Q: Was pulled over after a call of dui. Was parking and hit the car in front of me trying to fit in the parking space. Cops
Came and reached in my car to turn it off, did the HGN and arrested me. I am almost deaf so I didnt understand what they were saying with their masks on. They say I had slurred speech and a faint smell of alcohol on my breath. No breathalyzer test and they say I refused 2 and 1/2 hours after my arrest.
A: Depending on more details, and to the extent you can prove the 2-1/2 hours and are measuring it correctly from the point the clock starts to run, and opposing contentions as testified to or documented by the police officers (and their body cams), you may have several defenses. However, it is not uncommon for the defendant in DUI cases to have a completely different opinion as to their level of impairment vis-a-vis the officer's opinion. You should meet with an experienced DUI/criminal defense lawyer in private to go over all the details. You have a limited window to request an administrative hearing to contest any proposed suspension of your license for the test refusal. Such a refusal can be challenged based on your facts, but you bear the burden of proving those facts, and the 2 hours does not necessarily start to run the second the officer reached into your car to shut off the engine. If your being "almost deaf" plays some part in your defense 9that is unclear), then you will need to prove that contention beyond your mere say-so that you are hard of hearing, e.g., a medical report from your audiologist.
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There are potential issues on whether the test was offered within two hours of your arrest and whether you were properly explained your rights to take or refuse the test. It would be helpful if you informed the officer that you were almost deaf. Another issue would be whether the officer allowed you to read the Advice of Rights form or only read it to you.
You should consult with an attorney about the charges as soon as possible. You face a 270 day suspension of your license for a first offense for a refusal and you have a very short timeframe to elect the ignition interlock for one year or to request an administrative hearing. An attorney can advise you how to proceed.
You also face the DUI charges which carry up to a year in jail, 12 points, and a $1,000.00 fine. You should begin a certified alcohol treatment program immediately. If this is a first offense, an attorney has a good chance of keeping the conviction off your record and keeping you out of jail.
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