Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is an awful experience, and perhaps even more so if you believe that the arrest was unjust. You may have a fight ahead of you to prove your innocence, but with the help of a criminal defense attorney you have every reason to hope for justice. Sometimes, getting an idea of what ammunition your attorney might have at their disposal can lead to a more positive outlook for your dire situation, so read on and learn about some commonly-used DUI defenses that your attorney might employ for you.
Get your attorney up to speed
You can get your case off to a good start by getting bailed out of jail and meeting with your attorney as soon as possible. The police or arrest report will be available a few days after your arrest, and on it you will find out how the traffic stop occurred and more important information. Additionally, now might be a good time to take pen and paper and begin logging in your memories about the arrest; any detail you can note may come in handy at your trial. The main defense for your arrest will likely turn out to be the actions of the arresting officers at the scene, and the legality of those actions.
Traffic stops and testing
All aspects of a traffic stop, questioning, obtaining evidence and field sobriety testing are tightly regulated by laws, which must be followed to the exacting letter. Any deviation from the strict guidelines could potentially lead to you having your DUI charges dropped or reduced. Some areas of possible interest to be further scrutinized include:
1. The traffic stop must have been made for valid reasons; you cannot just be stopped because the officer felt like targeting you. For example, were you disobeying a traffic law, weaving between the lanes, speeding, etc?
2. Did you make statements at the scene that could be suppressed due to the violation of your Fifth Amendment Rights to prevent self-incrimination? Were you read your Miranda Rights when arrested?
3. What field sobriety tests were performed at the scene, and how valid were the results? These tests often require an officer who is certified in performing these tests, and even then the results are always open to questions. For example, tests preformed in poor outdoor weather conditions, on uneven roadside ground, where there may have been a language barrier, and more can and should be challenged. Additionally, all of these tests rely on the subject being physically unimpaired by neurological problems, nerve and muscle problems and vision disturbances. How people do not fall into at least one of those categories?
4. Was your vehicle searched, and if so, was the search legal? There must be probable cause for a search to be conducted legally.
5. Is there the potential for duress or necessity?
Talk to your defense attorney to learn more.Share