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Question regarding if I was properly representing during OWI arrest and conviction.

Discussion in 'DUI, DWI, BUI, Drunk Driving' started by Bill Godet, Sep 20, 2019.

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  1. Bill Godet

    Bill Godet Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    This is historical so I'm aware I cannot change the outcome of my OWI conviction, but I have a question regarding proper representation during the proceedings.

    I was driving with a passenger in my car after having a few drinks over the course of a few hours. I had entered a private condominium community where I live. I struck a parked vehicle on private property - or I believe I was intentionally stuck - not important for this discussion.

    I moved my vehicle to my home. I then walked over to the struck car owner's residence to discuss the issue. Emotions became elevated and they (there were at least two people present) called and requested the police. The police arrived and ended up taking me aside for field sobriety testing. I was then arrested and went through the typical process. Ended up with probation, continuous alcohol and drug testing and paid all legal costs - and in addition - had my CPL suspended for three years.

    Here's my question: I was arrested after NOT being observed driving under the influence. Was this a legal arrest since they (the police) did not observe an OWI in progress? Is the fact alone that I admitted to driving after having a few drinks sufficient to allow them to arrest me for an OWI? If I was illegally arrested and the case wasn't dismissed based on the above I question whether my attorney properly represented me during the court proceedings. I haven't been able to locate an answer online and thought I might ask here. Thank you.
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Your arrest was good.
     
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  3. Bill Godet

    Bill Godet Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Figures. I find this XXXXXX web site under dui under no-driving where it clearly states admission of driving is sufficient for arrest. Gotta brush up on my Internet searching skills!! Thanks for your reply.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You do know that whatever anyone types will be of no legal value to you, nor will the typed words do anything to ease the pain that any conviction has (is or will) cause you.

    Again, the opinions of online idiots (myself included) will be of no moment, importance, or consequence to (or for) you.
     
  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    For the record...I am not an idiot. ;)
     
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  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    It is not necessary for the police to observe a crime in order for a valid arrest to be made. Do you think that, if Person A murders Person B, Person A cannot be arrested solely because the police didn't witness the crime?

    The validity of the arrest depends on whether the police had probable cause to believe you had committed the crime. Presumably, they did since you presumably told the owner of the car that you had hit it.

    That fact alone? No, but you said that they did a sobriety test and, apparently, concluded that you were still above the legal limit.

    By the way, did your conviction result from a trial or a plea bargain?
     
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  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    The cops don't have to see you driving to make the arrest. All the cops need is sufficient evidence to establish probable cause to believe that you had been driving under the influence. The cops need evidence that you had been driving the car either with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more or that your ability to drive was impaired to make the arrest.

    You hit a parked car. You went and told the owner of the car you hit that you had done it and they ended up calling the cops. That itself is generally going to be proof of at least negligence in driving the car. And if you admitted to the cops that you had a few drinks before getting in the car you now have a situation in which it appears that your ability to drive was impaired by the alcohol or otherwise that accident may not have occurred. The field sobriety test (which in most states you don't have to do and generally should not do if you've been drinking) would provide further evidence of impairment. You did not say what your blood alcohol level was, but with a few drinks it may well have been at least .08, and if they did a portable breath test and saw that, it would also give them enough to arrest for the OWI. They don't have to have seen you driving since you admitted to driving the car. You also admitted to drinking, apparently. So the cops had everything they needed to be able to conclude there was probable cause to believe that you had been driving OWI.

    Remember a couple of key things a couple of things for the future:
    1. The general rule is that the cops don't have to personally observe a crime to make the arrest for it. They just need to get enough evidence, whether from witnesses, physical and circumstantial evidence, or your own statements, to conclude there was probable cause to believe you committed an offense. So don't ever take much solace that a cop didn't see you do it. You might still get convicted anyway.

    2. When cops are questioning you about a crime, NEVER ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. You have to identify yourself, but beyond that invoke your right to remain silent and then keep your mouth shut. Answering almost never helps you and quite often hurts you. So many people think telling a cop they had "just two beers" will help them because it wasn't much alcohol and they think the cop will appreciate the honesty. The reality though is that they have just given the cop evidence to be used against them. The cop now has easy proof you'd been drinking.

    3. If the field sobriety test is not mandatory in your state then don't agree to do them, especially when you've been drinking. Those tests will help the cop get evidence to use against you, but they won't help you. Some of those tests are difficult for stone sober people to pass.

    4. Be careful about admissions you make to other people, too, since what you tell them may also be used against you.
     
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  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Me no said nutting 'bouchew, my onliest saying been 'bout meselves, butte me so sorry for made you thought me thinky somethings badly 'bout youse.

    I nose me ijutt, but ewe nose ewe not ijutt like me, sew youse needless not sez ewe not bee ijutt likely me sez me wuz.
     
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  9. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    :confused::eek:o_O:p:)
     
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