Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs should never be allowed. However, there are many instances where an individual is pulled over on suspicion and then charged with a DUI. If you have recently been charged with a DUI, whether because of alcohol or drugs, contacting a lawyer is imperative. While it is important to not undermine the potential dangers of driving under the influence, certain defense strategies can be used to reduce or deal with the severity of the crime. Here are a few defense strategies that may benefit your case.
Officer Pulled You Over for No Reason
One of the first and most common strategies attorneys use to help an individual who has been charged with a DUI is the Fourth Amendment. Basically, this amendment states a police officer must have a valid right for pulling you over in the first place. A valid reason may include reckless driving, broken head or taillight, expired plates, or illegal vehicle modifications, for example.
If the officer does not have a valid reason for pulling you over, questioning you, and searching your vehicle, an attorney can dispute the DUI charge. Of course, if the officer does have probable cause, another defense strategy may be necessary.
Officers Pressured You into Roadside Tests
Police officers may use a variety of tests to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Tests may include gazing side to side, walking a straight line, or standing on one foot. The officer may even ask you to state the alphabet to determine if you are under the influence enough to slur your words.
It is important to remember you are not legally required to take any sobriety or roadside test. Refusing to take the test may still result in an arrest, but you will need to make the decision at that specific time.
If the officer has pressured you to the point where you feel threatened or unable to deny the test request, your attorney may be able to use this as a defense strategy. Proving you were pressured or threatened to take the test will be challenging, though. The case will most likely end up in court where a judge will need to decide. However, it can be a great way to get a DUI charged dismiss in some instances.
Officer Arrested You Without Reading Miranda Rights
The Miranda rights state that you have the right to remain silent and that if you do say anything, it can be used against you. Also, the rights state you have a right to an attorney before any questioning and if you do not have an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
The police officer should read you the Miranda statement at the time of the arrest. If they do not read you your rights, whatever is said during and after the arrest cannot be used against you in a court of law. Therefore, without stating the Miranda rights, your attorney may be able to design a case defending you against the arrest and DUI charge.
Breathalyzer Was Not Properly Used or Maintained
If you were arrested because you did not pass the breath test, your attorney will begin investigating the police officer and the breathalyzer machine. Officers must be trained and certified to use the breath test machine. In addition, the testing machines must undergo regular inspections and maintenance to ensure they are working in the most effective manner possible. If your attorney finds the officer was not trained or the machine was most likely not working properly, the case may be able to get dismissed.
Because of these possible defense strategies, consulting an attorney at a firm such as Funderburk and Lane after a DUI charge is essential.