If you've been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), getting out of jail is only the beginning. DUI convictions can mean time in jail, a loss of driving privileges, and spending a great deal of money. Trying to defend yourself from a criminal charge like a DUI is inadvisable. To bring home that point, read below about the many ways a DUI lawyer can help you get your charges reduced or dropped.
Not all defendants are offered bail. If your DUI arrest was not your first, you might only be offered extremely high bail or no bail at all. If you are not offered bail at your arraignment, you may need a lawyer to intercede for you. They can convince the judge that you will return for your future court dates and that you will avoid drinking and driving while out on bail.
Fighting the Evidence
The other part of a good defense is taking the state's evidence against you apart, piece by piece. Experienced DUI lawyers can spot when the evidence is weak and they know how to use that to your advantage. Take a look at some common forms of DUI evidence and how it can be challenged by a defense lawyer.
- The Report – Every arrest corresponds with a report prepared by the officer who made the arrest. This report contains information about what led to the stop and everything that happened after that point. Any illegal actions that arise from the report could be fodder for a defense.
- The Stop – Every DUI arrest begins with the traffic stop. You cannot be pulled over for just curiosity — there must be a probable cause to do so. In some cases, you might have violated a minor traffic law. If there was not a good reason, then there is no case against you.
- The Tests – If the officer making the stop suspects you are driving under the influence, they may perform a few field sobriety tests on you. There are several, and they all involve things like listening to somewhat complex directions and then performing as directed. They also require the person to understand English, have good hearing, not have a neurological impairment, not have muscle or nerve issues, or have balance problems. Some people are not fit enough to pass these tests while sober, and that is why the results can be challenged. Also of interest is the way the tests were carried out, the certification of the officer, the conditions (weather, light, level ground, etc.), and more. Finally, the breathalyzer results should be examined to determine validity. That means the machine should have a record of being calibrated, the officer is trained to use it, and more.
As you can see, being arrested does not necessarily lead to a conviction due to the evidence available. Speak to a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. For more information about working with a criminal lawyer, contact a local law firm.