What Are Some Things That Insurance Adjusters May Ask?
Insurance adjusters are trying to get a statement so that they can make a determination of whether to pay a claim or not. They may not be as intense as the police officer but they are, in all likelihood, going to ask you if you were drinking, they are going to get a copy of the police report and if there was an accident involved, which if you’re talking to an insurance adjuster, then there was, they are going to see whether the police officer found that the alcohol consumption was a contributing factor to the accident.
It’s too close for comfort to be talking to an insurance adjuster during a DUI criminal charge. I would not advise making recorded statements about the accident or anything else during the pendency of a DUI case. The police officers are allowed to lie to you; they can’t coerce you into saying something, but they can gather information in ways where you feel like they are just being your friend and not really going to charge you with anything when in reality, they are building a case against you.
What Are the Difficulties Faced in Getting Your Car Out of Impound?
Most places probably do charge you a daily rate on a vehicle impound. 99 out of 100 times in Alabama, we don’t have to get involved to help our clients get their vehicle out of impound. Most of the time, they have already gotten it out immediately. The times where it might stay in impound is if there was some sort of accident involved and the car itself was going to be used as evidence in the case.
The police may try to seize the car but most of the time, that’s not going to be a DUI case, it may be a vehicular homicide case or if somebody’s vehicle was used in the commission of some other type of crime but in a straight DUI case most of the time, the vehicle is searched and inventoried and put in impound and as soon as the client pays the impound yard, tow yard, then they get their vehicle back.
What Are Some Important Dates to Remember in a DUI Case?
Most cases in municipal courts are going to have a pretrial setting and then a trial setting. If it’s State Court, there may be an arraignment docket but most of the time in a misdemeanor case, there is just going to be a pretrial setting and a trial setting. You’ll get one court date when you are bonded out of jail, so when you’re released they will tell you the first court date that you have. You need to make sure you go ahead and request that off or get your attorney to file a continuance, or in some places he can file a waiver of arraignment and have the case set on a trial docket without you having to appear.
The other and critical date which I have mentioned before is that you have 10 days to file for an administrative review of your license suspension. So, you need to keep that in mind and get that filed. Now, that won’t require you to miss work but there will be a hearing with the state trooper of filing your attorney’s request for an administrative review and then you’ll have a few weeks’ notice on that as well if you need to request time off work. That hearing usually only takes an hour, probably, total, even with travel time, so it may be something you can handle on a lunch break type of thing.
Can Police Officers Use Any Information Available Online As Evidence In A DUI Case?
Police officers don’t look at it as much on a DUI case, particularly, but the prosecutor or the district attorney might, as they are preparing for trial, look back to your social media history. Police officers may use it if they are investigating another type of crime to find out information about witnesses or defendants, but from a DUI perspective, it would be more used for impeachment purposes.
If a defendant testified on their own behalf and said they don’t even drink alcohol or something like that and the DA’s office had found pictures of the defendant drinking, that’s the time that that type of thing could be used. They are not going to be able to introduce any evidence of your Facebook posts as a part of their case in chief to prove that you were drinking on that night but it could be used as impeachment if you testify to something contrary.
Can Something Like a Back Injury Be Helpful in My DUI Case?
Even something like a back or knee injury is relevant from the standpoint of the field sobriety tests. Those can affect your ability to do the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand and then your attorney can request the medical records through your authorization. So, we have forms the clients can sign and we can mail in requests for medical records.
The easiest way to go about it is for the client themselves to go down and get the records because they don’t have to sign any forms or anything. Their medical records are their own medical records, so the doctor will share them with them immediately. Doctors are wary of attorney requests and sometimes they just take longer because they have to jump through the hoops to make sure they are not violating any HIPAA laws or anything like that but if the client can go get them, that oftentimes is the easiest way to get them done.
Would Attending a MADD Meeting be Construed As an Admission of Guilt?
No. Most of those types of things, attending those types of sessions and stuff, I would argue that they were done in advance of a potential settlement and they weren’t really indicative of anything about guilt. There’s really nothing in those that would be relevant to the state’s case in chief against you. Their job is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle on the night and time in question or day and time in question.
Whether you drink a lot or need alcohol rehab or anything like that, those types of things aren’t going to come up; the only potential time they would come up is if that was, again, for impeachment. If someone would say that they don’t drink at all or something along those lines, they could use that kind of thing potentially to say, “Why are you going to these meetings?” and that type of thing. But all in all, I would not worry about that.
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