If you have found yourself facing DUI charges, there is probably a lot on your mind. How will this affect your life? Will you have to go jail? How will your family react? What about your employer? These concerns may be further amplified when there seems to be strong evidence against you.
When it comes to securing a DUI conviction, police and prosecutors typically rely on breath and blood test results, field sobriety test results, statements the arresting officer gave about your appearance and demeanor during the arrest, and the reason you were pulled over in the first place. When one or more of these looks bad, it can feel like a lost cause. Fortunately, that is not true.
4 Ways To Challenge A DUI Charge
Even if your breath test reading was over the legal limit, or you couldn't stand on one foot long enough during the field sobriety tests, you are not out of options. In fact, there are several ways to challenge a DUI charge, even when it seems like the evidence is stacked against you:
- Challenging the accuracy of the breath test: Breath test machines must be properly calibrated in order to produce an accurate reading. If police failed to properly calibrate or otherwise maintain the machine they used during your arrest, it could have led to a false reading.
- Challenging the blood-alcohol reading: Nurses and lab technicians are not immune from making mistakes. If your blood was drawn in an inappropriate way, mislabeled or otherwise improperly handled at any point during the testing process, it may be possible to demonstrate that the final results could be inaccurate.
- Challenging the traffic stop: Police must have reasonable cause to stop a driver. They cannot simply pull you over because they feel like it. If police fail to demonstrate that you were violating traffic laws, swerving or gave them another reason to pull you over, it may be possible to show that the stop was unlawful. If the stop itself is deemed unlawful, all evidence collected during it (including breath test results) cannot be used against you.
- Challenging the field sobriety test: Field sobriety tests must be administered in certain ways in order to be considered accurate. If police improperly administered the test, such as asking you to perform a task on uneven ground, the test results may be inaccurate. Additionally, some people have medical conditions that prevent them from being able to fairly complete a field sobriety test. Your attorney can help show why your results should not be considered.
How an attorney can help
When the evidence against you seems insurmountable, it is important to talk to an attorney before you make a decision about what to do next. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will know where to look for holes in the case against you. Even if eliminating the consequences seems unlikely, your lawyer may be able to help you minimize them. Above all else, your attorney can help ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.