DUI Defense: 6 Winning Strategies
If you were pulled over and arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you’ve probably been searching for a way to beat it. However, there are a lot of rumors circulating about beating a DUI, but the large majority of them have been repeatedly debunked.
Thankfully, drivers facing DUI charges have a plethora of defense options before them. Unfortunately, panic overtakes many of them, and they don’t see how they can defend themselves. They may think that it’s an uphill battle or that failing a DUI test is proof of guilt.
The team at Schwartz Law has been helping clients successfully fight DUI charges in Georgia for years. With assistance from a DUI lawyer, you can rest assured that you have the best protection possible against your DUI charge. Let’s take a look at six of the most successful strategies for fighting a DUI.
Strategy 1: Improper Stop
The police can’t stop you just because they want to. Without a valid reason to stop you, an officer has committed an unreasonable search and seizure. If that’s the case, and you can prove it, a judge may invalidate all evidence relating to your arrest and throw the case against you out.
What constitutes a legal reason for a police officer to stop you? They must have reasonable suspicion that you are committing, or have committed, or are on your way to commit a crime. The crime itself doesn’t need to be drunk driving. Police often use other traffic violations as a reason to stop a driver and investigate if they’re drunk.
Challenging a stop has multiple avenues to invalidate a DUI charge. For example, some traffic violations are only grounds for a stop if they affect traffic. If a Georgia DUI lawyer can call this into question, a judge can potentially invalidate the rest of the case.
Strategy 2: Not Reading Miranda Rights
Police procedures are in place to protect the rights of citizens. That’s why an officer must read you your Miranda rights once you are under arrest. Skipping this step, or reading your Miranda rights too late after you’re under arrest, can lead to the invalidation of evidence.
It may seem like this is a minor issue, but you have to consider that not everyone knows their rights. By skipping this step, even accidentally, officers deny your legal rights. A defense attorney doesn’t have to argue that the arresting officer intentionally did this. Whether it was intentional or not, arresting you without informing you of your rights is a violation and may invalidate the case against you.
Strategy 3: Poor Use or Maintenance of Test Equipment
The tools officers use to determine a driver’s blood-alcohol level are specialized instruments, but they aren’t wholly accurate. To get the most accurate readings possible, police must regularly maintain these devices, and officers must undergo regular training to use them. Even then, there are factors outside of anyone’s control that can create false positives, which officers need to be aware of.
Challenging the results of these tests can focus on any of these three aspects, and doing so may be easier than you think. State law requires departments to keep records of when machines are tested and calibrated. They must also retain records of when officers receive training to use them. A criminal defense lawyer can ask to see these records to investigate if they are current with state law.
Officers usually know what medical conditions can create false positives, but they may not know that you have one. A DUI attorney can present this evidence at trial. The conditions that most commonly create false positives for DUI chemical tests are Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.
Strategy 4: Forced to Perform Roadside Tests
To determine whether you’re drunk, an officer may have you perform a series of roadside tests. These can include a portable breath test, dexterity tests (like walking along a straight line), and clarity tests (reciting the alphabet). When you perform these tests, they can consider the results to judge whether you’re likely intoxicated or not.
An officer may have you take these tests, but they are not mandatory. A police officer who coerces you into taking them or who doesn’t present them as optional has invalidated the stop. A criminal defense attorney can prove this happened with the officer’s body cam or dashcam footage.
Strategy 5: Loss of Evidence
Officers are going to keep evidence that proves their point, like test results and their report. What you should be concerned with is evidence of misconduct and procedural violations. Officers utilize cameras on their bodies and in their cars to hold them accountable if something should happen.
The first thing a criminal attorney should do is ask for this footage. What it reveals may contradict the police report and show evidence of wrongdoing. If the evidence is lost, a judge may dismiss the case against you.
Strategy 6: Reducing the Charges
First-time offenders are often unaware of the lingering consequences of a DUI conviction. In Cobb County, such a conviction remains on your record for life. This black mark can affect your personal and professional life.
While not common, a criminal lawyer can have a DUI charge reduced to reckless driving or similar offenses. While these are still serious charges, they have less severe penalties than DUI. Usually, this defense is reserved for when all other options aren’t applicable.
Schwartz Law Will Fight For You
The Schwartz Law team has been serving Cobb County with experienced, proven legal defense strategies for years. We specialize in DUI cases and drug-related offenses, traffic crimes, and general criminal defense.
We do more than provide you with a knowledgeable Atlanta DUI lawyer — we hold steadfast in defense of your rights as a citizen. Reach out to us now and get your free consultation.