Charged with dwi & test refusal. My boyfriend was driving, but I wasn't in the right state of mind & told them I was driving. I didn't refuse the test, i asked for a lawyer.
You can be charged if the prosecutor thinks there is probable cause that you committed a DWI and a test refusal. Your admission of driving could be used against you in court, but you're certainly free to challenge that and make them prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove, operated, or exercised "physical control" over the vehicle while impaired. As for the test refusal, it's possible to convict someone of that crime even if they never say "no" to a test, but the state has to prove your actions amounted to a test refusal. It sounds like you have promising issues to contest both charges. You should get an experienced DWI attorney retained as soon as possible.
If they brought you in for testing then it seems you will be charged if you haven't already. Get yourself a good dui lawyer as you cannot rely on the court or prosecutor to pursue your defenses and interests.
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Yes you can be charged and convicted of DWI. Attorney Patrin provided an excellent answer. Now you need to contact and hire an experienced DWI attorney without delay. Best of luck.
This is not intended as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship exists because of this response.
Can you be charged? Yes, you can, and it seems like you already have been. The important question is can you be convicted. Without the help from an experienced DWI attorney, you quite possibly will be convicted. There are several defenses and the prosecution has to prove you were driving.
You refused to do the test without talking with a lawyer. If there is evidence that you were under the influence (a refusal is considered to be such evidence) and that you were driving (your statement is such evidence) then you can not only be charged but convicted. There may be things that can be done, but it is far from a slam-dunk. Sometimes 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. It is certainly not a do-it-yourself situation, nor a situation where you want someone getting on-the-job training.
That you have been charged or that some gizmo says your alcohol level was at a certain level does not mean that you are guilty. It certainly does not mean that you will 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!
Most states, including Wisconsin, take your license from you even if you win your case unless you take certain steps to get a hearing about that before right away, usually before your first court appearance.
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. I would suggest looking for a member of the National College for DUI Defense or the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. Such a membership indicates that DUI defense is a major part of that lawyer’s practice and that they have made a commitment to keeping up to date on the law and science of DUI defense.
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I am an experienced Wisconsin drunk driving (DUI/OWI/DWI) defense lawyer practicing in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the Internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you.
If something I say disagrees with what your own lawyer is telling you, you should rely on your lawyer who is familiar with you, your entire case, the local courts and practices.
To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services.
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First and foremost, you need an experienced attorney.
The Criminal Case of DWI
Even a first offense DWI can be serious. A Refusal to test is charged as a a gross misdemeanor which carries with it maximum possible penalties of ONE year in jail and a $3,000 fine. As a result, it is important to present an aggressive defense. It is also important to know and understand the Judge's and their proclivities in your county.
License Revocation or Cancellation - The Implied Consent
A DWI is not only a criminal case, it has a civil element as well. There is a license revocation related to a DWI that is a case entirely separate from the criminal matter. Nothing in the criminal matter will change the license revocation which occurs automatically unless you seek a judicial review of that revocation. This MUST occur within 30 days after you were revoked. Any failure to seek a judicial review results in the license revocation and a record that indicates a new alcohol related offense that can be used to make any subsequent DWI a greater crime. In that judicial review, the challenges are similar in many ways to those made in the criminal case.
Defenses on a DWI Case
There are many challenges to a DWI. Certainly, you ave a defense if you were not driving or if you did not have the ability to operate the vehicle. The defenses depend on the particular set of facts in each case. That means a detailed review of all evidence, including police reports, police videos, audio recordings and testing records related to blood alcohol levels is imperative. Often, hidden defenses are found through a thorough review of all evidence.
The fact is that Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.
You should consult with an experienced attorney.
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