Being arrested for a DUI can be a stressful experience. The thought of losing your license or possibly going to prison is daunting. A DUI defense attorney can assist you in dealing with the legal complexities that accompany a DUI that you may be unaware of. A DUI conviction can have serious repercussions on your career and livelihood, but so can the actual arrest. Contacting an attorney with years of legal DUI practice to assist in your defense immediately after your arrest can alleviate many of the problems you may face going forward.
Your conduct during your arrest can lead to a suspension of your driving privileges before you even step foot in a courtroom. If you are arrested for DUI and refuse to take the State’s chemical test or fail to submit a request for a hearing within ten (10) business days of your arrest, you driver’s license will be suspended for one year and you will not be issued a temporary permit. No exceptions. An experienced attorney can assist you in the process needed to retain a driving permit while your case is pending.
In many instances, a DUI charge will be accompanied by other traffic offenses that may be as serious and carry punishments as severe as the DUI charge itself, such as fleeing or attempting to elude and Child Endangerment. Entering a guilty plea to these charges without fully understanding the consequences can have serious repercussions and can place your driving privileges in jeopardy.
There are a myriad of defenses in DUI cases that a skilled DUI lawyer can possible raise on your behalf. For example, before evidence in a DUI case can be admitted by the State at trial, it must be obtained by the arresting officer in a legal manner. The following are examples of defenses a skilled attorney may be able to raise after a thorough examination of the facts in your case:
- Improper Stop
The arresting officer must have a legal reason to stop your vehicle to conduct an investigation for DUI or the stop can be considered a violation of your constitutional rights. A skilled attorney can evaluate the facts surrounding the stop of your vehicle to see if the officer had the necessary requirements present to effectuate the stop. A few examples of invalid stops are when the stop was based on the arresting officer’s misinterpretation of the law, the wrong vehicle was stopped, the stop was based on an anonymous tip, or the stop was based merely on a hunch by the officer without any corroborating evidence to support it.
- Improper Arrest
An arresting officer must follow certain procedures when arresting you on a charge of DUI. For instance, there is a protocol that must be followed when conducting field sobriety tests, and certain facts that must exist in order for the officer to stop your vehicle in the first place. A skilled attorney will know the procedures that must be followed, and may be able to raise defenses arising out of an improper stop that can cause your charges to be reduced or thrown out altogether.
- Improper Breath Test
If you submit to a breath test, there may be certain factors present an attorney can recognize to have the results declared inadmissible, thereby making the State’s case much weaker at trial. Some examples include if the operator of the breath test machine is not certified, if the machine itself is not certified, if the machine is not calibrated properly, if the machine malfunctions, or if the results of the test are inaccurate due to interferents. All off these issues will be examined carefully in your case to ensure the State followed the proper procedures and protocol when conducting its tests.
- Procedural Mistakes
A trained attorney can locate procedural deficiencies in your case that will assist in your defense. Examples of these include failure of the arresting officer to read you your Miranda rights, failure of the arresting officer to read you the implied consent before asking you to take a breath test, inconsistencies in the officer’s narrative, video surveillance of the arrest that contradicts the DUI charge. These are just a few examples of some of the procedural issues an attorney can locate in evaluating your arrest that could lead to a reduction in the charges or outright dismissal of the charge.