The Most Common DUI Defenses

Whether or not you agree with it, it’s human nature to defend yourself when facing criminal charges. It’s the premise of the legal system in the United States: “innocent until proven guilty.” Despite a sometimes unfair stereotype, millions of people in this country pay a Lake Havasu DUI attorney to get them out of legal trouble, including those who face a charge of driving under the influence.

DUI CheckpointThere are circumstances that can occur that are used in defending these types of cases. They go beyond the “I didn’t do it” defense or the eyewitnesses who place the driver somewhere else at the time of the arrest. The ideas that follow come from attorneys who I have talked to and in the research that I have done online.

The most common argument in a DUI case seems to be an improper stop. Defense attorneys will argue that their client was pulled over by a police officer that did not have probable cause to make the stop in the first place.

Sometimes a field sobriety test is inaccurate, and that can lead to an acquittal in a DUI case. The defense can claim the test was not administered properly by the police officer on the scene. Sometimes the officer has administered the test improperly. The most frequently challenged is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. It’s the one that detects eye movement.

Portable breathalyzers are often used at the scene. Attorneys can challenge how that test is given by questioning the training history of the officer involved. Other questions arise with the breathalyzer about whether it’s calibrated and stored properly. If the suspect vomits or ingests something prior to that test, it can alter the results too. Questions about the standard Breathalyzer kept at the police station come up as well, similar to the potential problems found in the portable versions.

When a blood test is given, attorneys can raise doubts about the accuracy of that test. Many times they’ll question if the sample was tampered with or mishandled during the investigation. A person’s blood alcohol concentration will often spike before sobering up. When a suspect is pulled over and waiting to be tested, their BAC could climb above the legal limit.

Other defense strategies include questioning if the person charged was actually driving at the time of the offense. The arresting officer must also tell the suspect their Miranda rights. If this doesn’t happen or a mistake is made in the oral delivery of these rights, the case could be thrown out.

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