Can I get off on analcohol intoxicationcharge without having been given any breathalyzer or sobriety tests?

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Can I get off on analcohol intoxicationcharge without having been given any breathalyzer or sobriety tests?

I am 19 and was arrested walking back to my campus dorm. I was not given any breathalyzer or field sobriety tests and, after a ride to the station, was released less than an hour later with a charge of alcohol intoxication. This is a first-time offense and I have very limited funds. If I attend my court date and plead “not guilty” is there a chance the charge would be dismissed, and at this time will I be able to see the police report or charges against me? If not, what would be the maximum penalty? How long would this stay on my permanent record and how could I have it removed?

Asked on April 13, 2011 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sometimes if you are so intoxicated, that for your own safety and the safety of others, the police officer's eye witness observations of your behavior while walking are sufficient "probable cause" to arrest you and bring you to the station to protect you. Clearly you were released one hour later so the officers probably thought it was enough time to get it processed through your system. The fact you were not given a sobriety test or breathalyzer only come into play when you are driving. If this is your first offense and you have limited funds, you may wish to talk to a legal aid attorney to see if something can be done to help you or if you qualify for a public defender. A conviction will stay on your record, however, if you are acquitted or the charges are dismissed, you can get the arrest and the court proceeding expunged.


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