You went out for a couple of drinks and expected to get home with no trouble.
Unfortunately, you see a flash of red and blue lights behind you. An officer
pulls up to the window and smells alcohol. Now you’re in handcuffs
and you’re being charged with driving under the influence. No one
wants a DUI conviction on their record, so you may be wondering how you
can get your case dismissed.
Can you argue that you had no reason to be stopped? Was the breathalyzer
machine wrong? Here are a few common ways to challenge a DUI.
1. No Probably Cause for the Stop
A police officer must have reasonable suspicion a crime has been committed
to lawfully pull you over for a traffic stop, even if it is a minor traffic
violation. If an officer pulls you over without reasonable suspicion and
obtains evidence as a result, that evidence may be suppressed. Suppressed
evidence means that the prosecution cannot use it against you.
2. Challenge Field Sobriety Tests
You can also challenge the validity of the field sobriety tests (FST).
FSTs have little to no scientific basis, are subject to human error, and
can be failed if you’re tired, disabled, or have a medical condition
that hinders your balance. Your attorney can look at if the tests were
given in poorly lit conditions or on uneven pavement, if you were wearing
improper shoes, or if the officer failed to properly explain the FST instructions.
3. Chemical Test Results
An attorney can help you challenge the chemical test you took, whether
it was a breath, blood, or urine test. If a breathalyzer machine wasn’t
properly calibrated or maintained, the results may be wrong. A blood test
could be contaminated by an improperly administered draw. If the test
results can’t be thrown out, they can at least be called into question,
weakening the prosecution’s case against you.
4. You Weren’t Driving
While this defense isn’t as common, it can be used when the police
arrive at the scene of a solo vehicle accident with several passengers
and don’t know who was driving. This defense can only be used if
the defendant does not make any admissions of driving and the car is not
registered to their name. It can also be used if the police find a drunk
person in a parked car.
Have you been charged with driving under the influence? Contact our
Modesto DUI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Mark Girdner today!
Call (209) 326-1533 for a free case evaluation.