According to the FBI, more than 1 million arrests in the US are made annually for driving under the influence (DUI). However, this does not mean that everyone arrested is guilty. Each case needs to undergo an investigation for any potential defense strategies that might exist. Understanding the legal process and that you have options can help reduce further stress and harsher punishment during the court procedure. Knowing how to be represented and what to pursue with your attorney or advocate will likely lessen your sentence’s severity and help you move through the process in the best way possible.
California has more recently clamped down on regulating the number of drivers operating a vehicle under the influence. With the implementation of oral cheek swabs now administered as well as breathalyzer and blood and urine tests, the chances of being charged with a DUI are higher than ever before. However, not all testing is fool-proof, and its legitimacy is sometimes suspect, so you’ll want to seek somebody that knows your options when moving forward with the process.
DUI Defense Attorney
The most important thing when charged with a DUI is to find the best defense. The court allows you three choices: represent yourself, use a Public Defender, or hire a private DUI lawyer. The best option, in this case, is seeking an attorney that specializes in DUI arrests. This kind of attorney needs certification to the standards of The National Highway and Traffic Association. This certification requires thorough education on how testing devices work, how blood is collected and analyzed, and how to litigate this information in court. They should also be knowledgeable in understanding pharmacodynamics, which is the effect of drugs and alcohol in the body, and pharmacokinetics, which examines how alcohol and drugs are absorbed and moved through the body. These subjects are not taught in law school and could be the difference between winning or losing a case.
The written police report is often the most significant piece of evidence used in a case. The police report contains observations about your driving, behavior, and how you did during any field sobriety test. Since there are dash-cams and now body cams on the officer, this footage could become essential in helping justify your defense.
The testing process will also undergo evaluation, including how your oral cheek swab or breathalyzer test was conducted. It is also essential to examine the maintenance and accuracy of the instrument used. There is usually video evidence that accompanies each test, and seeing whether or not the tests have been administered correctly could prove vital to the court decision. Your DUI defense attorney or advocate should also review any blood or urine sample paperwork. Their thorough evaluation will ensure that you are building the best defense. So make sure to inquire just how detailed your attorney and their defense procedure is.
Legally, law enforcement cannot do everything they want in a DUI arrest. Your constitutional rights protect you during all stages of the investigation. If the officer fails to do so—even if they obtain evidence that suggests guilt, this evidence could be thrown out if they did not respect your constitutional rights. An officer cannot stop any vehicle they wish; they must witness a traffic violation or reasonable evidence of a crime committed. Only then can they legally pull you over.
Refusal to Test
When you refuse to take a sobriety test, a couple of things might happen. If there is reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence, the officer may issue a warrant for arrest. It is impossible to force a test. Without reasonable cause, the information obtained after a warrant is issued could result in the dismissal of evidence. However, under the provisions of the “Good Faith” exception, an officer with unfounded suspicion, who believes that they are acting out of good faith to issue a warrant, could result in any evidence obtained being used against you.
Your health history, as well as specific health diseases, can influence the reliability of a test. Re-flux conditions such as GERD can interfere with the instrument and its ability to read the BAC in your body accurately. Type 1 diabetes could create higher amounts of acetone in your blood, rendering the device unable to determine whether the acetone is from alcohol. These are each a reason for how a breathalyzer could report a false reading. It is also essential to inform your attorney of any medications you might be taking. These are all potential reasons to dismiss or argue any evidence working against you in your case.
Do not plead guilty or let the court decide your punishment on your own. The ultimate goal is to create safety on the roads—not fear. If you are wondering how to get started on finding the right attorney or advocate for your case, True Recovery offers 24/7 assistance and is here to help you navigate this process. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.