Area of Law:
DUI charges are complicated and can have huge financial and psychological consequences from paying hefty fines to suspension or revocation of license or even loss of job, especially if your job involves driving. After the tightening of the noose in the 90’s regarding DUI, these cases have become even more difficult and complicated. They simply cannot be taken lightly anymore and the only way to challenge these cases or have any possibility of getting a favorable verdict is to appoint a lawyer with excellent credentials and massive experience in such cases. He can harp on the following points and cleverly maneuver them to get you a favorable outcome, prevent jail arrest and license suspension and maybe even preventing your name from getting on the records.
Stating Age and Condition
The tests administered to determine whether the driver is driving under the influence often overlook certain crucial factors that can affect the results. However these test results form the basis of the cases filed by the prosecutors.
Hence it is imperative that your lawyer takes up these overlooked but important factors in your defense to make your case stronger.
The results of the roadside tests (walk and turn, nystagmus, one-leg stand, etc.) are obviously going to be affected due to the age or physical condition of a person. Longer reaction time, execution in movement, slower motor performance and sensory functions might be witnessed in these roadside tests.
However with correct and logical evidence, your lawyer can show that these delayed or incorrect responses are not due to being drunk but simply a result of age or some physical ailment and hence the charges against you cannot be justified.
Possible Misconceptions and Quick Conclusions
Proving a policeman a liar is treading on dangerous territory. However, proving that there was some misconception and misunderstanding that led to the policeman coming to the conclusions he did, can be used for your defense. Your lawyer can examine the details and occurrences of your case thoroughly and point out the flaws in the examination and statements of the policeman which weakens the claim against you.
Besides, your lawyer can always bring forth before the judge certain important facts that were omitted like you were on a specific diet, you had something in your mouth, the test was not restarted when you burped etc. which can help establish that the conclusion about being drunk were also manipulated by a lot of external factors.
Attacking the Test Results
While suddenly being stopped by a cop is already quite nerve-wrecking, when you are asked to or should I say compelled to take those field sobriety tests that are almost designed in a way that you fail, you feel even more nervous and may perform a lot of the tests badly out of sheer anxiety.
Though these tests are claimed to be objective and scientific they leave huge margin for error. In fact the founders of the test themselves have mentioned that the tests were not designed to assess impaired driving, so their results are debatable and your lawyer through repeated observation can spot the loopholes in these field sobriety tests in your particular case.
Your lawyer can go through the manual and question the arresting officer regarding the administration of the tests and objective scoring. If there are any tests that are not there in the manual but have been administered on you, that evidence won’t stand against you at all.
Similarly, in the breath test, your lawyer has to be well-versed with the rules and regulations regarding the breath test and see if all the criteria have been followed while administering those tests to you. Most of the times policemen do not follow these rules and hence the results can easily be challenged.
Arguing on the Arrest Location
Another important aspect of defense in DUI cases is the location. Your lawyer can challenge the test results if he finds something inappropriate about the location where the test was administered. For instance, a slanting, swirling road or a road with heavy traffic automatically makes it difficult to pass the sobriety tests.
A road that is already that is already winding and filled with hair-pin bends may explain the natural action of weaving which looked like erratic driving to the policeman. Sometimes the policeman’s claim is also nullified after the location comes into the picture as he might say you were driving with two wheels on the sidewalk, but there are very evident obstacles preventing you from doing the same. Such situations need to be recognized and exploited by your lawyer to prove you are not guilty.
Finally, while you may be tempted to plead guilty, your lawyer will always advise you against it until it is the direst of circumstances. Pleading guilty comes with a host of repercussions that no one wants to face. However, if there is really no way out and you have to do it, do so after consulting your lawyer. Your lawyer will tell you the penalties that will come along with pleading guilty, from heavy fine to loss of job and revocation of job. It is most important you make an informed, well-balanced decision but first have a DUI lawyer who fights hard for a positive verdict, or ensures he minimalizes the damage as much as possible.