If you have been found guilty of drunk driving, it is important to know how to defend yourself. There are many factors that will be considered when determining your sentence, and having a good defense strategy can help reduce your penalties. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common defenses used in drunk driving cases and how you can use them to your advantage.
Defending your DUI – How to do it
Getting caught in a DUI incident is oftentimes a very intimidating and embarrassing experience. With the potential for severe punishments, such as jail time or hefty fines, it is important to know how to defend yourself. In the words of a specialized DUI attorney in Lake county, a person caught in a DUI incident should be aware of their rights and understand the different types of defenses available to them. Hence, DUI incidents often come with an extensive trial process, a good defense strategy can help reduce your penalties. In a way, it is important to understand that the judge or jury is listening to two sides of a story. The most common defense strategies used in DUI cases are outlined below:
Unreliable Field Sobriety Tests
Police officers often use field sobriety tests to determine whether an individual is drunk driving or not. However, these tests are highly subjective and can be inaccurate. Therefore, it is possible to challenge the results of a field sobriety test at trial if there were any inconsistencies in the manner in which it was administered. Furthermore, medical conditions, such as poor balance or vertigo can also render a field sobriety test unreliable. That is why your attorney should always look into the procedures that were followed while administering the test and challenge them if any discrepancies are found.
Challenge Blood Alcohol Level
The results of a blood alcohol level test can be challenged in court. This could be done by providing evidence to show that you had consumed alcohol prior to driving but your BAC was not above the legal limit. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances of the case, it is possible to challenge the validity of the test conducted by questioning if proper procedures were followed by law enforcement officers while conducting it. Blood alcohol levels are a very important factor in determining if the driver was intoxicated or not and hence challenging this may be a key component of your defense. If they are, by any chance, wrong or inconsistent, then it could impact the outcome of the case.
Unreliable Breath Tests
Another common defense used in drunk driving cases is to challenge the accuracy of the breathalyzer machine. Though these machines are considered reliable by most experts, their accuracy can be affected by a number of factors such as mouthwash residue, or incorrect calibration of the machine. If you believe the breathalyzer results were inaccurate, it may be possible to challenge them at trial.
No Intent to Drive
In some cases, the defendant can claim that they had no intention of driving while intoxicated and that they simply got behind the wheel without any conscious thought. If this is a viable defense, it would need to be proven in court. In addition, it would also be important to show that other options, such as a taxi or public transportation were not available at the time. Furthermore, the defendant must prove that the act of driving was unintentional. No intent to drive is somewhat tricky to prove but can be done with the help of an experienced DUI attorney. Especially if they can provide sufficient evidence to support the claim.
Improper Traffic Stop
In some cases, an individual may be able to argue that the initial traffic stop was unlawful. If the police officer did not have probable cause (e.g., speeding or swerving) or reliable information from a witness, then the traffic stop could be deemed improper with a little effort. An attorney can help determine if a traffic stop was lawful. Furthermore, if the stop was found to be unlawful, any evidence gathered during the stop would be inadmissible in court. Oftentimes will improper traffic stops can be used as a defense to reduce charges or even have the case dismissed.
Check the Police Procedures
It is important to make sure that the police officers followed all necessary procedures while arresting you for DUI. This includes ensuring that they had a valid reason to pull you over, having sufficient evidence of intoxication, and following all rules when conducting sobriety tests. If any vital steps are skipped or ignored during an arrest, it may be possible to challenge the legality of the arrest. When taking a look at the procedures followed, it is important to note that the police must have had a valid reason for pulling you over and be able to prove this in court.
Challenge Seizure of Evidence
If law enforcement officers did not have a valid reason for seizing evidence from your vehicle or person, then you can challenge their authority to do so. This could be beneficial as any evidence seized without proper authorization may be considered inadmissible in court. On the other hand, if the evidence was lawfully seized, then it may be used by prosecutors to prove that you were driving under the influence. Furthermore, any evidence found in your vehicle could also be used to support such a claim.
If you have been found drunk driving there are various defenses that can be used in order to dispute your charges. This includes providing evidence to show that your BAC was not above the legal limit, challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer machine, arguing that you had no intention to drive, claiming an improper traffic stop, and checking to make sure law enforcement followed proper procedure. It can also be beneficial to challenge the seizure of any evidence gathered by authorities.
While these defense options are not foolproof, they may help reduce your charges or even have the case dismissed. To determine the best defense strategy, it is important to seek help from a qualified DUI attorney. They can assess your case and provide legal advice on how to proceed.