Should I expect a good outcome after being pulled over for speeding / DUI and being let go an hour later?
5 attorney answers
No, you should not expect a good outcome, especially without the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer! They may be waiting to get the results of the blood test. You want to be talking with lawyers, there, now! I am answering here because I am not a lawyer you can consult or hire on this. I have no interest in your doing so.
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!
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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It is unusual that you were not held for longer and that you were taken back to your car. Were you actually arrested and charged? Do you have a court date for these charges? These are the type things you need to know. If you were charged, then you need to hire a DUI lawyer to advise you through this.
No, I would not expect a "good outcome" as you almost certainly will be charged with a DUI as soon as your blood is analyzed and the results are received by the police.
As my colleague Ms. Aeed indicated in her spot on response to you, it is VERY unusual that the police allowed you to drive home after presumably a portable breath testing advice indicated you were at a breath/blood level of .15 or higher (an extreme DUI), but an experienced, Arizona-licensed DUI attorney may be able to use this fact in your favor in defending your case in Court and/or at Trial.
Your best bet is to not wait, and speak to an experienced, Arizona-licensed DUI attorney now, and allow that attorney to review your paperwork that you received from the police officers. Many such attorneys, including myself, offer free, initial 30-minute consultations. You should strongly consider availing yourself of one or more of these.
The fact that they gave you back your keys and let you drive your car home is very unusual. However they still followed through with the DUI investigation because they took your blood.
If you told the police officer that you had something to drink or you had something in your system and is probable cause to follow through with blood draw. Did they give you a piece of paper titled "admin per se affidavit" and take your physical license? If so your license may be suspended in 15 days. You should consult an attorney immediately to look over the paperwork given by the police officers to determine what if any charges are going to be filed.
The strange fact they let you drive home is a favorable point that shows they didn't think you were impaired. Good luck to you I would advise you to contact DUI lawyer with further questions.
The fact that you were released after police concluded their investigation is not unusual, the politeness of the officer has nothing to do with the potential outcome of the investigation. You should consult a lawyer regarding the status of your license.
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