DUI Defense Strategies

While no one should ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired, a wrongful DUI conviction can be distressing. Not only does a drunk driving offense have major repercussions for those involved, but the legal process surrounding a DUI charge is set up to be intimidating, even if you believe that you were wrongfully accused or the arresting officer did not behave in a manner that was permissible. Legal jargon, hefty fines, and intimidation are just some of the ways in which someone, who may have a case, doesn't defend themselves. This is especially true if you are unsure of your own rights and/or believe that the evidence is stacked against you. However, there are certain strategies that will aid you in the legal process. Each DUI charge is different, but if you have reason to believe you have a strong case against the arresting officer(s) and any others involved, choosing to defend your case may be in your best interest. Many times an officer may not act accordingly or make the arrest on lawful grounds. However, the regular civilian does not know this, and, therefore, does not understand that they have a potential case. When you know your rights and the legal limitations that the officer has, you will have a better time defending your case. Examples of circumstances that can make possible DUI defenses include: Unlawful Stop Unknown to the average citizen, police cannot simply pull someone over because they think the driver is doing something unlawful. If someone is pulled over for no apparent reason, a defense can be built on the grounds that the stop was unlawful.  Violation of Rights If an officer did not read you your rights or give you the Miranda warning, any statement that you may have said cannot be held against you in the court of law. Meaning, any incriminating comments or confessions can be thrown out due to a violation of rights. Improper Testing There are only certain sobriety tests that are admissible in a court of law. Meaning, if you were given a sobriety test that wasn't one of these, or you have reason to believe that the chemical test given was malfunction, these may not be admissible in court. Necessity In extreme cases, you may be able to convince a court or judge to overlook your case if there was an absolute necessity behind your driving impaired, such as a dire medical emergency. Defense arguments that result in a reduction of your penalties and/or charges include those based on the circumstances above. Make sure you ask yourself the following questions, and hire the right attorney, to help build a strong case for court. Did the cop have probable cause to pull you over? As we said above, it is unlawful for a police officer to pull you over for no reason. To pull over a driver, the officer has to have probable cause, which can result in witnessing a traffic violation, responding to the scene of an accident or call, etc. Also, the probable cause has to be documented in the police report, and the officer has to articulate the reason for the stop in court. If there is no report and he/she cannot do so, it is possible for the DUI charges to be thrown out. Did you (the driver) fail the sobriety test? An experienced lawyer may be able to point out other reasons for a driver failing a field sobriety test that are not due to intoxication, such as a medical condition. Did the officer have permission to perform the BAC test? When an officer asks a driver to comply with a blood or Breathalyzer test, the driver can refuse. However, on the chance that the officer refuses to acknowledge the results of the test, or forces the driver to take the test, it is possible to get the test results thrown out in court. Did he/she administer the proper procedure before giving you the test? Were you (the driver) read your Miranda rights prior to the test? Even if someone admits to being drunk, or is interrogated until they give the officer the answer they want to hear, without being told your rights, you have a strong case that proper procedures were not followed.  Depending on your specific case and the circumstances that surround the case, you may be able to reduce your charges and the penalties you face, or possibly win your case. Remember, it is important to find the right support and necessary legal action to help you reach the best possible outcome. DUI charges are damaging and can follow you around for a long time after the incident. Be sure to find the right attorney who is skilled and experienced with DUI defense.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Law Office of
Jason S. Stevens, LLC

215 East Bay Street Suite 500-H
Charleston, SC 29401

Phone: 843-410-3953
Fax: 843-414-7240
Charleston Law Office Map

Back To Top