If you have recently been pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may think that it is just a matter of time before you are convicted and forced to pay a fine or give up your driver’s license. In reality, however, it may be entirely possible to beat your drunk driving charge with the help of an experienced lawyer and one of the following defense strategies:
Illegal Traffic Stop
To pull you over, a police officer or sheriff’s deputy must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you have recently committed a traffic violation or a crime. Law enforcement traffic stops that are conducted without a valid reason are generally classified as illegal. As such, any evidence that was collected as a result of that stop, like breathalyzer test results, can usually be suppressed.
Improperly Administered Breathalyzer Test
Almost all police departments and sheriff’s offices in the United States are heavily reliant on breathalyzers when determining whether or not a suspect is intoxicated. For the results of a breathalyzer test to be admissible in court, officers must ensure that it was administered in accordance with state law. Should they fail to follow protocol when asking a suspect to blow into a breathalyzer, the results of that test may be suppressed.
If your failed breathalyzer test is the only proof of your intoxication that the prosecution can present to the court, getting it suppressed is likely to result in your DUI charge being dropped.
Chain of Custody Issues
When a law enforcement officer takes a blood or urine sample from a DUI suspect, the state is obliged to keep a log of its chain of custody. They keep this log to show that the evidence was not interfered with at any time.
If there is a break in the chain of custody for some evidence in your case, your lawyer will most likely be able to argue that it may have been interfered with and should be suppressed. If the suppressed evidence was central to the prosecution’s case against you, your drunk driving charge may then be thrown out.
Your DUI charge may not have to become a DUI conviction. With the help of a knowledgeable criminal justice attorney, you might just be able to use one of the defenses outlined above to get your drunk driving charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. To schedule a consultation, click here.