Have You Been Charged With DUI? Explore Your Possible Defenses
Even if this is your very first time being charged with a DUI offense, being convicted of this crime can result in very serious consequences. For instance, you may lose your driving privileges for an extended period of time, be required to attend rehabilitation sessions, be forced to pay several hefty fines, and even be sentenced to time in jail. With so much on the line, it is important for you to know that there are several difference defense strategies that may be used to help get the charges against you dismissed or to secure a not-guilty verdict if your case does in fact go to trial. Below, you will learn more about these different strategies and how they may apply to the facts in your case.
Arresting Officer Lacked Probable Cause To Stop You
Contrary to popular belief, police officers cannot randomly stop you will on the road. In order to perform a traffic stop, the officer will need to have probable cause to believe that you are committing a traffic offense. For instance, if you are witnessed speeding or running a red light, these actions will give the officer probable cause to stop you. However, the fact that you were witnessed pulling out of a bar's parking lot is not probable cause to execute a traffic stop.
If you are able to prove that the arresting officer lacked probable cause for the traffic stop that ultimately resulted in your DUI, any evidence that was collected as a result of this stop can be ruled inadmissible. With this evidence thrown out, the prosecution will have very little choice but to drop the charges against you.
The Results Of The Breathalyzer Exam Were Inaccurate
After performing a field sobriety test, the arresting officer will typically ask you to breathe into a breathalyzer in order to determine what your current blood alcohol level is. The problem is, these tests are far less reliable than law enforcement wants you to believe.
When you blow into a breathalyzer, the machine is supposed to measure the amount of alcohol that is present in the air that is housed deep in your lungs. The theory behind this machine is that the alcohol content in your lungs is equal to the alcohol content in your blood. While this fact is debatable, it can also be completely irrelevant. This is because while a breathalyzer is supposed to measuring the alcohol content in your lungs, it may actually be measuring the alcohol content in your stomach. The reason for this is that acid reflux, heartburn, and gas can all cause the alcohol in your stomach to rise into your mouth where it will be measured by breathalyzer test and ultimately result in a false result.
If the most damning evidence against you is that your blood alcohol level was above the legal limit according to the breathalyzer, you could have the charges against you dropped by challenging the accuracy of these test results.
A Final Thought
While both of these defense strategies can prove extremely effective, it is important to note that these are only a few of the many options that may be available to you. In order to explore all of your defense options and determine the right course of action in your case, be sure to contact a qualified DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. For more information, go to http://www.hogankimrey.com.