Talk to a local lawyer about your case. If there were no fields, the officer may have had some evidence that you were a less safe driver but wouldn't have a whole lot. A good lawyer will be able to argue at a motion hearing that the officer didn't have probable cause to put you under arrest.
It is not required that an officer read you your Miranda rights unless they are going to question you after arresting you.
Zachary is correct. Just to elaborate on his answer, an officer does not necessarily have to do field sobriety tests to have probable cause that you are driving under the influence. The officer may have had other evidence that you were an unsafe driver while under driving under the influence. For example, he may have observed you driving recklessly or not maintaining your lane, and coupled that activity with the breath test. Still, it sounds like you could possibly challenge whether the officer had probably cause to arrest you. I would set up a free consultation with an attorney who can get a complete version of your story, and then let you know whether you have a good case to challenge the DUI.
I agree with the advice of Attorney Procter. As he stated, there is no requirement that the officer read the Miranda warning unless he is questioning you after he places you under arrest.
In addition, I noted that your description of the stop and the actions of the officer do not suggest an experienced officer in DUI detection. The correct procedure for a DUI investigation consists of Field Sobriety Tests and then the on scene PBT (preliminary Breath Testing Device). Also, once the officer places you under arrest for DUI, he is to read the Georgia Implied Consent notice, designating a State Administered Chemical Test of the officer’s choosing, and getting an affirmative or negative response from you on submitting to the designated test. These steps are not required for the officer to make a DUI case but are typically followed by experienced DUI officers.
I would recommend that you speak with an experienced DUI attorney in your area. Many attorneys offer free consultations and will go over the circumstances of your case with you so you can make an informed decision. Please note this answer is not intended to be legal advice.
Your case would seem to fit into a minimal evidence case category, based on your version of the facts. I agree with Mr. Proctor; hire up a good defense lawyer in your area and get ready to defend your case. Be aware of possible license suspension deadlines as well.
Evan A. Watson is a Georgia licensed attorney. All information is based on Georgia law, and no response should be construed as legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is simply a form of legal education and is intended to provide general information for all readers. Please refer with an attorney who practices in your applicable state for non-Georgia legal questions.
You have been charged with less safe DUI unless you later took a breath test or blood test after being arrested for DUI. In a less safe DUI, the police must prove more than you had alcohol in your system but that that alcohol affected your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. This can be proven by direct evidence of less safe driving like weaving or an accident. I would not categorize speeding as a less safe act but some Appellate Courts have ruled speeding can be less safe driving as a legal matter. Less safe driving can be proven by circumstantial evidence of your appearance and demeanor, i.e., staggering, stumbling, slurred speech, fumbling fingers, etc. Finally, Less safe driving because of alcohol can be proven by poor performance on field sobriety evaluations. In your case, at best, they have only appearance and demeanor evidence because the portable breath test is only admissible in court for the presence or absence of alcohol in your system. If there is video evidence and you look sober on the video, then you have a very good chance of beating your DUI charges at trial or getting the charges reduced to reckless driving. Hire a qualified DUI Lawyer and let the state prove their case.
No legal advice should be obtained from this response alone. This response is a matter of attorney opinion only. George C. Creal, Jr., P.C. is Georgia Professional Corporation authorized to practice law in the State of Georgia only and all information contained in this response is intended for use for DUI/DWIs occurring in the State of Georgia. Individuals with DUI/DWIs from outside the State of Georgia should contact a licensed attorney in the state of occurrence of their DUI.
I would recommend contacting an attorney immediately. Depending on which breath test you took, you may face a license suspension that could be challegned if the appropriate letter is filed within 10 days of your arrest. Your case is very similar to one that I tried a few years ago. If the only driving manifestation is speeding, you stand a very good change of being acquitted at trial, if the case makes it that far. An experienced attorney will explain to you the necessary motions that need to be filed to ensure the highest chances of success in winning your case, or at least getting the charge reduced to a reckless driving offense, which does not carry a license suspension. If you would like to discuss your case, please feel free to contact me at 770-601-9775. I offer free consultations for DUI clients.
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