At one time, if someone was convicted of a DUI charge, it was a fairly minor issue. Someone facing the charge could prove that they’ve learned their lesson, possibly pay a fine, and then leave that troublesome memory behind them. Things aren’t so simple anymore. We’re in the information age now; background checks are more commonplace and a DUI charge can destroy someone’s professional reputation in the blink of an eye. If you’re facing a DUI charge, here’s some helpful advice on how to fight it.
The first thing to remember: you’re innocent until proven guilty. If there’s any decent reason to doubt that you were intoxicated when you were pulled over, then the court will dismiss your case there and then. The future may not look bright right now, but there are several common scenarios in which your case could be waved away. If the DUI charge is based on a field sobriety test, the method may have been inaccurate and can be easily picked apart in court. For example, the walk-and-turn test is only 68% accurate in determining illegal intoxication. If you’re past a certain age, have a medical condition or certain injuries, then this kind of test can easily be debunked. You should also be aware that many field sobriety tests have been proven to be inaccurate, and yet are still used by some police officers. For example, if you were asked to count backwards from a certain number, and not given a breathalyzer test afterwards, the charge can be dismissed very quickly. Tell your DUI attorney all about the tests, and they’ll be able to figure out if this is your ticket out.
Even when a breathalyzer test is carried out, and shows that you’re too intoxicated to be behind the wheel of a car, there are still things you can do in order to beat the case. The most common strategy is to find a way to prove that the breathalyzer’s results were invalid. If there was a potential error in the process of testing, or the device is proven to be poorly maintained, then the evidence can no longer be used by the prosecution. While this kind of defense can certainly be powerful, it’s pretty rare that breathalyzers actually fail. Perhaps the strongest defense you can have is proving that there was some violation of your rights, at any point in the arrest. If there was an arbitrary detention, unlawful seizure, or some other violation of your civil rights, then the breath reading can be totally discounted.
Finally, we have what lawyers call a “DUI refusal case”. In this scenario, you will have been pulled over for drunk driving, and refused or failed to provide a specimen so that the arresting officer can check your blood alcohol content. These can be very hard to fight, as refusals like this constitute a crime, and lead to you losing your license. However, if the procedure was carried out improperly, or you can prove that you had reasonable cause to refuse the sample, you can still walk away.
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