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Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty to DUI Charge

Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty to DUI Charge

Bummer for Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, who plead guilty to his September 30th DUI charge.  Baltimore Judge Nathan Braverman placed Phelps on 18 month of probation, telling the star athlete that success overcoming alcohol misuse would not come overnight and that if he violated the terms of probation, “… the only option is jail.”  That is one year of jail if Phelps slips up again.

Phelps will also be subjected to random drug and alcohol testing by his probation officer and will be required to attend self-help group meetings.

Police reported on September 30th that Phelps was pulled over for speeding at rates of 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.  During the DUI investigation, police smelled odors  of alcohol coming from Phelps’ car and breath.  They noted, “mush-mouthed” speech and observed bloodshot watery eyes.  Phelps registered a .14 BAC level, nearly twice the Baltimore legal BAC limit of .08.

The 18 time gold medalist told Judge Braverman, “I now have the tools to move past this.  What I did was wrong, and I made a big mistake.  I’m looking forward to having a much brighter future than I  had in the past.”

As far as Michael Phelps’ swimming career, he is back to intensive training.  The 6 month USA Swimming suspension, imposed because of the September DUI arrest, will be lifted in March 2015 allowing Phelps to compete in the final three events on the U.S. Grand Prix schedule.

When Stopped for DUI – Advice from a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney

When Stopped for DUI – Advice from a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney

When stopped by an officer while driving after consuming alcohol you should be respectful to the officer and identify yourself by providing your driver’s license, proof of registration, and car insurance.

If you have any difficulty understanding the English language, especially complicated English such as legal terms, request for an interpreter in your first language as soon as possible.  The officer will provide an interpreter by phone if requested.  You should not attempt to understand the officer’s instructions if there is any language barrier.  This is not the time or environment for you to be shy or embarrassed about not understanding English fluently.

The officer will eventually ask you questions related to alcohol.  I would recommend declining to answer any questions related to alcohol.  The officer will likely order you out of your vehicle so he or she can conduct a DUI investigation. The officer will ask you to perform field sobriety tests and/or to submit to a DUI portable breath test.  You should not take any field sobriety test and/or portable breath test, they are voluntary, meaning there is no requirement by law for you to perform either test.  If you decline to take any of the tests the officer will make a decision to either release or arrest based on the officer’s observations up to that point.  The primary reason I advise people to decline taking the field sobriety tests is the fact that the tests are physically difficult and they become even more difficult when you are accompanied by un-ideal circumstances such as; uneven roadways, lack of adequate light, other vehicles driving by, and loud traffic noises making it difficult to hear and concentrate.  The tests are difficult, respectfully decline taking them.

After an arrest for DUI, a person will be taken to the police station.  There they will be presented with at least two forms, the Constitutional Rights Form and the Implied Consent Warning form.  These two forms are very important because they explain your rights and consequences of exercising your rights.  If you have any questions about the forms, do not hesitate to ask the officer to clarify the information so you will have a full understanding.

The Constitutional Rights form will advise a person of their right to have an attorney.  I recommend you always ask for an attorney whenever confronted with a criminal investigation.  It does not matter if you do not know a criminal defense attorney to call.  The officer will contact a defense attorney by phone at no cost to you.  You will be provided a private room to talk to the attorney and ask questions.  Again, if you have any difficulty understanding English you should request to have an interpreter made available to you.

The request to submit to a breath test at the police station is very different and separate from the request to submit to a portable breath test out on the field.  The DUI portable breath test is voluntary and there is no negative consequence from declining to take it. However, if a person declines to take the breath test at the police station it will likely result in a revocation of your driver’s license for at least one year.  The decision to take the breath test at the station is dependent upon many factors, consult your DUI defense lawyer for their recommendation.  I Generally recommend, if it is a person’s first DUI arrest and the person did not consume a lot of alcohol then they should take the breath test.  However, if a person has prior DUI arrests and/or consumed a lot of alcohol then they should not take the station breath test.

In short:

  1. Be respectful to law enforment.
  2. Ask law enforcement for an interpreter if there is any language barrier.
  3. Do not take the field sobriety tests or the portable breath tests, they are voluntary.
  4. If you have questions about legal forms, always ask the officer to clarify until you have a full understanding.
  5. Request to speak to a criminal defense lawyer.
  6. Ask your defense attorney for their recommendations.

If you don’t have a DUI criminal defense attorney’s number programmed into your cell phone, you should do so now, David O 206-459-6392, you never know when you might need it!  I am here to help.


Xzibit Charged with DUI Just Hours after Saying “I DO”

Xzibit Charged with DUI Just Hours after Saying “I DO”

This past Sunday, Xzibit married the love of his life, Krista Joiner, near Laguna Beach, CA.  The groom, Xzibit, real name Alvin Nathaniel Joiner must have been feeling the love in the air because the rapper, actor, and TV host allegedly enjoyed one too many glasses of champaign at his wedding reception… when he and his bride drove off into the sunset, Xzibit was pulled over and arrested for DUI.  Wedding night bummer!

Police claim the, “Pimp My Ride” MTV show host was speeding in Laguna the night of his arrest.  When pulled over, the arresting officer said Xzibit reeked of booze.  After a short DUI (driving under the influence) investigation the officer arrested the 40 year-old american rapper and hauled him into the local police station for DUI.

The following day, Xzibit wrote about his memorable wedding day saying, “There was a time I thought I would NEVER get married,” he continued. “I thought that being single was the only way for me, not knowing that I was giving up more of myself to people who didn’t care about me or love me unconditionally. I had to do a LOT of growing up and over time came the maturity I needed to be able to make a commitment stronger than anything that I have done in my life outside of being a father to my two beautiful sons. Yesterday, I made my family complete.”  Xzibit made no mention of his DUI arrest… smart move on his part, if he mentioned his DUI arrest he could have potentially written some incriminating statements.  DUI defense attorneys are more likely to get better case results for individuals who do not incriminate themselves.

Best to say nothing at all, when it comes to criminal charges!  To know more about your right to remain silent, read our blog, “5 Big Reasons NOT To Talk To Cops.”