Should I Plead Guilty to Second Offense DWI Even Though I Refused the Field Sobriety Tests?

Unfortunately, this is a question that will depend a lot based on the facts and circumstances of your individual case. I always tell clients and potential clients that I cannot answer whether or not you should plead guilty, not guilty or no contest without finding out all of the details of the case. Honestly, we can’t really make an informed decision about how to plead until we get to court the trial date, make sure the officer shows up, see which judge is on the bench, and find out what prosecutor is handling the case. These are little details, but they can make a big difference.

But in the abstract, refusing the field sobriety tests is a pretty critical issue for a DUI case. Normally, the field sobriety tests are used by the police to prove that the officer had a valid reason to arrest you for DWI, and that triggers the requirement to do the breath test at the station. That breath test is what the Commonwealth normally uses to convict you of DWI.

If you refused the field sobriety tests, which you have the absolute right to do, it can be much trickier for the Commonwealth to prove that they had a legal reason to arrest you. If the arrest is not good, then it may not be possible for the police to use the breath test certificate against you in court.

That brings us to the final conclusion that if you refused the field sobriety tests, then it may be a case where you don’t want to plead guilty for a second DUI or even a first DUI. It may be a case where you want to fight the case to try to get the charge dismissed based on a bad arrest.

If you have questions about your individual case and whether or not you should plead guilty or not guilty for a DUI, please call me right now for a free initial consultation or request a copy of my book How to Overcome Virginia DUI or DWI.

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Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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