How a DUI Lawyer Can Help You Get Your Charges Dismissed When facing Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges, you might feel as if you don’t have any options—particularly if you failed breathalyzer or other sobriety tests. DUI convictions can have a long-lasting impact on your record. A DUI conviction can even impact current and/or future employment opportunities. While you probably would like to get the charges dropped, particularly if you feel you were actually sober enough to drive, you may lack the knowledge and resources to do so.
Why Hire a DUI Lawyer? Is it Possible to Fight the Charges? First, don’t make the mistake of believing that there is no way to fight a DUI charge, particularly if it is your first time. Second, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it on your own. Hiring a qualified, experienced DUI attorney can easily be the difference between dropped charges and a conviction. There are many strategies for fighting, and even beating, a DUI charge. A good DUI lawyer has the experience to know what mistakes to look for, what questions to ask, and how to navigate legal standards and requirements that could lead to reduced or even dismissed charges. Without a DUI lawyer, you could end up dealing with a conviction you may have been able to beat.
How Do I Fight the Charges? What Strategies Can I Use?
Burden of Proof The first thing to understand when fighting any legal charge is the role of the prosecutor vs. the role of the defendant. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As the defendant, you don’t have to prove your own innocence, so it becomes important to provide evidence that shows how you may not be guilty. In the case of a DUI charge, the prosecution must prove that you were intoxicated while driving. If an officer put you under arrest after finding you drunk while in a parked car, that is insufficient. If there were other people in the car, particularly if the vehicle was not registered to you, and the officer did not see you actually driving, unless you have previously confessed to being the one behind the wheel, the evidence of your DUI may be insufficient.
Traffic Stop Another way to fight a DUI charge is to point out mistakes in the officer’s process. As a police officer, they must follow strict guidelines when making a traffic stop or an arrest. Their failure to do so could help exonerate you. In order for a traffic stop to be valid, the officer must have reasonable suspicion of a crime or traffic violation. If the officer cannot prove they had reasonable suspicion a violation or crime had been committed, the evidence gathered as a result of the stop may be inadmissible in court. Basically, a cop can’t pull you over just because they see you walk from a bar to your car and start driving. You have to be showing signs of intoxication such as swerving, speeding, etc.
Sobriety Tests Field sobriety tests might seem as if they are impossible to fight, but that’s simply not true. If a DUI lawyer can show they were improperly administered, the evidence may be thrown out of court. A lawyer might bring up other reasonable explanations for failing a field sobriety test during the cross-examination of the officer in court. They might bring up your footwear if it could have impaired your movement, the lighting, poorly explained instructions, medications that could explain your symptoms, etc.
Chemical Tests Even chemical tests, like blood tests, the Breathalyzer, etc. are up for scrutiny. Medical staff and the officer must follow very strict protocol. If the paramedic who took your blood sample was not well trained or made a small mistake, you may be able to throw out the results. You can also question whether the sample was stored and processed properly. If you can show that Breathalyzers or other test materials weren’t stored correctly before the tests were administered, that can also be a point in your favor. Anything that puts the results in question can help your case. Your lawyer can also look for mistakes in the documentation that can help lead to the charges being dismissed.If you’ve been charged with a DUI, reach out to DUI lawyer Bradley Corbett as soon as possible. We can work together to try and get your charges dismissed.
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.