks to be completed. Attorneys in your area should be able to give you an idea of how long it takes in your region. Good luck.

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Posted

85 in a 35 I don't see how they can just let you walk. On the other hand, if you took a breathalyzer and nothing came up, that is proof you were not DUI.
I would have a attorney just to check the courts in the area to make sure nothing was filed against you, with out serving you. Could save you a unneeded arrest.

Do a lot of praying that the cop doesn't issue tickets against you!

This is not legal advice. If order to give you legal advice i would need to see the Tickets and talk to the court first. Good luck:)

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Posted

In Pennsylvania, a person can be charged with DUI if drugs of any kind are found in your system which caused the individual to be under the influence to a degree that rendered them incapable of safely driving on the road. Depending on your blood results and the opinions made, you may be charged. In that event, a criminal complaint will be mailed to you. You will then need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. There will be options for you to explore to avoid a conviction.

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Posted

They are testing your blood for the presence of drugs, which may include over-the-counter drugs and legally prescribed medication. You can expect something in the mail, yes.

Often people think that because it isn’t a murder case, a drunk driving case is simple. Nothing could be further from the truth. These cases can be among the most complex a criminal defense lawyer handles. The government is willing to spend an incredible amount of money to convict you though. They will have expert witnesses available for consultation and trial.

That you have been charged or that some contraption says your alcohol level was at a certain level does not mean that you are guilty. It certainly does not mean that you can be proven guilty using competent, valid evidence.

Field sobriety “tests” are designed to give police a reason to arrest. You cannot “pass” them. The police will admit that almost a third of healthy young adults who take these tests without any alcohol will be judged to be “under the influence” – and that assumes they are properly administered!

After even a first drunk driving conviction, you may face employment discrimination. You will certainly be charged higher for insurance. Having such a conviction will also make you a target for drunk driving arrest in future interactions with police. You will automatically become a suspect.

You will want a lawyer who is familiar with field sobriety “tests,” perhaps one who is certified to administer these tests. You will want a lawyer familiar with the weaknesses of the contraptions that are used to report alcohol or drug levels. You want an experienced trial lawyer, used to cross-examining police officers. Police officers are practiced, experienced witnesses.

That is, you want an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer, whether you call the offense DUI, OWI, DWI, OUI, or drugged driving.

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

Your case is surely on hold pending your lab test results. Typically, the police will send the blood to the lab and wait for the results before proceeding. If your blood alcohol level comes back higher than 0.80 percent, you will likely receive a criminal complaint in the mail with notification of your first hearing (the preliminary hearing). With respect to whether you should hire a lawyer now, you may want to consider doing so if you believe that your blood alcohol level is likely higher than 0.80 percent (it doesn't take many drinks to get to that level). Certainly you could begin the process of interviewing lawyers so that you are prepared to hire someone if it becomes necessary. Good luck.

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2 comments

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

The questioner has indicated there was no alcohol involved, but that they had unidentified prescription medication onboard that caused dilated pupils. The medications may also have impaired ability to operate the vehicle.

Henry S. Hilles III

Henry S. Hilles III

Posted

Oops, you're right, I confused your fact pattern with another question I was answering -- sorry about that. Mr. Jones is right; prescription medications can from the basis for a DUI arrest. I recently represented a young man who was charged with DUI when the only substance in his system was Xanax which was prescribed to him. My overall advice remains the same; I think it makes sense to consult with a few lawyers so that you are prepared to be properly represented if you are ultimately charged. I truly hope that you never hear from the police officer again!

Posted

You will likely receive a criminal summons in the mail depending on the chemical analysis of your blood. The DUI would be a criminal offense and the speeding charge would be added onto the criminal case. I think you should consult with an attorney at your earliest convenience to know what will likely happen with your case. Please feel free to call me at (215) 639-4400.

The above is a general answer but should not be considered specific legal advice for your case. If you would like to discuss the particular problem you are facing, please contact Geoffrey Hood, Esquire at (215) 639-4400

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Posted

The blood that you gave will be sent to a lab for testing. When the police get back the blood results, they will decide, based on the results, whether or not they will charge you. If they decide to charge you, you will receive paperwork in the mail. The first court date you will have will be your preliminary hearing. You will want to have an attorney with you at that time.

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Posted

Because blood was drawn there may be a delay in the filing of charges until the blood test results are received by the State Police from the lab. At the present time PSP are not using breath test devices in PA. If you don't hear anything for 4-5 months you can begin to breath easily. You should contact a lawyer now.

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