There are no guarantees in life, but you can be reasonably sure that you will not be able to beat a DUI charge without an attorney. Hiring a qualified, local DUI attorney considerably increases your chances of beating a DUI charge. Or, at the very least, having the charges reduced to the lesser charge of wet reckless.
Possible DUI Defense Strategies
Defense lawyers can use numerous tactics to win the case or at the very least, have the charges reduced to something lesser that will help you avoid having a DUI charge on your driving/criminal record.
- Challenging Field Sobriety Tests – first, know that you do not have to participate in field sobriety tests. Far too many drivers assume they must take these tests if the officer asks them to take them. However, these tests are voluntary. One of the main reasons attorneys will recommend that you do refuse is the unfairness of these tests. Failure rate by sober drivers ranges from about eight percent to as much as 20 percent, depending upon the test.
- Challenging Chemical and/or Breathalyzer Tests – on some stops, officers will ask the driver to take a field breathalyzer test. Just like the field sobriety tests, you can refuse to take the field test. However, if you are taken back to the station, you must take the chemical test or face a mandatory suspension and fine.
If you have already taken the tests, your attorney may still be able to challenge the results. In some cases, protocols are not adhered to or there may be fault with the handling of the evidence. There is also a chance of using a rising blood alcohol content (BAC) as a defense. This centers around the fact that the test was issued with significant time passing from the time of the stop to the actual test. Even though you failed the test two hours after the stop, you may have actually been sober when the stop took place.
- Challenging the Traffic Stop – one of the first things your attorney will want to know is why you were actually stopped. Was this a DUI checkpoint? Were you driving erratically or were you stopped because the officer saw you leaving a drinking establishment? The officer must have probable cause in order to be able to validate the stop. If there was no probable cause or checkpoint procedures were not followed, your attorney may be able to have the stop thrown out of court.
- Pleading to Wet Reckless – if you are guilty, there is still a chance you can have the charges reduced so you do not face the heavy fines and penalties of a DUI charge. In most states, especially where the BAC was right on the lower limit (also assuming nobody was hurt, no children were in the car, and there was no accident), prosecutors will allow a plea of wet reckless instead of taking the case to court. However, even if this plea is accepted, if you are arrested again for a DUI before the washout period expires, you will more than likely face second offense penalties.