I am 20 and was pulled over for failing to move over/slow down when an officer had another car pulled over on a highway but was not speeding
After I was asked to step outside and taken field sobriety tests, I was arrested for a BAC of 0.057. Before the tests, I admitted to having my last drink a few hours beforehand. My record before this incident was spotless and I had never been pulled over. Is there any possible way I could plead for a lesser charge (without a lawyer)? And what would the likely consequences be if I plead guilty to the original OVUAC charge? My court date is tomorrow at 1:00, so any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Just plead not guilty at your Arraignment. At that moment the court will ask you if you can afford a lawyer. Since you cannot, one will be provided to you. Slow the case down and get professional help first. You blew rather low, so a deal could very well happen.
I agree with what Mr. Jacobs said. I would add that if you check your ticket, you will find that you have been charged with two types of drunk driving. The first is the impaired charge (A1) alleging that you were driving with some amount of alcohol in your body, regardless of how much or how little, such that it impaired your ability to drive. The second charge (A3) is called the per se charge. Since you are under 21, your legal limit under the per se statute is .02 rather that the .08 that people over 21 have.
The upshot of all of this is that the state will automatically offer to drop one of the two charges against you. While this sounds like a good deal, it really isn't since they can only sentence you on one of the two charges anyway.
You are much better off pleading not guilty and finding a lawyer to help you take a look at the case to see if there are any holes in it like reasonable suspicion or probable cause problems or perhaps a badly calibrated BAC Datamaster that took your blood alcohol count.
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