So, you've been pulled over and arrested for suspicion of driving while under the influence. Once you're booked and charged, you may not think you have any other choice to plead guilty because you don't have a valid defense, right? Not entirely. People are charged with DUIs all the time and find ways to dispute the charges. If you find yourself in a situation like this, contact a lawyer like the DUI lawyers at Fischer & Putzi, and let them help you sort out your case. |
Individuals charged with a DUI have a number of legal defense options that may help them get their cases dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. The following examples are just a few of the defense strategies your lawyer may apply to your case.
No Probable Cause
Anytime a police officer pulls someone over, he or she must have probable cause. If you were swerving and disobeying traffic laws, this would constitute probable cause. What doesn't equate to probable cause is being pulled over just because it is late in the evening or after the bars close. If you were pulled over and the officer's reason for pulling you over was not justified, any evidence gathered from the stop cannot be used against you. This includes results from field sobriety tests, breathalyzer results, and anything you may have said to the arresting officer.
Did you know that there are certain medical conditions that can contaminate DUI breath test results? If you suffer from acid reflux, GERD, or chronic heartburn, these conditions can negatively alter the results of a breathalyzer test. Everyone's mouth contains mouth alcohol. In people without the previously mentioned conditions, mouth alcohol mixes with the air that travels from the stomach to the mouth. The high amount of acid in the person's mouth can cause an incorrect BAC.
If you suffer from acid reflux, chronic heartburn, or GERD, it is possible that your DUI charges could be dropped due to the fact that the BAC may have been falsely high. Even if you admitted to drinking prior to driving, it is still possible that your results could have been altered because of your medical condition.
Inaccurate Field Sobriety Testing
In conjunction with a breath test, most police officers will administer field sobriety testing to make sure there is probable cause to arrest. The problem with this is that field sobriety testing is not an exact science and it is not always accurate. There are plenty of conditions that can affect the outcome of these tests. In fact, in studies conducted, it was found that the accuracy rates of field sobriety tests was somewhere between 65%-77%. That means it's possible that 25% of the time the tests are incorrect.
The following are examples of innocent explanations that could affect the results of sobriety testing:
• Uncoordinated individual • Officer-induced intimidation • Bad lighting • Uneven pavement • Poor weather conditions • Inappropriate footwear such as heels or platforms • Medical conditions If any of these circumstances relate to your case, let your attorney know right away so that he or she can build the best defense strategy.
Choosing a DUI Lawyer
There are many DUI lawyers available to take your case, but it's important that you take a breath and be quite discerning. Choose the wrong lawyer and you could end up with a hefty fine, the inability to drive, and even face jail time. Lawyers like the DUI lawyers at Fischer & Putzi should have experience working strictly with DUI cases. Also, make sure you’re comfortable with the lawyer's defense strategy, his or her fees, and manner of communication. This will help improve the outcome of your case.
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