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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26425
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was arrested DUI in September of 2014. It was aggravated

Customer Question

I was arrested for aggravated DUI in September of 2014. It was aggravated because it was a third DUI since I have 2 priors from 7 years ago. I was in a big construction zone on the elgin ohare expressway and it was raining and the light changed and instead of slamming on my breaks and skidding, I ran the red light. Cop pulls me over. I tell him why I ran the red light and he takes my information and says he will be right back. When he gets back, he asks me to drive my car further up the road to get into a more safe area to which I comply. He then starts with the DUI proceedings. He asks me to take a field sobriety test to which I say yes. After the sobriety test, he asks me to take a breathalyzer. At this point, through my past experience, I know that the police officer is going to arrest me for a DUI so I say no. I get arrested and blood is drawn and the state also tries to seize my car. Because it was a felony DUI (3rd time), my bail was $7500, which I paid $8500 because of a $1000 credit card charge. I had to get the Scram device, which is $10 a day until mid Feb of this year. I then had to get a Baiid device installed until the criminal proceedings were over. I had to pay $15k for my lawyer because of both the felony criminal case and the civil case for my car. I was awarded my car back in mid may but had to pay another $900. Because my car sat for 5 months over the winter outside, it needed almost $3k in repairs. In mid September of this year, before going to trial, the judge ruled that through the police officers testimony in my license suspension hearing and from watching the field sobriety video that there was not probable cause for the DUI arrest. The judge said that if the officer originally thought I was drunk when he came up to my car after running the red light, that he would not have had me drive further up the road in the first place. The judge ruled that it wasn't until after running my background that the dui examination was being administered and that through the police officers own testimony, he did not know how to give a field sobriety test. The judge also ruled that from watching the field sobriety test, that there was no cause that he could see to arrest me for a DUI. I wasn't slurring my words, I wasn't stumbling or swaying, and I passed 2 of the 3 officers tests through the officers own admission. I pleaded guilty to disobeying a traffic light and improper lane usage. I Probably could have argued the improper lane usage as the judge made a point that the construction zone did not have readable lane depictions at night and because the officer said I road the line for 1 second before correcting. I decided to plead guilty because the case was almost a year old and I couldn't spend anymore time away from work in the court room. I ended up getting back a little under $5k from my bail money. Do I have a case to recoup some of my other money that was spent. If I wasn't arrested for the DUI in the first place, like the judge ruled, I never would have had to have spent all the additional money that I had to. In all, in cost me roughly $40k. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about all of this.

If you have a ruling from the judge that there was no probable cause for the DUI arrest, then you should have a viable claim against the police for a false/wrongful arrest and should be able to recover your damages.

This is a civil rather than a criminal matter. You'd have to find a local civil litigator (trial lawyer) with experience in going head-to-head against the authorities. You should also set up a consultation with a lawyer sooner rather than later. Suits of this kind do not generally have a long shelf life, and this incident is already more than a year old.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The arrest is almost a year old but the judges ruling came about a month ago. Does the statute of limitations go from the arrest or from the ruling?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

The SOL runs from the arrest and, at least based on the information that is here, you'd seem to have a good case. So don't sit on it too much longer.