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What Are Some Misconceptions People Have About A DUI Arrest?
When people are arrested for DUI, they automatically assume they’ll be found guilty, which is not always the case. In many cases, the charges can be reduced or even eliminated, and we’ve done that successfully at trial and pre-trial. Sometimes it’s about reducing the punishment you receive, while other times it’s about beating the whole case, but we never look at a DUI case as an automatic guilty plea. In fact, I once personally handled a case with a .317 BAC that I HAD reduced to under a 0.1 BAC after we were able to show the district attorney problems with the blood test thus saving this woman her job.
We’ve had complete acquittals and we’ve had cases at trial knocked down from the highest tier to the middle or lower tier, saving my clients some state prison or lengthy jail sentences. We’ve even had charges changed from DUIs to non-DUIs. This is especially important for people with commercial driver’s licenses. (CDL license) If a commercial driver is convicted of a DUI or gets an ARD, they lose their ability to drive commercially for a year. For the second conviction a commercial driver can lose their CDL license for life even if they are pulled over for DUI in their personal car. We don’t take test results and police statements saying our clients failed the field sobriety test at face value; we peel back the onion.
What is the Typical Behavior of a Person Arrested for a DUI?
They’re generally scared; they’re not only concerned about jail, but also concerned about their driver’s license, especially here in rural Pennsylvania, where there’s very little public transportation. We have to educate them and let them know that, just because there’s an arrest and the blood test result shows a high BAC, that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be found guilty and go to jail.
How Public Will My DUI Arrest Be? How Easy is it for People to Find Out?
If someone knows how to access the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System they will find it. It may also show up in some newspaper’s crime round-up for the week.
What Common Mistakes Do People Make when they’ve Been Arrested?
The biggest mistake people make is that they talk too much; sometimes they admit to being impaired, or they’ll tell the police officer exactly how much they had to drink. Sometimes they’ll lie.
Another mistake I see people making is to refuse the blood or breath test. Some people think that their refusal will make their defense easier. It actually makes it harder, because it puts them into the highest DUI bracket, which means it’s more difficult to negotiate lesser punishments and there is a jury instruction that says that the refusal can be considered as evidence of guilty. With my law firm given the training my staff and I have, we have the ability to probe into those blood and breath test which can lead to acquittals and reduced charges and we have a proven record of doing so.
Can Blood and Breath Testing be challenged?
The answer is absolutely yes. It is done by looking at the test results from the time the sample is taken to the time it is tested. Gathering the testing data is crucial because in that data lays the golden nuggets for your defense. The biggest piece of evidence that the government has against someone is the blood or drug test results. So if you don’t have a lawyer who knows how to attack those test results or stipulate to the test results and try to play some legal angle, you’ll be giving them 50-75 percent of their case, which means you’ve already pretty much put most of the nails in the coffin. Not with this firm!
If you are taking prescription medication according to your doctor’s orders can you be arrested for DUI?
Unfortunately yes. While there is a big difference between being arrested and convicted, more and more people are being arrested for DUI because they are taking their prescription medication. The fact someone is taking medication is because they are ill in some way and those illnesses can manifest themselves in ways that a police officer could interpret as impairment when in reality they are not and in fact if a person doesn’t take their medication they would actually be worse off. Police officers have a total lack of training when it comes to medical conditions verses impairment so they just arrest first and let the lawyers ask the questions later.
A person arrested for prescription medication based DUI has many more defenses than a person charged with an alcohol based DUI. A lawyer must know more than just the law in these cases, a lawyer must know pharmacology and analytical chemistry as well. I have this knowledge.
Do you have any specialized training in science?
Yes. I have advanced hands-on training in toxicology, pharmacology, analytical chemistry, and lab procedures. In fact I am one of less than 30 Certified Lawyer-Scientists in the entire country. I received this certification through the American Chemical Society which is a group of over 150,000 scientists in America. I am also the only practicing defense lawyer in the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Furthermore I am a certified Field Sobriety Testing Instructor and I have advanced training in the government’s Drug Recognition Expert Program.
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