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  1. #1
    PAPRELAW is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Pa Dui Help! 1st Offense/refusal/take To Trial?

    Pennsylvania:

    I am very confused and having a very difficult time deciding whether to fight the charge of suspicion of DUI or do ARD. I am currently a pre-law student with a pretty good knowledge of the law and have worked for a DA's office in the past, as well as have an older brother who is an Attorney General (not of my state).

    November 22, 2007, Thanksgiving morning at 3:30 am, I was pulled over for having a broken registration light (license plate light). After signaling and pulling into a parking lot, the officer approached my vehicle and asked for my papers which I gave to him. After returning he asked me to step out of the vehicle and asked me if I had been drinking because he noted the smell of alcohol, to which I replied no. I informed him that I had been working earlier in the evening at the local bar that I work at.

    He then asked me to perform the field sobriety tests which I politely declined. When asked to take a PBT, I also politely declined and when asked why responded by saying that I would rather not. He then informed me that by refusing the test I would be in violation of the implied consent law which I informed that I knew about, which he said would save him the time.

    After interviewing my passenger, my girlfriend and giving her a PBT which she passed at .057, he placed me in handcuffs and escorted me to his crusier to be taken to the hospital for a blood test. I complied. Upon reaching the hospital I informed the officer that I was not going to take the blood test. He asked me to fill out some paperwork about the implied consent warnings and read me my rights all the while informing me that I was not under arrest as he had done earlier when he placed me in the cruiser. After signing the paperwork, he said you are free to go and I began to leave down the hallway while he remained behind with his partner at which point he yelled from down the hall, "by the way you are going to be charged at the highest level of DUI there is because of the refusal." I interrupted him and explained that I didn't think I was in trouble except for refusing the test and told him that I knew that I would lose my license for a year which wasn't all that bad.

    Two weeks later I received the complaint stating that indeed I had been charged with DUI. In the officers report, he mentioned the standard signs. That I had bloodshot eyes, smelled like alcohol, specifically my breath, had difficulty entering the cruiser, which is not true, and that I had been acting suspiciously.

    He also mentions in the report that he did not immediately detect the odor of alcohol and that I was driving safely. He also was incorrect about how he came to pull me over, which I know doesn't really matter.

    My question is whether there really is enough proof to convict me if they only have his observations, no field sobriety tests, no PBT, no blood alcohol. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt. My older brother says in his state it would be a NG guaranteed. My eyes were red because it was 330, I smelled like alcohol because I had worked earlier and had 2 beers earlier in the night, I had trouble entering the cruiser because I was not used to walking in handcuffs and it was dark etc... I understand that in PA, the refusal is admissible but can not be used to determine guilt, it must be taken into account with everything else.

    So fight it or ARD?
  2. #2
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    You screwed yourself big time with the refusals. You are going to have your license suspended and will have some hefty fines. You need an attorney, you should have hired one the next day.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

    No private messages, I do not reply to them.
  3. #3
    BigMistakeFl is offline Senior Member
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    BigMistakeFl

    Why would you have chosen to refuse the tests, knowing that you had nothing at all to drink? You knowingly chose, by your note above, to lose your license for a year even though your blood and / or breath test would have been negative for alcohol consumption.

    Hire a lawyer immediately, and don't be surprised if this ends up being your word against cops' word. You have no evidence in your favor, except possibly the testimony of your girlfriend, who had consumed alcohol. Speak with a lawyer about the cause for the stop.
  4. #4
    paguy88 is offline Member
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    He then asked me to perform the field sobriety tests which I politely declined. When asked to take a PBT, I also politely declined and when asked why responded by saying that I would rather not. He then informed me that by refusing the test I would be in violation of the implied consent law which I informed that I knew about, which he said would save him the time.
    You can decline the FST AND the PBT in PA... that does not stop the cop from arresting you.. but does making things harder in terms of evidance... You can not lose your DL for not doing the PBT. Saying he is going to put it down as a refusal( Iasume he ment the PBT?) ect.. he was lieing cops do this all the time..

    however because you say no... still does nto just call the investgation off.. you just did not give him any evidance.. I agree with you on doing this.

    [QUOTEThat I had bloodshot eyes, smelled like alcohol, specifically my breath, had difficulty entering the cruiser, which is not true, and that I had been acting suspiciously.
    ][/QUOTE]

    ever see a cops report that does nto say stuff like this? really they can make up whatever they want .. you word vs his... I would love too see a police report that said SLIGHT odar of alchol HAHA

    After interviewing my passenger, my girlfriend and giving her a PBT which she passed at .057, he placed me in handcuffs and escorted me to his crusier to be taken to the hospital for a blood test. I complied. Upon reaching the hospital I informed the officer that I was not going to take the blood test. He asked me to fill out some paperwork about the implied consent warnings and read me my rights all the while informing me that I was not under arrest as he had done earlier when he placed me in the cruiser. After signing the paperwork, he said you are free to go and I began to leave down the hallway while he remained behind with his partner at which point he yelled from down the hall, "by the way you are going to be charged at the highest level of DUI there is because of the refusal." I interrupted him and explained that I didn't think I was in trouble except for refusing the test and told him that I knew that I would lose my license for a year which wasn't all that bad.
    now why did you turn down the blood work? if you only had 2 beers hours before you would have had nothing to worry about? right unless you have some other control substance in your system?? Bad move... you will be losing your DL for one year from Penn Dot...


