What can I expect if I was charged with DWI, reckless driving, failure to stay in lane, refusal to take breathalyzer? 14 Answers as of April 23, 2013

I was on my way home, after celebrating my birthday and had a minor car accident. A cab that had come by had offered to call the police. When they arrived, I tried to explain what happened. I was not in the car when police arrived and there were no witnesses. I was made to take sobriety test, which I failed because I have a knee injury, torn ACL. I was clearly upset and shaken up from accident. I don't recall being asked to take breathalyzer test. At the time, I remember I could barely breathe. I was that upset. I was put in a car, never read my rights until I was locked in a cell. This is my first time ever dealing with this. I’m 49 years old with no record ever of getting in trouble with the law.

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
With no attorney, you can expect to go to jail.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/23/2013
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
If you admitted driving before being formally arrested, the police can use that against you in proving a case of DUI against you. It is like every DUI case, you will need to hire a lawyer to defend you, and discuss your options with you. If you never said you were driving, or told the police how the crash happened, you have a stronger case in which you might walk from the charges.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/17/2013
Law Offices of Marshall Tauber
Law Offices of Marshall Tauber | Marshall Tauber
You need to hire experienced in defending drinking and driving offenses. If you don't know of one.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/17/2013
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Well I would want to see the police reports in order to properly advise you. But it may be worked out. You want to get a good lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/17/2013
The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
You suggest some areas of defense. You are charged with a serious offense, which is (at a minimum) a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, plus possible license suspension and revocation, and no possibility of expungement if found guilty. You need to retain an attorney immediately to advise you and defend you.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/17/2013
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You need an attorney to help you work through this and other license problems you are likely to have.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/17/2013
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    You need to call an attorney in your area asap. DUI cases are complicated and effect both your criminal record and driving record. Please do not hesitate.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/17/2013
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    For starters, by refusing the breath test, whether you are found guilty or not of the DUI, you are going to loose your license for a minimum of one year. This suspension is by Department of Licensing, not the court. If you are guilty of the DUI, it is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. First time offense has a mandatory minimum jail time of 2 days (non waivable),Fines, costs and assessments of approximately $2,000.00; ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year after the one year license suspension is up and your license is reinstated; alcohol/drug counseling and treatment as determined by the court; SR22 high risk insurance. Reckless Driving is also punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. Failure to stay in lane is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. You can also be liable for property damage you caused. As you can see, you are looking at some serious issues.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/17/2013
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Not every DWI case should be tried. However, from what you report, it sounds like a case that should definitely be evaluated for trial by a good criminal defense lawyer who has experience with trying DWI case. I try many of these cases and the most important issue is usually the breath test. If the defendant takes the test and it is properly given and admitted into evidence it is very difficult to overcome. In your case, you have no Breath Test evidence and possible an issue with operation, two of the three elements that the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. If you would like to call to make an appointment there is no fee for the consultation. My numbers are listed below. I strongly urge you to speak to me or another lawyer. You do not want to plead guilty to a charge that you could beat.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/17/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    Multiple problems. To completely answer these and to assess your options contact me or another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/17/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to hire a DUI specialist, and do it soon because you have only 10 days to save your license from a long refusal suspension. Refusal cases are more serious, but more defensible, provided you hire someone who knows what he is doing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    The penalties for DUI continue to escalate.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Law Offices of Laurie A. Schmidt, P.C. | Laurie Schmidt
    In Colorado, even on a first offense, you should anticipate losing your license for at least a year through the DMV for refusing to submit to an express consent test. As for the DUI, depending on the facts, you may have some legal defenses to the charges. In order to assert these defenses you would have to take the case to a jury trial. DUI prosecutions can be difficult when there is an absence of a alcohol and/or drug level. It would be well worth your time and money to retain a local DUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    My best advice would be that you should engage in attorney immediately, and speak with no one until after you have received counsel. The charges against you are very significant and will potentially, in fact most probably, result in the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. Engage in attorney now.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/16/2013
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