Don’t let the Department of Revenue take your license
As DWI attorneys in Springfield MO, we regularly reveiw current cases and outcomes in our area to best represent our clients. We review cases to develop sound defense strategies for felonies, ciminal defense cases and felony DUI cases.
The following is an important, timely example of how an experienced dwi attorney can make a significant difference in the defense and outcome of a DWI defense by understanding the complexities of DUI law.
“NAME REMOVED FOR PRIVACY” v. Director of Revenue – Decided March 25, 2015
A Springfield driver was stopped for Driving While Intoxicated and refused to submit to a breath test. The Department of Revenue revoked his license for failure to give a breath test and the Southern District Court of Appeals in Springfield, Missouri upheld the revocation based on the following facts:
- Car traveling down the street and crossed centerline.
- Police officer had to move to the right side of the roadway to avoid being hit.
- Officer made the stop on the car and smelled the odor of alcohol from the vehicle and observed the driver to be stumbling and walking slowly when the driver got out of the car.
- Officer noticed the driver’s eyes were watery and bloodshot.
- The driver made statements about coming from a bar and asked for a “break” and admitted he should not be driving.
- The driver then stated he would not take any Field Sobriety Tests.
The standard on the Revocation based on a Refusal to give a breathalyzer is a Probable Cause standard (NOT proof beyond a reasonable doubt). The Court found that there was probable cause on the above facts and took the driver’s License away for ONE YEAR. Field Sobriety Tests do NOT need to be done when it comes to your license for you to lose your right to legally drive a vehicle.
The Southern District Court of Appeals stated that “To contest evidence, parties need not affirmatively present contrary evidence. Evidence is contested where it is disputed in any manner.”
There are multiple ways that experienced trial attorneys can attack evidence in a hearing and provide you the best dwi defense:
- Cross Examining witnesses
- Pointing out internal inconsistencies in the evidence
- Challenging the credibility of a witness
- Making argument to the trial court about the nature and quality of the evidence
Don’t fall into the same trap. There was more that could have been done in this case to challenge the probable cause standard of review.
For more relevant DUI defense information, check out these blog posts:
Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss this situation if you face a similar one.