Receiving a DUI charge can be a stressful experience. Not only do you have to contend with a possible charge on your record, but you also must deal with the logistics of a license suspension and, possibly, a towed car. However, just because you've received a DUI charge, doesn't mean a judge will automatically find you guilty.
These are four legitimate defenses to a DUI charge:
1. Unlawful stop
A police officer can only pull you over if he has an appropriate reason to do so. If a police officer were to pull you over without reason, any evidence that he found for a crime would be illegitimate. Thus, one of the most common defenses for a DUI is to argue that the police stopped you unlawfully.
2. Improper police behavior
This defense encompasses any challenge involving a police officer not following standard operating procedure. This may include them not reading you your rights when arresting you or conducting a DUI investigation without any probable cause.
Though less common, these defenses could also include accusations against an officer for tampering with evidence or faking a DUI report.
3. Inaccurate Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test
There are a few different sobriety tests that the police may administer during a DUI investigation. These tests could include:
- Physical field sobriety tests
- Breathalyzer tests
- Blood tests
While certain tests are more accurate than others-e.g. a blood test is more accurate than a field sobriety test-none of these tests are 100% accurate. Furthermore, an officer must properly administer the test for the courts to consider it legitimate.
4. Not drunk while driving
This defense is related to defenses that question the accuracy of a BAC test. Under this approach, the defendant can argue that they were legally drunk at the time of the test but not at the time they were driving.
Because alcohol takes time to metabolize, and a traffic stop takes a while to complete, it is plausible that you only reached the BAC limit of .08% after you had already been stopped.
Facing a DUI charge
These are just a few of the defenses that you can utilize to prevent an erroneous DUI conviction. If you are facing a DUI charge, you should know that you have options. An experienced DUI attorney can help review your case and see what defense(s) are likely to be the most effective.