What are your rights after an OWI test?
Defendants have the burden of overcoming the presumption of intoxication created by a failed breath or blood test performed within 3 hours of driving.
In Pattison v. State, the jury was instructed that it shall presume a person with at least a 0.08 alcohol concentration equivalent (ACE) at the time of the chemical test was driving with at least that ACE if the chemical test was performed within 3 hours. The instruction concluded that the presumption was rebuttable.
The Indiana Supreme Court of Appeals upheld this instruction. It claimed that a mandatory rebuttable presumption is constitutional as long as it maintains the State’s obligation to prove every element of a reasonable doubt. It reasoned the instruction’s presumption did not relieve the State’s burden to prove the Defendant’s ACE but merely negates the need of live testimony explaining retrograde extrapolation to determine his ACE at the time he was driving. Because the presumption is rebuttable, defendants are free to present evidence to try to convince the jury to disregard the presumption, such as consumption of alcohol after driving or that the results were affected by the use of an inhaler. This decision shows the importance of hiring an attorney with experience in successfully defending operating while intoxicated (OWI) cases at trial.
With over 33 years of handling thousands of criminal cases, Steven Knecht is familiar with the possible defenses to OWI and other criminal charges. Clients come to Steven Knecht seeking his dependable legal advice and service. His commitment to his clients has solidified his reputation for superior representation in the area of criminal defense. He puts clients at ease, explains everything as thoroughly as possible, without “legalese,” and returns phone calls and e-mails.
If you find yourself having been arrested, you should immediately hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that you can trust such as Steven Knecht to help you fight the State because you have a lot at stake on the outcome.