What to do if I got arrested the other night on charges of DUI, failure to do a breathalizer and driving on a suspended license?

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What to do if I got arrested the other night on charges of DUI, failure to do a breathalizer and driving on a suspended license?

My friend and I were driving to a restaurant and went though the drive-through window. After parking the car, turning off the engine and having my keys under the seat. A couple of minutes later the police showed up behind us and throw their lights on. They approached and questioned us. I didn’t say much but they smelled alcohol and this was enough to ask me to do a field sobriety test, which I refused. I further refused everything else they offered. I do have a prior DUI conviction less then a year ago.

Asked on February 5, 2013 under Criminal Law, Hawaii

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Before you make a final decision, you need to see what other evidence they have against you.  Based on what you describe-- they don't have much since you refused any type of test.  Breath tests, blood tests, or field sobriety tests are three of the main types of evidence used in a DUI trial.  If there is no other evidence against you, you would want to plea not guilty, because there was no evidence that you were (1) intoxicated or (2) operating a vehicle.  However, before you make this decision, you need to request and review the evidence against you.  The officer didn't approach your car to no reason.  For him to have singled you out, it is possible that your vehicle has been reported engaging in bad driving.  If another witness saw you driving all over the road, the officer smelled alcohol on your breath, and your statements seemed slurred on the recording of your encounter, then this would be enough evidence on which a jury could find you guilty of DUI.  If there is good evidence that you were operating a vehicle while impaired, then you should focus on getting a good plea bargain.

If you can afford an attorney, it would be helpful in getting discovery and a better plea recommendation.  If you cannot afford an attorney, ask the court to appoint you one.  Considering the nature of your facts, an attorney would be useful in the discovery and plea bargaining process.


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