Cocktail Party Questions Get Answered

by MayberryLawFirm on October 22, 2012

Should I blow?  Does telling the officer you’re speeding home to the bathroom get you out of a ticket?  I got drunk and broke my face when I got dropped while crowd surfing.  Can I sue for that?  I’m on video stealing a car.  Can’t I just say it was my imaginary twin brother?
If you have Bar card in your pocket and you’ve been to a social gathering, chances are you’ve been solicited by a new “friend,” seeking top secret legal information.  After several of these experiences I’ve developed quite the radar for these inquisitive folks and have learned to avoid them, however we can seemingly run but cannot hide from our inquisitive comrades.  I’ve often thought of replying to the car salesman that in exchange for me giving him my free product, he can give me the nice new Porsche he has on his showroom floor.  After all, it’s only fair to barter right?  Nonetheless, because I’ve always taken a little pride in being as “non-lawyerly” as possible in contradiction to several of my colleagues who find it of utmost importance to notify you within 3 minutes of meeting you that they are lawyers and consistently reminding you through smug looks and comments, I’ve decided to answer these cocktail queries once and for all…  At least as best I can.  ***DOUBLE ALERT, DOUBLE ALERT- THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND YOU ARE NOT MY CLIENT.  DO NOT RELY ON THIS ADVICE.-END OF DOUBLE ALERT.**  Now then, I guess I have to be a lawyer a little bit when it comes to CYA.
To blow or not to blow.  This is question that has ALL the sex appeal for those interested in the answer for double barreled purposes.  Reason one, they are testing you to see if you have a clue as they likely think that because you’re a lawyer that you just “know.”  Second, they are in the process of getting tanked and plan on giving their best effort to remember such advice later when Officer Friendly pulls them over for driving home in reverse.  Drumroll please!  The answer is, it depends.  Kabam!!  Couldn’t have seen that one coming could you?  In all seriousness, most states have an implied consent law that dictates that if you don’t blow, you’ll lose your driving privilege to some extent.  If you’ve refused a breath test previously, in some states your second refusal could add a criminal charge on top of your potential DUI.  If you haven’t had much to drink, maybe you should blow so as to avoid unnecessary repercussion.  I practice in Florida primarily and have told my clients in the past that if pulled over (and they haven’t previously refused and are currently tanked), politely ask for an attorney to be present at all stages of the investigation, including field sobriety tests and the breath test and that if you can have your attorney there, you’ll be happy to comply with the officer’s request.  There will be no allowance for an attorney, the client will lose his unrestricted privilege to drive for 12 months, and he will go to jail.  However, in my opinion this tactic sets up the case for immediate defense and takes away the State’s ability to argue consciousness of guilt.  The reality is, it all depends on what your State’s laws are and how much you’ve had to drink.  Like all other things in this wonderful (miserable) profession the answer is not black or white!
Scenario two typically goes like this, “I got pulled over the other day for speeding and I thought about telling the Cop I had explosive diarrhea and was in a rush to get home.  Huh huh huh, that would’ve worked, right?”  No.  Idiot.  This isn’t Robo Cop’s first day on the beat and you aren’t the first person to attempt that lie.  Unless you are giving birth, are bleeding, or are running from Jason Voorhies, apologize for speeding, admit to your wrong doing, don’t do anything that would make the officer uneasy, and be pleasant.  I’ve never, ever had an officer tell me that he’s given a break to a liar or jerk.  However, for those that don’t make his life more difficult they will occasionally cut a break.  Not always, but sometimes.  After all, it’s the speeder who is the wrong doer.
How about suing for crowd surfing?  Let it rip if you want.  No doubt there will be a bottom feeding leech plaintiff’s lawyer out there somewhere that will give it a shot for nuisance money.  Guaranteed, that’s as far as the attorney will take it.  I am a plaintiff’s lawyer.  It’s in my blood.  David taking down Goliath is what makes plaintiff’s lawyers tick.  The problem we have is that when a good case comes along, crowd surfing morons have already muddied the public waters to the point that it’s hard as heck to get a good verdict on a meritorious case!  So, in my humble opinion, if you were 1) hammered 2) accepting an inherently dangerous activity and 3)relying on sauced up strangers to hold you over their head, your case will get zero verdicted quite quickly.  Your problem will be that if the insurance adjustor shuts down your leech, he’ll drop you and you’ll be SOL.  Even leeches don’t try dog cases.
It wasn’t me.  I swear, it wasn’t me.  I talked to Bubba in jail and he said that if I just deny it on the stand and say I have a long lost twin brother than I’ll get acquitted.  Probably not.  If you’re on video, generally you’re screwed unless somebody screwed something up badly.  Rule 1- Don’t commit crime.  Rule 2- Don’t commit crime with your face in plain view.  Rule 3- If you didn’t understand rules 1 and 2, don’t listen to Bubba or Sweetberry next door in jail cell three.  I promise, they don’t know what they’re talking about.  If they did, they wouldn’t be in jail cell three.
So, Captain Cocktail, trying to solve your legal issues at a cocktail party is like trying to remove your growth on a cutting board.  It’s just not going to work out to the best possible result.  Every case is individual, every situation unique.  If you need a criminal attorney, a personal injury attorney, a traffic ticket lawyer, or whatever kind of lawyer you may need, do yourself a favor and consult with someone local to your issue and for God’s sake, follow their advice.
Jason Mayberry the founding partner of The Mayberry Law Firm in Clearwater, Florida.  The Mayberry Law Firm handles cases in the areas of DUI, State and Federal Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and Family Law.
Jason Mayberry is the founding partner of the Mayberry Law Firm. The Mayberry Law Firm practices in the areas of State and Federal criminal defense, DUI, personal injury, and medical malpractice in Florida and Tennessee.

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