Defenses Your DUI Attorney Can Assert for You
If you’ve been pulled over for drinking and driving, you need to hire a DUI attorney in St. Louis, MO to help you fight the charges. You can work together to determine the defense that you’ll prepare to deliver to the judge. Your lawyer will review the police report, the results of tests conducted on you, and your observations from the time that you were arrested. Based on the information and evidence against you, you can use one of the following defenses.
Inaccurate Breath Alcohol Results
One way that police officers determine that you were driving under the influence is by administering a breath alcohol test. Just because the test shows that you have too much alcohol in your system doesn’t mean that the results are accurate. For one thing, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, or acid reflex can cause alcohol to travel back up to your throat and mouth. Then, the test measures the extra alcohol in your mouth rather than the alcohol in your system. The test needs to measure your breath alcohol consumption (BAC) that comes from the deep lung tissue rather than the alcohol in your mouth. There are also ways to prove that the blood test was inaccurate, too. If these tests were used against you, you can work with your attorney to examine the results and determine the defense to use.
Failure to Follow Protocol
When you get arrested, the police officers need to follow certain protocols. If they fail to follow protocol, it can affect your case. For example, police officers have to read you your Miranda Rights if they take you into custody or ask you any questions. If they fail to do so, any statements that you make after going into custody cannot be used against you.
Another protocol that police officers need to follow involves the breath alcohol test. Police officers should observe you for at least 20 minutes before administering the test. If they fail to wait at least 2o minutes or fail to watch you during that time, the test cannot be used against you in court.
Unjustifiable Traffic Stop
Why did the police officer pull you over to begin with? Did they say that you were weaving? Did they have probable cause to pull you over? Probable cause requires evidence to arrest you. Evidence does not include observations from the police officer. They can’t say that they smelled alcohol on your breath. They can’t use tests that were not approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you don’t believe that the police officer had probable cause for pulling you over and arresting you, then a probable cause or preliminary hearing may be necessary.
Perhaps you were pulled over because the police officer saw you swerving on the road. Maybe you were drifting between lanes. Is there an innocent explanation for how you were driving? Maybe you were talking on your cell phone. Perhaps you were reading a map. Maybe you were eating or too tired behind the wheel. You may still end up with a ticket for reckless driving, but you won’t have a DUI on your record.
There are several other defenses that can be used to fight your charges. Work with your DUI attorney in St. Louis, MO to determine the best options that you have to fight the charges and make sure that you can reduce them or have them thrown out entirely. If you don’t already have a lawyer to help you, you can meet with several lawyers to ask them about your case and find out which approach they would take to help you fight the charges.