23 months ago i got a DUI in washington state (cowlitz County). It is in pending to be reduced to neg. 1 after two years. I completed the required victim impact classes. Recently i arrived to my home (in cowlitz county) and was about to go into my door when a police officer pulled in and flashed his lights. he said i was speeding. did not perform a field sobriety....didnt even ask. Did not ask if i had been drinking, Did not ask for registration, license, or inc. my vehicle was parked and turned off. I did not give him permission to search my vehicle but he searched anyway. He found a empty container in the back seat in a garbage bag. at the station i refused to blow. can he charge me with a DUI? I am a single mother of two and cant go to jail. What are my options / penalties i face
The short answer is yes, the officer can charge you with anything. Whether the charge can be proven is a whole different issue. It sounds like there are a lot of issues in your case that a good DUI attorney may be able to use to help you.
The maximum possible sentence would be a year and $5000 fine on both DUIs (the SOC to a Neg 1 would be revoked if you were convicted of a new DUI). The minimum jail time on the first offense would be 1 or 2 days depending on the BAC or whether you refused. The mandatory minimum time on the second offense would be 45 days jail AND 60 days electronic home monitoring.
I would fight this case. It appearts that there is not enough probable cause for arrest for DUI (State v. Avery). Secondly, did the officer actually see you in the driver's seat? From the facts of the case, it appears that the car off and you were at your front door when the cop finally showed up. Sounds like lots of good issues.
Make sure you request a DOL hearing, because they are likely going to suspsend your license for two years.
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