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.