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Penalties for a driving under the influence conviction can be extremely severe. If you don’t have the right legal counsel on your side, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in fines and penalties, and even be sentenced to a jail term. Fortunately, there are several very solid legal defenses that your defense attorney can use to help you beat your DUI in court.
Here are some of the key defenses that are often used.
1. Challenging Reason for Arrest
A police officer cannot pull you over randomly, and without any reason. He must have reason to believe that you are driving while intoxicated, or must have reason to suspect criminal activity, before he pulls you over. If the reason for the officer pulling you over is not legal, it is very likely that any DUI-related evidence that is collected at the scene is also not admissible in court.
2. Challenging Field Sobriety Tests
If you were administered a field sobriety test at the scene of the DUI arrest, your attorney may be able to challenge the results of the test. A typical field sobriety assessment will include a number of tests, including your ability to touch your nose with one finger, or recite the alphabet backwards. Your attorney, however, will point to the fact that a number of other conditions, including poor health, and bad balance may be the reason for your inability to pass the field sobriety test. There are several very valid reasons why persons fail field sobriety tests, and your attorney will call on these to defend you against DUI charges.
3. Challenging Signs of DUI
If the police officer pulled you over, and arrested you on suspicion of driving under the influence based on physical signs like bloodshot eyes, or slurred speech, your attorney may be able to successfully defend you against these charges, because some of these signs may not necessarily be linked to consumption of alcohol. There are medical conditions that can cause many of the physical signs that are often associated with alcohol use. Certain types of medications can cause blood shot eyes or confusion. Your attorney may point out these factors in court.
4. Challenging Results of Breathalyzer Test
If the officer at the scene administered a breathalyzer test, your attorney may also dispute the findings of the test. Do not panic if you fail the breathalyzer test. These tests are not 100% reliable, and their results can be successfully disputed in court. For instance, your attorney could argue that the test was not calibrated properly, resulting in an inaccurate reading, or that the device was malfunctioning, or poorly maintained, generating a false positive reading. There may be other types of device issues that cause the officer to use the device incorrectly.
If you have recently used a mouthwash that contains alcohol, you could end up with an artificially inflated result. Additionally, there are certain medical conditions that may cause a falsely inflated reading on the breathalyzer, and your attorney will point out to these factors in court as well.
5. Challenging Blood Test Results
Even the blood alcohol tests that you undergo to determine alcohol content, can be faulty. They may be administered by inexperienced personnel, or may have been conducted using faulty, malfunctioning equipment, resulting in faulty readings.
6. Challenging Officer Actions
During an arrest, the police officer must read you your Miranda warnings that will inform you that you the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. If the officer fails to read out your Miranda rights, your attorney may be able to get some of the evidence collected at the time of the arrest, excluded in court, thereby helping beat your DUI charges.
If you have been arrested for DUI, get in touch with former prosecutor, Attorney Michael J. Brennan to protect your legal rights by calling (708) 460-9300 of fill out our contact form. Read more about Michael’s experience as a DUI Lawyer in Orland Park and Chicago.