An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) does not automatically mean that you will be convicted. A number of things can occur before the trial, including the prosecutor might offer you a plea deal or drop the charges altogether. If you are planning to fight the charges, it is important that you carefully review the validity of every step from the arrest to the evidence. To help you properly prepare for the defense, here are some aspects to review.
The Police Stop
Your review of your case should always start with reviewing the details of the arrest. Law enforcement officials do not have the right to pull over a driver without probable cause. In this instance, the officer would have to state that you exhibited some behavior that led him or her to believe that pulling you over was justified.
For instance, if the officer claims that he or she witnessed you running a traffic light, this would be considered probable cause. However, if there was not sufficient reason for him or her to stop your car, your attorney could argue that the stop was illegal and the charges should be dropped.
The Field Sobriety Test
Most people have seen field sobriety tests administered on television, and they appear to be very straightforward. What many miss is that there are certain criteria that must be met for a test to be properly administered. In addition to that, certain factors, such as the driver's age and shoes, can impact the results of the test.
The accuracy of field sobriety tests have been challenged in the past because they can be open to interpretation by police. For instance, a person who stumbles from a test could have done so because of the shoes he or she was wearing.
As part of your defense, you need to review how the test was administered and assess your condition during the stop. Inform your attorney if there were any factors that could have influenced your results, such as an injury or illness.
A blood alcohol test is usually administered after an arrest to determine the defendant's blood alcohol level. Even if your test came back with a blood alcohol level that was higher than the legal limit, you can still challenge the results.
Strict protocols have to be followed when administering the test. For instance, the chain of command has to be respected when dealing with your sample. If your attorney can prove that at some point, your sample was handled by someone who was not authorized to, he or she could argue there is no proof that the sample was not tampered with.
Your DUI attorney can help you determine other aspects of your case should be challenged.
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