Can I be convicted of a DUI when there is no evidence but an officer's opinion of my state at the time
6 attorney answers
Yes, it is possible to be convicted of DWI without an Intoxilizer result showing your blood alcohol at or above .08. The NC DWI statute has two prongs, either of which can be the basis for your conviction: 1: You blew an .08 or above OR 2: it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you were "appreciable impaired" by and impairing substance. The usual way that the State proves the second prong is by putting on evidence that supports your impairment (e.g red, glassy eyes, slurred speech, difficulty with balance, smells of alcohol, does poorly on field sobriety tests etc). This is typically done via the officer's subjective evaluation of you.
Obviously, a good defense attorney will bring out the fact that the same subjective observations made by the officer that indicate impairment can also just as likely indicate the results of an accident in which you were injured. That's Where you'll win or lose your case, so be sure to hire a good DWI attorney, someone with experience and a willingness to fight for you.
I agree with my colleagues that you may have a case suitable for trial, but you need to retain an attorney licensed in North Carolina immediately to ensure you receive the best defense possible. When certain facts like the officer's statements regarding your blurred vision and red eyes can be explained away based on hitting your head and crying then you start to defeat the officer's probable cause for placing you under arrest. A lawyer familiar with all the facts will be able to assess your case and provide you with the best course of action.
There is case law that states if the only evidence is the officer's observations, then the DWI charge must be dismissed. However, in your case there is additional evidence. First, you were in a car accident. Second, you admitted to the officer that you had been drinking earlier in the evening. So, it is highly unlikely your case would be dismissed. However, I take it from the facts you have stated that you did not perform roadside field sobriety tests, submit to a breath alcohol test, or have a blood sample taken. If that is the case, then, as Mr. Powers stated, the case will turn on impairment. If you truly have a medical record showing that the impact of the airbag gave you a concussion, you would be hard pressed finding a DWI defense attorney that would not be happy to try your case. So, unless there are additional facts that you have not provided, you appear to have very triable issues in your case. Good luck to you.
<a href="http://www.amoslawnc.com">Fred Amos</a> provides legal representation in Wake County , North Carolina. Any answer provided through this discussion board is a general response to the question and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always seek the advice of a lawyer directly to address your specific circumstances. Free consultation and flexible payment plans for <a href="http://www.dwidefenseraleigh.com">DWI's</a>.
That is a complicated inquiry, as it involves proof of operation and possibly what is referred to a "naked, extrajudicial confession" under State v. Trexler.
Without a reading the State may need to proceed on the "appreciable impairment prong" of 20-138.1.
Seek experienced legal counsel immediately.
NOTE: Although a response is provided to the specific question, there may be other facts and law relevant to the issue. The questioner should not base any decision on the answer and is specifically advised no client-lawyer relationship has been established. Put simply, seek the advice of competent counsel without delay to discuss the particular aspects of the case, factual scenario and historical background. NOTE: There may be other facts and law relevant to the issue. Readers should not base any decision on the;information provided herein and are specifically advised no client-lawyer relationship has been established. Put simply, seek the advice of competent counsel without delay to discuss the particular aspects of the case, factual scenario and historical background WHY: The content herein is provided for educational purposes and should not be inferred as applying only to DWI / DUI criminal defense. In fact, it may be equally relevant to claims of personal injury involving accidents and the consumption of alcohol or more simply, to the daily practice of law. Bill Powers lectures on such issues on a regular basis with the intent to educate, to be fair, to be accurate and to encourage, open, honest and scientific discussion on the subject. Attorney Bill Powers did NOT represent the Defendant in the particular cause of action.
While no one here can accurately predict the future, it is easy to make the following observation. Your chances of obtaining the most favorable outcome will only be advanced by having a qualified criminal defense attorney with experience in handling DUI cases. From your stated facts it sounds like you have a defensible case, but far more detailed information would be needed to come to a sound conclusion about your case. Please seek the assistance of suitable counsel in your area without delay, and avoid the temptation to figure it out on the Internet. This website has a very useful "Find a Lawyer" feature that I highly recommend to you. Hopefully a local NC licensed attorney will respond directly to your question. Good luck.
This is where a DUI attorney is extremely important. Immediately retain one. Use find a lawyer here.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.