3 Common Strategies for Fighting a DUI Charge
If you were arrested for driving under the influence, you may think that a conviction is inevitable. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, it might be possible for you to fight the charges and avoid facing serious penalties.
There are many strategies that you could use to build a strong defense; however, the best approach for your case will depend on many different factors, such as what happened on the day of the arrest and the type of charges you are facing.
In this article, we look at a few of the most common strategies for challenging a DUI:
1. Illegal Traffic Stop
In the state, police officers have to have “probable cause” to conduct a legal traffic stop. In other words, the officer must provide evidence that you were violating a law or committing a traffic infraction—they cannot act on a hunch, suspicion, or stop you for an arbitrary reason. As such, if you are able to prove that the arresting officers were either mistaken in their reasoning for pulling you over or that they didn’t have any other “probable cause”, then any evidence—including breath test results—could be thrown out.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Namely, police are allowed to set up sobriety checkpoints as a lawful method for catching drunk motorists. Fortunately, officers at these stops must comply with strict protocols, so if you are able to show that the officers deviated from their instructions, you could have the charges dismissed.
2. Incorrect or Improper Field Sobriety Tests
If an officer suspects a driver is under the influence, they will usually conduct a series of tests to determine whether they are intoxicated. Known as Field Sobriety Tests (FST), they include testing the driver’s balance with a one-leg stand, walk and turn; or conducting vision tests such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus.
While these tests are fairly accurate, there are many factors that can affect the results and make it seem like a motorist is under the influence even when, in fact, they are sober. For instance, some disabilities can make it appear as if you are intoxicated, stress levels can also impact these tests, and even external conditions can lead to inaccurate results. Additionally, some officers do not possess the necessary qualifications to perform certain tests, potentially invalidating their findings.
3. Inaccurate Breath Test Results
Breathalyzer devices are subject to strict regulations, instructions, and maintenance requirements. As such, if these tests were conducted improperly, the device was incorrectly calibrated, poorly maintained, or malfunctioned, the results could be thrown out.
Speak to a Palm Beach Gardens DUI Attorney Today
Were you arrested for driving under the influence? There may be many different ways you could fight the state’s case to have the punishments reduced or the charges dismissed. Todd A. Kawecki is a Florida DUI lawyer with extensive experience working as a state prosecutor.
He is intimately familiar with Florida’s criminal proceedings, arming him with the knowledge necessary to help you prevail under even the most difficult circumstances. Dial 772-485-4500 or head over to our contact page HERE to schedule a free case review today.