Unfortunately this is a very common situation for many DUI clients. Police will find anything they consider "unlawful" as a reason to pull someone over, and once they contact you, if they believe you consumed any alcohol, they will conduct their DUI investigation. The reasons for the stop are nearly limitless. Stops can be for a cracked window, broken tail light, missing license plate, air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror that is obstructing the drivers view (no joke, it happens a lot), or anything else they can support with the vehicle code. In your case, your attorney would have to provide detailed photos of the entire windshield to prove that the crack was so far from the drivers view that it could not possibly obstruct any portion of your line of sight outside the vehicle such that you're ability to safely operate the car could not be affected. If you think that's the case, it is advisable to hire a skilled defense attorney to file a motion to dismiss by making that case on your behalf, but be advised it is an uphill battle. Judges will often side with the officer's discretion.
Capable CA lawyers have answered. I am chiming in because you can't hire me.
A cracked windshield is, by itself, a law violation in most states. Many officers will not pull someone over for that except at "bar time" or if they want an excuse to stop someone. You can go for months with a cracked windshield around here without getting stopped, so long as you only drive during the day and look like you belong where you are driving. This is what is often called a "pretext" stop; but our US Supreme Court has given its blessing to such stops.
That the stop was legal and 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
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.
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.
If any answer on AVVO helps you, mine or someone else’s, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO know which answers to show others.
--- Experienced DUI/DWI/OWI/Drunk Driving Lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin
--- Facebook Page Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin Drunk Driving / OWI / DWI / DUI Lawyer
--- Field sobriety "tests" – Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin DUI / DWI / OWI / Drunk Driving lawyer
--- Drugged Driving/DUI/DWI/Drunk Driving with Prescription Drugs – Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin
--- Which Offenses Count as Priors in Wisconsin? - Madison Dane County Wisconsin DUI OWI Drunk Driving Lawyer answers
--- Ten Days to Save Your License - Administrative Suspension and Refusals in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin
Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum.
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.
See the "more" link below.
Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. Click on the "More..." link for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about this AVVO Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I am an experienced Wisconsin lawyer. 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. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. 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. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.