If you've been charged with a DUI, it's important you understand that there are a number of different approaches an experienced DUI attorney can take towards getting the charges dropped. At the very least, an attorney will probably be able to reduce the severity of the punishment. This article outlines a few of the most effective defense strategies for having your DUI charges altogether dropped or in helping to mitigate the penalties if found guilty.
1. Defective Blood Alcohol Content Devices
Just in the last few years there have been a number of documented instances where the devices that law enforcement officials use to measure an individual's blood alcohol content have malfunctioned. The primary concern over the efficacy of such devices is the fact that they are generally the sole instrument used in determining an individual's sobriety, or lack thereof.
Additionally, as there are a limited number of manufacturers who make such devices, errors regarding the devices' accuracy is often a problem that relates to an entire batch of units--potentially thousands across the United States. In lieu if this information, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to establish that the device returned inaccurate or erratic readings in other cases and ultimately have the evidence thrown out. Without the data from the actual device, many prosecutors will be hard-pressed to convince a judge or jury of a defendant's guilt.
2. Lack of Probable Cause During Traffic Stop
Another approach to having your case dismissed is to show that the arresting officer lacked probable cause when he or she initiated the traffic stop. An attorney can subpoena the footage from the officer's in-vehicle camera to assess whether or not it was really your driving that caused the officer to pull you over. If there is any possibility that the officer only pulled you over because of your race, the style of the vehicle, or some combination of the two, you may be able to get the case dismissed entirely.
3. Reliable Witnesses To Corroborate Your Innocence
Your chances of acquittal will be significantly increased if you can provide the court with a reliable witness to attest to your innocence. A reliable witness is someone for whom the local community has respect or who is held in high regard in some other occupation. Essentially, you need someone whose endorsement carries weight in the community, whether it is a business owner, a pastor from church--really anyone with a history of upstanding behavior. The key here, however, is that the person must have witnessed the event to be able to comment on the falsity of the officer's report.
There are many strategies that a DUI attorney may utilize in the fight for your acquittal, but defective blood alcohol content devices, a lack of probable cause, and upstanding alibis are among the most effective tools in an attorney's toolbox.