December 1, 2020
Rise above the influence.
More than one million drivers are arrested for a DUI every year. Even if a driver was driving safely, the police throw the driver in jail and leave them facing long sentences and heavy fines.
But you have a right to defend yourself. A criminal defense lawyer can launch a DUI defense, keeping you from prison.
There are many defenses to choose from, and you need to know what they are. Here is a quick guide to the DUI defense.
Encountering the Police
Keep your license, registration, and insurance updated. Make any repairs to your car as soon as possible. Many DUI arrests begin with invalid insurance or a broken taillight.
The key during a traffic stop is to give the police as little information as possible. As soon as you are pulled over, turn on your lights, and have your information in hand. Do not make any threatening or sudden gestures.
You are required to give your name to a police officer. But you do not have to answer their questions. Invoke your right to remain silent during all encounters with the police.
A police officer may ask you to perform a field sobriety test. You are not obliged to do one. You are required to perform a breathalyzer test, so cooperate with the police when asked to do one.
If the police arrest you, call an attorney immediately. Do not speak to the police until you have spoken to an attorney, and only speak with them with an attorney present.
Gather all documents you can. Take notes on your police stop, including what you did during the stop. Understand what you were charged with and what legal penalties there are.
Provide everything to your attorney. Answer any questions they may have. They may ask you personal and difficult questions, but lawyer-client confidentiality binds them.
The Traffic Stop
The first defenses you can launch involve your traffic stop. A police officer cannot stop someone without reasonable cause.
If you didn’t break any traffic laws, there is no reasonable cause. If you remained calm and invoked your right to silence, there is little reasonable cause to arrest you. Any information gathered from an improper stop is inadmissible.
If you perform a field sobriety test, your lawyer can call the results into question in court. If the officer did not follow procedures, the judge might throw out the results. You may also fail a test due to poor balance and nerves.
Your lawyer can also question the breathalyzer results. Breathalyzers are fast, but they don’t give completely accurate measures.
If you were not read your Miranda rights, the judge could throw the entire case out. If you were denied access to an attorney, the judge could also throw the case out.
Medical conditions can impact breathalyzer and other tests. You will need a diagnosis from a medical professional, but medical conditions can get you off a DUI charge.
Ketosis is a medical condition in which the body burns fat cells to make energy. Ketosis produces alcohol in the breath and urine, which could trigger a positive blood alcohol result.
Auto-brewery syndrome occurs when the body produces alcohol. Yeast in the intestinal tract converts sugar into alcohol, just like the fermentation process for beer. Crohn’s disease and diabetes can produce ketosis or auto-brewery syndrome.
Your blood alcohol fluctuates. Alcohol can take up to three hours to become fully absorbed.
You may have driven with a blood-alcohol level below the legal limit. While waiting around for a test, your blood alcohol may have risen. If you can prove a significant delay between being pulled over and your test, you may have a defense.
Oral medications and breath spray can produce a false breathalyzer reading. Acid reflux can also cause a false reading. Provide information on any medication you take to your attorney.
You can explain the symptoms of intoxication away. Slurred speech is a sign of fatigue and stress. Red eyes are a sign of allergies or a physical injury.
In order to prove you were driving under the influence, prosecutors need to show you were driving. If the police found you in a parked or crashed car, you may have a defense. If no one actually saw you driving under the influence, you may also have a defense.
You may have a high breathalyzer test result. But alcohol may not impair you. If there is no proof of mental impairment, you may have a defense.
DUI checkpoints are legal. But police are subject to many requirements.
They have to advertise roadblocks ahead of time, and the police cannot detain drivers for long periods. If the police do not follow proper procedures, the case can get thrown out.
A rare but important DUI defense is necessary. The court could excuse a DUI if you acted to prevent harm to yourself or someone else. If you did not create a greater danger than the one you avoided, you might have a defense.
Hire a DUI Defense Lawyer
Driving under the influence is costly. Even being charged with a DUI offense can cause trouble for your car insurance and license. Prepare yourself for the worst by knowing your DUI defense claims.
Give nothing to the police during a traffic stop. Invoke your right to remain silent and to refuse field sobriety tests. After you get arrested, hire an attorney right away.
An attorney can defend you by noting there was no reasonable cause to stop you. They can point to medical problems you have that impaired your driving. A lawyer can call procedures at DUI checkpoints and for breathalyzers into question.
Get yourself an attorney who will fight for you. The Khonsari Law Group has years of experience in DUI law. Contact us today, or call us at 727-269-5300.