Compelling Reasons for Reducing or Dismissing DUI Charges
While individuals charged with DUI might feel helpless and think they are engaged in a losing battle, there are defenses that a competent DUI attorney can use that could result in charges being dismissed or reduced.
While often blowing a .08 or higher or failing a field sobriety test does mean that an individual was driving under the influence, at other times, a person's health condition or a breathalyzer machine's mechanical errors could result in an innocent person being charged with DUI.
A skilled DUI defender will not leave one stone unturned when investigating your case and will make sure the whole process was conducted in a legal manner and that no outside factors adversely affected your BAC level or field sobriety results.
Did the police fail to follow correct protocol?
One of the most common factors behind DUI case dismissals or reductions, are police errors. If police conducted an illegal roadside checkpoint, if an officer did not have probable cause before stopping you, if an officer forgot to advise you of your Miranda rights before arresting you or if police reports contained inaccuracies, your charges could be dismissed or reduced.
Before police can stop your car, they must have a reasonable reason to believe that you are engaged in a criminal activity. Any evidence obtained after an illegal procedure can be suppressed. If an officer did not observe you running a red light, driving erratically or observe some other safety omission such as driving with burned out lights, he cannot simply pull you over at whim. Often officers stake out bars or popular weekend venues, but if you were pulled over without probable cause, any subsequent search and arrest were illegal and violated your constitutional rights.
In order for a sobriety checkpoint to be legal, supervising officers must organize and oversee a checkpoint, make sure that field officers follow a predetermined formula (for example, only stopping every third card) and publicly advertise the roadblock.
After an officer has arrested you and placed you into custodial interrogation, he/she must advise you of your Miranda rights. If the officer failed to do so, any subsequent statements you made could be excluded from evidence.
Were your health issues to blame?
Health conditions can affect your performance on a field sobriety test. If you were tired, injured or ill, you could have been unable to perform the necessary activities an officer asked you to do. Other factors that can result in inaccurate field sobriety test results include bad weather, poor lighting, uneven surface condition, awkward footwear or officer intimidation.
Furthermore, if you suffer from GERD, acid reflix, hypoglycemia, diabetes or heartburn, these conditions can result in an inaccurate BAC reading.
Was the breathalyzer machine not functioning properly?
There are several factors that can result in an inaccurate BAC level reading. If dental work caused small amounts of food soaked in alcohol to get trapped in your teeth, your BAC level could be higher than the legal limit. If you burped or are on a low carb or high protein diet, these can also alter your BAC level reading. Another factor that can negatively affect your reading is when your BAC level was taken. Alcohol takes a while to be "soaked up" by your system, and if your BAC level is checked a long time after you were pulled over, your BAC level can register higher than it was when you were actually driving.
Perhaps the most common factor that can affect a BAC level reading, however, is breathalyzer machine mechanical errors. If there are any chemicals on your breath similar to ethanol, this can cause a false reading. Also, gasoline vapors in the air can throw off a test as can lacquers, paint thinners, cleaning products and other similar products. When a breathalyzer machine is not regularly calibrated (to match the temperature and humidity of a place where the test occurs) or maintained, readings are often inaccurate.
Inaccurate blood readings can also result in a person being wrongly charged with DUI. Factors such as blood fermentation, improper storage of a blood sample and contamination can alter your blood reading. To find out more about what can cause inaccurate breath & blood testing results, click here.
How Mark R. De Yoe Can Help
If you believe you have been wrongly charged with DUI and that another factor could have resulted in your charges, whether that factor is improper police protocol or inaccurate field sobriety or blood alcohol test results, Attorney Mark R. De Yoe can investigate your case and help you fight your charges!
During this frightening time, you can feel confident entrusting your case to a DUI defense attorney like Mr. De Yoe. With over 25 years of legal experience on his side, Attorney De Yoe is the aggressive legal advocate you should want on your side throughout the days ahead!
Call his office today to schedule your
free case evaluation!