Happy holidays to everyone. Please be safe in your vehicles. Just in case some of you have too much holiday cheer, don't forget to put my number in your cell phone. Remember to remain silent, ask to speak with your attorney, and don't forget there is probably a videotape being recorded of everything you say and do. Put me on your speed dial: (816) 916-4907 Mobile, (816) 842-3717 Work (24-hour voice service), 855-DWI-MATT (Toll Free).
Do not ever give your password to your smartphone to the police! They’ll promise you: you’ll get it back quicker, we just want to see you phone logs, blah blah blah. Don’t do it, EVER. They will data dump your machine and know EVERYTHING about you- where you’ve been, the path of your car and gps location at the time of the crime they’re accusing you of committing, among dozens of other things you haven’t thought about.
A corollary of this is not so obvious and comes up in tr...ial now all of the time- if an offense of any kind has been committed, turn OFF your phone entirely and do not turn it back on or call anyone (yes your lawyer included) until considerable time has passed. If you make an immediate phone call it will ping the nearest cell tower placing you at the scene of the crime. Prosecutors are routinely subpoenaing this type of evidence. Be aware. Your cell phone is often your worst enemy.
I will be speaking today for The Missouri Bar Association on standardized field sobriety testing and cross examination of the arresting officer at Stoney Creek Inn, in Independence. My session starts at 10:20. The class begins at 8:30. Come out if you still need hours.
A second offense DWI in Missouri is a Class A Misdemeanor carrying up to a year in jail and up to a $1000.00 fine. A second conviction lifetime can also trigger a five year license suspension in many of these cases. Hiring someone to plead you guilty without fighting in these cases will usually get you at least 10 days jail in state court.
Client does poorly on field sobriety tests and has a chemical breath test result of .116 on a second offense DWI. We are able to suppress... the chemical test result winning both the civil case avoiding any license suspension, and receiving a non-alcohol disposition in the criminal case for a small fine. Client avoided: probation, community service, SATOP (the annoying alcohol class that costs a fortune), ignition interlock on his car for two years (which is usually required in all second offenses), SCRAM alcohol monitoring bracelet, SR-22 insurance, etc.
Choose your representation wisely if you receive a DWI.
Client has a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and will lose his job if does not win both the criminal trial in his case as well as a separate chemical test refusal license hearing. CDLs are the toughest cases- you must win twice, there are no deals.
Client gets in late night accident in his own personal vehicle. Report indicates strong odor of alcohol, watery glassy eyes, cop claiming he is swaying and staggering for his balance. Cop administers three standardized field sobr...iety tests. He claims client shows all 6 eye clues for the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus eye test, 4 clues for the walk and turn test– that client failed to maintain his stance, that he failed to touch heel to toe, that he allegedly stepped off of the line, and that he used his arms multiple times for balance. Cop said he also failed the one leg stand test by exhibiting swaying, using arms to balance and putting his foot down during the test.
After admitting that he did not have probable cause to arrest without the results of the standardized field sobriety tests, we were able to demonstrate through cross examination officer made numerous mistakes on the three tests and he admitted that no reasonably prudent, cautious, trained officer could properly use these tests as adminstered because they were invalid.
Court held– in favor of driver with CDL license, saving his career. If you receive a DWI with a CDL you need to hire your attorney accordingly. They are going to have to go to trial and win. There are no pleas to be worked out with a CDL. Merry Christmas.