    My question is whether there really is enough proof to convict me if they only have his observations, no field sobriety tests, no PBT, no blood alcohol. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt. My older brother says in his state it would be a NG guaranteed. My eyes were red because it was 330, I smelled like alcohol because I had worked earlier and had 2 beers earlier in the night, I had trouble entering the cruiser because I was not used to walking in handcuffs and it was dark etc... I understand that in PA, the refusal is admissible but can not be used to determine guilt, it must be taken into account with everything else.
    Ok so you tuned down the FST and PBT I dont blame you..
    They have no Breath blood urine etc.. evidance...

    the cops word vs yours and you declined the blood test...

    it's up too the DA. They could just drop it or go after it... what county did this happen in? If it happned in Phily or Pittsburgh... my guess would be they will drop it as they have 1000's of DUI each year and will not spend the resources to try and get a convition with no hard BAC.... Now if this is a smaller county they still may go after you for a convition... they dont have as many DUI's and like to spend resources on them.

    If it was me and this happneded in a Large metro.. I would not take ARD and take the chance they wont get me convited...

    if it's a smaller county I just might take the ARD pay the fines go too the classes and get a additional licnese suspenion.. 90 days.. BUT BE CAREFUL some counties in PA will not let you into ARD if you refused.. I believe Lancaster is one of them.

    but then again if you do take ARD.. then why refuse? all you would have gotten was 30-90 day suspension... BUT with the refusal you get 1 year from Penn Dot.. makes no sense... from that prospective..

    good luck glad no one was hurt and let us know what happends.
    Last edited by paguy88; 03-15-2008 at 02:31 PM.
  5. #5
    BigMistakeFl is offline Senior Member
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    BigMistakeFl

    The OP did not have two beers, he says he'd consumed no alcohol.

    Refusing the tests, unless you are certain to be over the "limit", is foolish at best. Them not having BAC evidence will not help your case, it will hurt your case. The BAC evidence would have shown 0.00, which would probably have exonerated you. I would not plan on this being simply dropped by the prosecution. They prosecute refusals with vigor, or else everyone would simply refuse the tests.
  6. #6
    PAPRELAW is offline Junior Member
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    I received the administrative license suspension shortly after the stop and turned in my license, which has already been suspended for about 3 months now, which there is nothing I can do about, which I know and informed the officers. My questions are more about the criminal charges. I do feel that I may have passed the tests, but was uncertain, which is why I did not take the tests. While working in a different state, I saw 2 cases become a NG because of refusals. It was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I guess I was nervous about having to call someone Thanksgiving morning if the officer still had arrested me and was the victim of some so-so legal advice. I guess I thought it would be best to fight the system afterwards.
  7. #7
    paguy88 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAPRELAW View Post
    I received the administrative license suspension shortly after the stop and turned in my license, which has already been suspended for about 3 months now, which there is nothing I can do about, which I know and informed the officers. My questions are more about the criminal charges. I do feel that I may have passed the tests, but was uncertain, which is why I did not take the tests. While working in a different state, I saw 2 cases become a NG because of refusals. It was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I guess I was nervous about having to call someone Thanksgiving morning if the officer still had arrested me and was the victim of some so-so legal advice. I guess I thought it would be best to fight the system afterwards.
    I stil dont get it if your drank nothing .... why even refuse?
  8. #8
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by paguy88 View Post
    I stil dont get it if your drank nothing .... why even refuse?
    He never said that he drank nothing. He said that he told the police officer that he drank nothing. You don't believe it, I don't believe it and the cop certainly didn't believe it.

    But, WATCH OUT! He's pre-law (Good luck with the BAR)
  9. #9
    BigMistakeFl is offline Senior Member
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    I do feel that I may have passed the tests, but was uncertain, which is why I did not take the tests.
    Bingo. Said "no" to the cop, but had in fact consumed and thus chose not to risk the test.

    I would prepare for penalties and get started. Get a lawyer and try for ARD if available.
  10. #10
    Psych is offline Junior Member
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    Umm Hmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    He never said that he drank nothing. He said that he told the police officer that he drank nothing. You don't believe it, I don't believe it and the cop certainly didn't believe it.

    But, WATCH OUT! He's pre-law (Good luck with the BAR)



    Gahahahaha! Exactly what I was thinking. He's a sharp one ain't he?

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