Finding yourself behind bars for a DUI arrest can leave you dealing with a number of emotions. You may be angry, fearful, embarrassed and most of, confused. To help lessen that confusion, contact a defense attorney at your earliest chance. You should realize that while being charged with such a serious offense is disheartening, being charged is not the same thing as being found guilty and you have every right to expect justice. There are several means of fighting your charges, and it can mean a careful examination of every aspect of your arrest. Read on to learn more about some common defensive tactics in a DUI case.
See your attorney as soon as you are released from jail, and provide the attorney with as much as you can in the form of paperwork. You will likely be able to access your arrest report in the coming days, but your most valuable tool could be remembering the details of the arrest.
Keeping a journal during this process serves more than one purpose. Writing things down preserves your memory and can help you cope with this stressful situation. Using a spiral notebook or almost anything else, begin writing what you can remember beginning with the traffic stop, the roadside sobriety tests and everything else.
Improper Actions by Law Enforcement
The odds of finding a problem with your stop, testing, and arrest are good. Every action must be correctly performed and any tiny impropriety could be enough to have your charges dropped or reduced. Some common areas of concern with a DUI stop include:
1. Was there due cause to make the traffic stop? You cannot simply be pulled over for no reason at all, so your attorney will want to find out what the probable cause was. In some cases, it's weaving, driving too slowly, sitting at a stop too long, and more. You can also be pulled over for a reason that's completely unrelated to a DUI, such as speeding, improper equipment on your vehicle and others.
2. Were the field sobriety tests correctly performed? These tests must be performed by well-trained law enforcement personnel, and even then there can many reasons why you failed the test. Everything from muscle and joint problems to vision disturbances to language barriers can affect the test results. These tests are usually recorded, so your attorney will scrutinize the footage with an eye to impropriety.
3. Were you administered a breathalyzer at the scene? There may be questions about the results given the machine's record of calibration and other substances on the breath that could skew results. If you were given a blood alcohol concentration test (BAC), your attorney will want to know where it was carried out and by who, how long the sample was left unrefrigerated and more.
4. Were you read your Miranda Warning before they began questioning you?
The complicated nature of DUI cases could leave plenty of doubt about your innocence, so speak to a criminal defense attorney or a law firm like Thomas & Associates, PC at once.