There is no single DUI defense strategy that works for every case. Instead, you must factor in all of the details of your case to find the strongest possible defense strategy. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to DUI defense, some strategies are more commonly used than others. Let’s go over some of the most common DUI defenses that could work for your unique situation.
Challenging The Legality Of The Stop
Your defense may start all the way at the beginning – the initial stop. Police officers are required to make legal stops at all times. This means they must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop a driver. In other words, they cannot stop you unless you committed a traffic violation or showed unusual or unsafe behavior.
You may be able to argue that the officer had no cause to make the initial stop in the first place. If you are successful in proving this, your DUI case will most likely be dismissed.
Here’s an important note: If the police officer pulls you over and asks if you know why, do not give a reason. By providing a reason, you give them justification for the stop.
Challenging The Evidence
If you are pulled over for DUI, you will likely be asked to take one or multiple sobriety tests. These may be chemical tests or field sobriety tests. In either case, you can challenge the accuracy of the evidence.
You can challenge breath test evidence by:
- Using the rising BAC defense: Blood alcohol concentration rises over time after drinking, so you can argue that you were not drunk when you were driving the car.
- Using the mouth alcohol defense: Mouth alcohol is the alcohol that remains in your mouth long after you’ve consumed alcoholic beverages. You can argue that the breathalyzer picked up on mouth alcohol, which does not accurately determine your BAC.
- Challenging the machine’s functions: Breath test machines must be properly maintained and calibrated before use. Failure to do so can lead to false readings.
- Challenging the officer’s administration: You may be able to prove that the officer did not properly administer the breath test or did not receive proper training before administering the test.
You can also challenge blood test evidence by calling into question:
- If the sample was stored correctly
- If the sample is yours
- If the evidence from the sample was read and interpreted correctly
Field sobriety test evidence is a highly controversial type of DUI evidence. Many professionals believe that field sobriety tests do not provide strong enough evidence to indicate whether or not someone is impaired.
You may challenge field sobriety test evidence by:
- Attributing your ‘signs of impairment’ to other factors, like medical conditions or anxiety
- Challenging the officer’s interpretation of your behavior
- Proving that the officer did not administer the tests correctly
- Proving that your behavior on the tests did not give probable cause for your arrest
Failure To Read Miranda Warning
This could be a strong defense if you were not properly Mirandized following your arrest. The police are legally required to read you the Miranda Warning if you are under arrest and subject to questioning. Within the Miranda Warning, you are alerted of your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
If you were not read the warning when required by law, any evidence provided or collected after your arrest could be suppressed.
Working With An Attorney To Choose The Best Defense
Did you see anything mentioned above that you believe applies to your case? If so, that is something to discuss with your defense attorney. There are numerous ways to defend against DUI charges, and an experienced defense attorney can look at all the facts of the case and figure out your best course of action.
Columbia, South Carolina DUI Defense Attorney
If you are arrested for DUI in the Columbia area, contact The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC. Attorney Marion M. Moses can help guide you through your case and prepare the strongest defense possible on your behalf. Contact Marion today by calling (803) 771-7011 or click here for our online contact form.