Will Your DUI Charge become Public Knowledge?
Interviewer: When someone’s charged with DUI, how public have you seen their case become? Can they keep it from work, family, and friends?
James Abate: That’s a pretty hot topic right now. The first thing is that many towns have their local papers, and your DUI case may end up on the local police blotter. In the past, that wasn’t such a big thing.
There was a little embarrassment because friends and family who read every inch of the newspaper might learn about it, but then these police blotters are now online, and there is the Patch site so that now your case always ends up on the Internet.
Anytime someone searches for you on Google, they’re going to know what you were arrested for.
Interviewer: If someone doesn’t think to search for some reason, then your case will probably escape notice for the most part, right?
James Abate: It can. Unless you’re charged criminally in the Superior Court, it’s going to be treated as a traffic offense and it’s very possible that people will not find out unless you choose to tell them.
Does Your Attorney Avail Him or Herself of the Latest Training and Education about DUI Defense?
Interviewer: What would you say makes you unique and particularly suited to help people with DUI charges versus other attorneys in the area?
James Abate: I think my experience and training along with my ability to relate to the client separates me from everyone else. In our office, everyone from me to my staff treats our clients as we would want to be treated.
I can still think back to when I was in law school that there was a family member who was arrested. We called around, got some references, and hired him as the attorney but we could never get in touch with him.
Does Your Attorney Understand How Stressful a DUI Charge Is?
We could never get answers on our case, and I thought that was wrong. People are pulling their hair out, losing sleep figuring out what’s happening to their family and to their lives. The least you can do for them is make sure you’re keeping them well informed, so I’m available 24 hours a day. My clients can reach me on my cell phone. They can reach me through email. They can reach me through text message.
They can reach me at the office, and the same goes for my staff. If you read the reviews of our firm, you’ll see a lot of mention of how wonderful our staff has been to deal with. It’s something we did purposely. We provide superior customer service to every client and I think of that as an additional asset.
DUI Case History
Interviewer: Can you tell me a case study of a DWI case you defended that was particularly memorable?
Can Braces Affect the Reliability of a Breathalyzer Test?
James Abate: There was a case recently where my client was accused of blowing a .36. She should have been deceased at that rate. So, something just didn’t make sense to me. What it came down to was we found out, and this was when I met her in my office, she was taking her braces out and putting them away. I said, “Where are those?” She said, “Those are Invisalign braces.” I asked, “Were you wearing those when you gave your breath sample?”
She said, “Yes, I wear them as often as possible. I had just had something to eat and put them right before I was arrested.” That little recognition changed the case. The prosecutor fought the case with everything he could because he just couldn’t believe he was going to lose a case with that high a reading. But the bottom line was having the braces, and they’re invisible braces, in her mouth altered the machine’s ability to process her breath sample.
It wasn’t even something the officer really did wrong. They’re invisible for a reason. You’re not supposed to see them. He couldn’t see them. He didn’t ask about them. At the end of the day, we were able to get a complete dismissal for that client based on that issue.
Low Carb Diets Also Affect Breathalyzer Results
There’s a second case I can think of where we had a client who was accused of DWI in two different towns, and they were attributed to a low carb diet. She was undergoing ketoacidosis during that period of the low carb diet, which is similar to diabetes as far as the blood goes.
During the time that she was processed, she should have had a much lower reading, but a low carb diet can simulate up to a .20 alcohol result on an Alco test. That is another very high reading but we were able to prove to the court that she was not, in fact, intoxicated.
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