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March 2017 Archives

DWI: IS THERE ALWAYS A JURY TRIAL?

Almost always. There are some rare exceptions in New Mexico where you would only be entitled to a bench trial, but that would be for crimes with a penalty of less than six months, which in Mexico is basically only DWI's and possession of marijuana and the case is charged for some reason in District court, rather than magistrate court. Except for those 6 month exceptions, you always have a right to a jury trial. 

ADMISSION OF GUILT AT THE SCENE

My hope is that would not happen, but if a person were to say, flat-out, "I am guilty," at the scene, I would probably first see if there were any oppression issues: If the person had been illegally stopped by officers. If there was any kind of Miranda violation, and then I would carefully see if possibly there was another crime in which the person plead guilty.

IF I REFUSE TO TAKE DIAGNOSTIC ALCOHOL OR DRUG TESTS, HOW, AFTER THE FACT, DO THEY PROVE INTOXICATION?

It makes it much more difficult, which is why you should decline to take those tests. If you're driving was awful, if you were running into parked cars and you can't stand upright, and then they find a whole bunch of some drug in your system, that's going to be their argument. But, most cases aren't like that. In most cases, the person's driving is okay. Their actions are okay. But they will use these little tests where it is very subjective for the officer to say what they saw on the test, what they measured in the test, and they can use that against you. Declining to take the test is always a good idea. 

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