A simple yet extremely poor decision to drive after drinking or using drugs could put your life and the lives of people on the road at risk.
Or if you get caught, it would lead you to get charged with a DUI, which can be a truly stressful experience, especially for 1st-time offenders.
If you’re facing DUI charges, you’ll want to know how the legal process goes and what you can do to make it better for yourself.
Options For Dealing With a DUI Charge
Immediately the first thing you need to do is hire a reliable and trustworthy DUI lawyer from a well-known firm like Trey Porter. DUI laws vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to hire a lawyer that’s experienced in your jurisdiction.
The following are the options you have to approach the DUI charge with your lawyer:
- Plea bargain down to a lower charge
- Plead guilty
- Request a jury trial
- Request trial before a judge
If you choose to fight the charge against you by going to trial, you’ll need a strong defense strategy. Below are some of the best legal defenses to a DUI charge.
Field Sobriety Tests Don’t Measure Impairment Accurately
One of the main pieces of evidence that the prosecutor uses is the result of the Field Sobriety Test (FST). But even when conditions are ideal, sober drivers can fail and appear intoxicated.
Your DUI lawyer can challenge those results by explaining how coordination can be affected by several factors like fatigue, nervousness, clothing, etc. In addition, they can question the reliability of the FSTs themselves.
The Arresting Officer Failed to Follow Proper Procedure
Failure to follow the right procedures can be a solid defense for a DUI charge and many other crimes. To prevent police misconduct, a drunk driving investigation is supposed to follow certain procedures and requirements, like:
- A requirement that the police officer read your rights before a DUI interrogation
- A requirement that the officer has probable cause to stop you for a DUI interrogation or arrest.
If one or more of these protections were violated, your lawyer can request to exclude evidence that was thus improperly obtained.
The Objective Signs of Intoxication Were Exaggerated
Another thing you and your DUI lawyer can challenge is the use of physical signs or symptoms indicating intoxication to argue that you were drunk.
Physical appearance plays a huge part as the officer could testify you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs because you had red eyes, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol on your breath, etc.
Your DUI attorney can elicit testimony that alcohol actually has no odor and offer innocent explanations for the rest of the signs, like an allergic reaction, eye irritation, fatigue, etc.
The High BAC Result Was Due to Mouth Alcohol
The phenomenon known as “mouth alcohol” is referred to when a person burps or regurgitates, causing some of the alcohol from their stomach to go back to their mouth. An officer needs to make sure you don’t do any of those and should observe you for 15 minutes before giving you a breath test.
Since the accuracy of most breath testing equipment relies on the breath in your mouth, it can cause your blood alcohol content to register falsely high. False BAC test results are a great legal defense against DUI charges.