Learn How to Fight your DUI Charge
Contrary to popular belief, those who are arrested for DUI do not always receive convictions. In fact there may be numerous ways to challenge a driving under the influence charge.
While the possible defenses you can build in a specific DUI charge differ from case to case and state to state, there are several important principles that apply in just about every case involving drunk driving, including:
- Why you were stopped
- Whether you were properly searched
- The behavior of the arresting officer
- The results of your breathalyzer or BAC test
If you are facing a DUI charge, there's a lot at stake. Speaking with a DUI attorney in your area may be a great way to assess your case and determine if possible challenges may help you beat your charges and clear your record.
For a free case review with a local DUI lawyer, complete the free form on this page. Or, connect right away by calling, toll free, 877-349-1311.
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Challenging Your Initial DUI Arrest
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires that any search or seizure be based on probable cause.
When a police officer arrests you under suspicion of drunk driving, that is considered a seizure under the law.
If the officer does not have probable cause to arrest you, your DUI attorney may challenge your arrest.
A police officer can lack probable cause to arrest you in a number of different circumstances.
Generally, if you were stopped on a purely random basis or solely on an anonymous tip, for driving too slowly or unexplained "suspicious" reasons, or because of your race, ethnicity or another protected category, you may be able to fight your case.
The specifics vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and a local DUI lawyer can be your source of information about how these general principles may apply to your case.
Challenging Your Questioning
Law enforcement officers must read a person his or her Miranda rights - that you have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be used against you, and you are entitled to a lawyer - upon making an arrest.
While an arrest without a Miranda warning is still legal and you may still be charged, a local DUI lawyer may be able to move to suppress evidence that was gathered in violation of your Miranda rights.
Challenging Your Blood Alcohol Test or Breathalyzer Test
If you are stopped under suspicion of drunk driving, the law in most states requires that you be given a breath, blood, saliva, or urine test to check the alcohol level in your blood. With that said, there may be several ways to successfully fight the results of these tests in your DUI case.
The law in some states requires that you be allowed to have your own physician take your blood, and if the police deny you this right, you may be able to fight your DUI charges.
You may also challenge the accuracy of the prosecution's blood alcohol evidence with an expert witness who may dispute the qualifications of the medical personnel doing the blood alcohol testing, question the maintenance and functionality of the breathalyzers or other testing equipment, or contest the procedures used in obtaining, sealing, labeling, storing and offering the evidence into trial.
A DUI attorney may be able to help fight your case on these grounds.
Challenging the Testimony of the Arresting Officer
Most DUI cases are based largely on the testimony of the arresting officer. Your DUI lawyer may cross examine the arresting officer and challenge the accuracy of his or her observations, the performance of a field sobriety test and other aspects of your arrest.
If you can't completely dismiss your case by getting your charges dismissed or winning a not guilty verdict at trial, you may still be able to limit the damage and reduce the penalties through plea bargaining.
A plea bargain is an agreement between you and the state in which the charges against you are dropped or diminished in exchange for your guilty plea to a lesser charge or a lesser sentence. In some cases, prosecutors may drop a DUI charge against you if it's your first DUI offense and you agree to plead to a lesser penalty like supervision.
Even if you plead to a lower offense, your case may still be eligible in some states for expungement, which essentially eliminates the offense from your record. However, most states require that you wait for a fairly significant period before you are eligible for an expungement.
Facing DUI charges may be a very stressful experience. By speaking with one of the DUI lawyers who sponsor Total DUI, you may calmly assess your situation and perhaps find ways to challenge your case.
Call us at 877-349-1311,or fill out our free, online form and we'll connect you with a local DUI attorney today.
The above summary is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Speak to a DUI attorney in your area for more information.