As you might already know, an arrest does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. Just being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), however, can be devastating. You must take action, though, if you are to defend yourself against the charges. DUI convictions can bring some serious punishments that are bound to disrupt your personal relationships, your ability to drive, your job, and your bank balance. Read on to find out more about the defenses your defense lawyer will consider as you move forward with your DUI case.
The Legality of the Initial Stop
Everything that comes after an illegal stop is moot. Law enforcement has to have a good reason (reasonable cause) to flip on the blue lights and pull over a vehicle. The reason doesn't have to be a suspicion of driving under the influence, though. It could be anything from the violation of a minor traffic law to an equipment issue. However, if your attorney can show that law enforcement had no reasonable cause to stop you, your charges might be dropped.
After the Stop
Law enforcement has a continuing responsibility to do things by the book as they approach you and investigate any crimes. It doesn't take much for law enforcement to become suspicious of a driver that exhibits certain behaviors. For example, drivers that act nervous can arouse suspicions. Law enforcement has the power to ask you to step out of the vehicle and to ask for identification, and you must comply. Arguing or non-compliance at this point can only make things worse and add to the charges (resisting arrest, disobeying an officer's commands, etc).
DUI Field Sobriety Testing
Again, reasonable cause is needed before they ask you to perform any tests. The usual tests, unfortunately, are rife with problems. Your lawyer will verify that the officer who performed the test was trained and certified. Then the video footage and the police report will be used to see if the tests were performed properly. Finally, the test results may be refuted if you can show that you had a neurological or physical condition that affected the results. For example, if you have a lower extremity issue, such as a knee problem, you cannot be expected to do either the walk-and-turn or the one-legged stand. By the way, you have a right to refuse testing but you can have your driver's license suspended for no other reason than the refusal – even if you turn out to be innocent of a DUI.
The above is only a sampling of the defense strategies a good criminal defense lawyer will use to get your charges dropped or reduced. Talk to a DUI attorney to find out more.
Hello, I'm Phillip Kerr and I just love the legal profession and courtroom drama. Have you ever watched judge shows on TV? I know that these shows are not an accurate representation of the courtroom, but there is something you may have noticed. Some individuals come into the courtroom well-dressed, articulate, respectful and with the knowledge and documents necessary to support a case, while others come unprepared, slovenly dressed and appear as if they do not have a care in the world. How you present yourself and the knowledge that you have of the law will have an impact on how you are treated, even if you have legal representation. This blog is designed to assist those who are going to trial in doing just that.