You may think that because a breath test indicated that your blood alcohol concentration level had reached or exceeded the legal limit that you would automatically face a DUI conviction. Luckily, that is not the case. Though this type of result could act as evidence in the case against you, it does not automatically mean that you will face punishments. As with any type of criminal charge, you have the right to defend against allegations of DUI.
You may wonder if there is much point to creating and presenting a criminal defense when the BAC results did not come out in your favor. You may even entertain the idea of taking a plea deal. While you certainly may have the option of a plea bargain, remembering that many factors could impact BAC levels and test results could help you feel more inclined to fight the charges.
Defending against charges
Depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, the exact methods and information you could utilize as part of your defense may vary from someone else's. Therefore, it may prove wise to review and assess the details of the traffic stop, the arresting officer's conduct and any tests that were administered. Some factors that could play into your defense include:
- Inaccurate administration of the breath test: If the officer involved in the stop did not properly administer the breath test, the results may not be reliable. As a result, the test could indicate a BAC level in excess of the legal limit when it may not have been.
- Reason for initial stop: In order for a police officer to stop your vehicle, he or she must have probable cause for doing so. This means that you must have displayed some action that raised suspicions, such as drifting out of your lane, speeding or driving recklessly. If the officer did not have reason to stop you, all evidence gathered after the stop may be inadmissible.
- Issues with chain of custody: During criminal cases, records and information often pass through multiple hands. Chain of custody refers to keeping a record of who is in possession of certain evidence. If the chain of custody is broken or evidence improperly handled, this evidence may also become inadmissible.
These few examples may or may not suit your particular needs. However, other similar arguments exist that may relate to your circumstances.
Creating a defense
As mentioned, the details of your case may impact your particular defense. Therefore, you may want to gain reliable information on your defense options and how you could create a meaningful presentation to help you tell your side of the story.