My question involves criminal law for the state of: Connecticut
I don't know exactly where to start, but will include all pertinent details and timeline.
After being awake for 19-20hrs and just having finished a 10hr serving shift at a local pub, I received a shift drink. 9.1% 16oz beer, at midnight, but had eaten very little all day. I decided to stick around and help the bartender clean up and left the pub. Got in my car; and at 2:22am, took a screen capture of my gps to message my girlfriend that I would be there in approx. 17 min, but I would be a little later because I had to stop for gas. (I also took a picture of my digital gas guage saying I had a 5 mile range, time stamped 2:23am.) I put my phone into the hands free grip on my dash. She messaged me a few times along the way suggesting gas stations but all were closed. At 2:36am I arrived at the gas station and replied, "I am at the gas station at the end of your street" (3 min to destination on GPS). I then got distracted and sat on my phone for about 10 minutes. I then went to the attendant window and gave her 20$ cash, no receipt, and went back to my car to pump gas. It was very cold and windy, the gas nozzle had a lock in it, and since I had prepaid and knew I wouldn't go over, I locked it and waited in my car for it to finish. (Car was off.) I sat in my car for about 10-15 minutes total, on my phone, I didn't want to browse or text and drive.
At 3am. 24 minutes after arrival, I did a screen capture of a product I'd just found and wanted to get on the app LetGo and sent it to my girlfriend. (timestamped, and metadata attached to photo) I got out, put the nozzle back and proceeded to drive away. Within 200 yards of leaving the gas station, I looked into my rearview mirror and was distracted by the bright, close headlights, and crossed over the double yellow line. This particular section of road has potholes and is heavily bowed in the middle to promote runoff from rain/snow etc. Immediately, Police lights came on and I was being pulled over. (Note: I have been pulled over 2 other times within the past 2 months by the same Troop, after leaving my bartending shifts around the same time, having nothing to drink and passed far more extensive field sobriety tests and have been sent on my way, with no ticket/issue whatsoever, one of those times I was in the presence of 5 police officers in at least 3 cars - performing and successfully completing the tests).
This particular time the police officer immediately states that the reason I am being pulled over is because I "failed to maintain my lane, and that he had received a call from the local gas station that I had been there for over 40 minutes and that constituted as suspicious behavior." (This is completely false. Even with the completed arrest, my ticket is timed 36 minutes after I ARRIVED there)(I also believe this to be a conflict of interest, as this gas station is also a towing service, and the person who called in the false report was the tow truck dispatcher, therefore profiting from the tow that resulted from their call. I would not have been pursued or pulled over had the false report not been made. I also believe this detail to be a key variable leading to my arrest). The police officer asks if and how many I had to drink, I honestly stated that I had 1 beer and when, started almost 3 hours earlier (but drank slowly), and that I had believed it to be metabolized, or I wouldn't have driven. He asks if I am diabetic or have any injuries, and I stated that I had major knee surgery about 2 years prior and had my miniscus removed, and that it was very after this long shift on my feet.
He said he smelled alcohol on my breath and told me "I need you to step out of the vehicle". He commenced to doing the pen following test, but holding it far into my periferal vision causing me to squint with one eye trying to follow it. Then he made me walk heel to toe, 9 steps, turn and repeat, but mentioned trying to find a flat place in the road, as described earlier, it was uneven. I went one way no problem, pivoted on my heel and after maybe the 4th step back, mistepped. I was immediately told to stop that test and he had me balance on one foot. I followed the instructions, lowered my foot when he asked to 6 inches, flattened my raised foot out when he asked, and didn't waiver at all or lose any balance, but mentioned my knee hurting. With a nod of the other officer he immediately handcuffed me and told me I was under arrest for DUI and had failed my field sobriety test. Again, it took all of maybe 3-4 minutes, whereas my previous tests lasted much longer. Also, he focused on the specific thing that I told him was my weakness.
My car was then towed by the same gas station/tow service that called and made the false report. I arrived at the police station and cooperated fully. He had me take a breathalyzer test on a huge complex machine and I blew .04 He stated "Well... thats never happened before" and that he had to get his Sargeant. He wouldn't allow me to take the 2nd confirming blow, and instead the Sargeant said I had to take a Urinalysis instead. I agreed, and it has to get sent off to a lab. My court date is coming up in 1 week and I don't even know if the results will be back in time for my trial. I was told that my license would be suspended for 45 days, 60 days or more, and that I would have to sit in this cell for at least an hour.
Instead, 15 minutes later, I am called back into the administrative checkin area, given back all of my belongings and phone, allowed to call for someone to pick me up, given back my license and told that it wasn't revoked, and that I could drive but couldn't retrieve my car from tow until they officially opened (even though they were a 24hr tow service). 8 hours later I retrieved my car and had also been charged a 'lot fee', and had to pay 128$ to get my car out.
I have never been arrested before. I have virtually no negative traffic record. I am TIPS/ServSafe certified over 10 years and fully understand responsible alcohol consumption and service. I am over 21 and do not have a CDL license. I know that I am going to have to pay court costs and for a public defender. I feel that due to this conflict of interest, false statement, I was pulled over. I contacted a lawyer and was qouted a 500$ retainer (+ court costs) and frankly I can't afford that. I have been advised by another friend to accept the public defender and ride it out, that the scientific data is the determining factor and that I blew far under the legal limit, that the Prosecutor may throw it out, but that I will likely have multiple court dates if the urinalysis hasn't returned. (Nothing else will show up on that).
Ultimately, I would like this expunged from my record. I do not believe that I should have been arrested. I do not want this to affect my insurance premium. Honestly, I would like to be refunded my towing fee court, and public defender costs.
All of this hinged on a false report. I don't know how to get local law inforcement to investigate the dispatcher that called me in, or to check the surveilence cameras to confirm the exact times of my arrival and departure, proving her statement false. Investigating the practices of this tow service and if this has happened before; if the attendant/dispatcher profitted directly through some type of cash commission or personal relationship to the tow-truck driver or business owner. Not to mention the post traumatic stress that I have endured since the arrest, the heightened anxiety and depression associated, and the potential lost wage of me having to take off work to go to court. I have all of these metadata/messages/time stamps printed and organized, including the receipt for my drink. I have countless character witnesses/managers/co-workers that could attest me serving and consuming responsibly.
I am looking for any advice. How do I achieve the best possible outcome proving my innocence and minimizing expenses associated and what do I need to do to file a report against the tow service or individual?
Thank you so much for your time and for reading this.