When prosecutors aggressively pursue drunk driving charges, it can feel like there’s no hope of escaping conviction. This is scary given the extensive penalties that can be imposed upon conviction, which might include incarceration, license suspension or revocation, and a haunting criminal record that affects employment, housing, and custody issues.
But depending on the facts of your case, you might have strong criminal defense options at your fingertips.
Choosing the right defense strategy can be challenging, especially if you’ve never been charged with a crime before. But you can alleviate the stress and uncertainty involved in your situation by educating yourself on key defense moves and choosing those that are most applicable to your case.
Which DUI defense is right for you?
You have several options. Here are some of the most common and successful defense strategies that you might be able to use in your case:
- Evidence suppression: Most, if not all, of the evidence the prosecution intends to use against you was gathered after a traffic stop. If police officers conducted an illegal traffic stop, meaning they didn’t have reasonable suspicion that you committed an offense, then any subsequently gathered evidence is illegally obtained. If that happens in your case, then you can ask the court to disallow that evidence from being used against you through what’s known as evidence suppression. If you’re successful here, then you can torpedo the prosecution’s case and increase your chances of having the charges dismissed.
- Improper test administration: In order to gain the evidence they need to support criminal charges, the police conduct a number of tests on suspected drunk drivers. These include field sobriety tests and breath tests. Although prosecutors rely on these tests’ results as if they’re infallible, the truth is that these tests are riddles with errors. Instructions might be improperly given, the mandatory waiting period prior to administering a breath test may not be provided, and breath test equipment can be improperly calibrated. Any of these mistakes can lead to wrongful charges being levied against you.
- Blood test issues: Blood test results can be extremely damaging in your drunk driving case. Yet, even here there might be mistakes that you can exploit to your advantage. The police might fail to secure a legally valid warrant prior to drawing your blood, or there might be chain of custody errors that compromise the validity of the sample that’s taken. So, be thorough when analyzing the evidence here to see if there’s any opening for you to argue that the blood test results shouldn’t be used against you.
- Checkpoint errors: When the police set up DUI checkpoints, they have to follow stringent protocols to ensure that they’re operating within the bounds of the law. If they stray from the requirements, then the checkpoint can be deemed illegally conducted, which means that any evidence gathered from it will be prohibited from use at trial.
Take comfort in building a strong DUI defense
We know the uncertainty of your situation has you on edge. While you won’t be able to completely shake your fear of what the future has in store for you, you can at least ease the tension and give yourself hope by building an aggressive and legally sound criminal defense.
But you can’t be passive when building your case. Instead, you have to diligently work to educate yourself as to the process, your defense options, and how to get out ahead of the prosecution. By doing so, you might be able to avoid the harshest penalties being threatened against you and protect your future.