If arrested for DUI - ALWAYS speak to an attorney!

Posted by Daniel J. Gerl | Jan 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

It's imperative that if you are arrested for DUI (or any criminal offense, for that matter) you speak to an attorney as soon as possible following your arrest. There are several obvious reasons for this. Firstly, an attorney can best advise you regarding whether you should submit to the breath test. Secondly, the time spent speaking to the attorney will be counted in the "two hour" window between the time of driving and the breath test. Lastly, the attorney will remind you to not answer questions or perform any other tests. They will inform the officer of their legal advice to you so that the officer will not attempt to coerce or intimidate you into performing one of these tests.

In addition, speaking with an attorney can aid your challenge to the suspension of your license by Department of Licensing (DOL). I recently won a DOL hearing because it was found that the arresting officer did not continuously observe my client from the time he checked his mouth until the time of the breath test. The officer is required to do so for at least 15 minutes, otherwise the breath test will be inadmissible.

In this case, my client had insisted on speaking with an attorney. The officer obliged, walking him into a room where my client could have privacy and then left the room. The officer watched through a window during the entire phone conversation between myself and the client, but for privacy reasons could not hear the conversation. I was able to successfully argue that the officer failed to continuously observe my client during the entire observation period, because he turned his back to my client when he walked out of the room.  In addition to this, though he could see him through the window, he could not hear the conversation, and therefore was unable to hear whether or not my client burped or coughed anything up from his stomach - both of which I argued could affect the breath test.

The hearing officer agreed in all instances, and cancelled the suspension. My client avoided losing his license for 90 days, and having to pay for expensive SR-22 insurance for three years.

You think he's happy he spoke to an attorney?

About the Author

Daniel J. Gerl

Dan Gerl is a former prosecutor with over ten years of experience handling DUI, criminal and traffic cases throughout Western Washington. Dan handled hundreds of traffic infractions, avoiding negative impact on driving records over 98% of the time . If you are cited with a traffic or speeding infraction, and you want to keep your record clean, Puget Law Group is your best defense!

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