KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Defending Your Rights in a DUI Case
Many people who are arrested for DUI make an enormous mistake: they give up any hope of being able to fight the charges. Maybe they know they failed the field sobriety tests they performed on the roadside, or perhaps they registered a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit when they took a chemical test-whatever the specifics of the case, they don't think there is any way to avoid a guilty verdict and a conviction.
In hopes of staying out of jail, most people in this situation will gladly accept a plea bargain from the prosecutor. Unfortunately, most of these people don't know that they may be able to successfully challenge the charges, and might be able to win.
Challenging DUI Evidence
Knowing your rights is the key to beating drunk driving charges, and when you come to Mack & Stephens we will take the time to fully educate you about the situation and actions you can take to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Perhaps the most important right you have is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Even if the evidence in the case seems to indicate that you were driving under the influence, you cannot be convicted until this is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
If we can raise doubts about the reliability of the evidence, such as if the breathalyzer test machine was out of calibration or if there may have been mistakes in handling or analyzing the blood test sample, you might be able to secure an acquittal or dismissal of the charges.
Unlawful DUI Stops
Many arrests for drinking and driving are factually against the law. The suspect who is unfamiliar with his or her rights frequently does not know to ask whether the police officer had legal grounds to make the traffic stop in the first place, or to request the suspect to engage in testing for impairment. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution secures you against unreasonable search and seizure, so a police officer cannot simply stop you without cause or on a hunch.
There must be probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you were violating the law, such as erratic driving like swerving or abnormally slow speeds, or a traffic violation like unsafe lane changes or speeding.
Further, the officer cannot simply order you to step out of the car to perform field sobriety test, but must have observed indicators of impairment such as slurred speech or the smell of alcohol. If the police officer cannot explain what circumstances provided probable cause to investigate or arrest you, we may be able to file a motion to dismiss the case, on the basis that the evidence was gathered in violation of your rights.
If you are serious about pursuing a favorable outcome to your DUI case, don't wait another moment before contacting us for a confidential consultation and to begin working on a strategy for your defense.