Defending DUI charges can be effective in cases where the officer acted incorrectly, if you were not driving, and especially if the validity of the DUI tests (such as the breathalyzer) can be questioned. The problem is that many believe once they are charged, they are going to be found guilty in a court of law. You have a right to defend yourself in a court of law, with the help of an attorney, as said in the Miranda warning given to you upon arrest.
Why not just take the charges and be done? Well, it can be easy to say you are guilty, that you deserve punishment. However, you still have rights, and you still have a chance in defense. At the least, the prosecution can offer you a plea bargain. You just don’t know what will happen until you DUI lawyer prepares a defense.
The Officer Arrest
You can challenge your arrest. Say you are an African American woman, you’re pulled over for no clear reason, given a breathalyzer, and arrested. You may have been profiled; it does not always happen that way, but it can. If an officer pulls you over for no clear reason, even if you are not a minority, and you are arrested, you can challenge the arrest. The strategy here would be to say the officer should have never pulled over and arrested you in the first place, throwing out any evidence after. This does happen.
Another point to consider is your Miranda warning, where you’re supposed to be told of your rights to an attorney and beyond. If this is not given, it is a breach of your rights and can be made into an effective defense, even if you were over the limit.
By law, an officer has to be able to prove why he pulled you over, that he or she followed protocol in investigating you, and upon arrest you were told of your rights. If not, you can fight this in a court of law.
The Test Validity
The breathalyzer is not a perfect device, just like no officer is perfect. Actually, the breathalyzer can be used incorrectly by the officer who pulled you over. They have to be capable of using it. The most damning test is the blood test, the most accurate. But if you are very close to the legal limit, this can put a question on the prosecution’s case.
Speaking of the prosecution, it’s important to remember you may be found guilty. Unfortunately, you may be over the limit for alcohol, used prescription drugs which effected your ability to drive, used illegal drugs, or were a minor in possession. However, this case is not over. Quite often the prosecution will offer a plea bargain. In order to lessen charges, you need a professional DUI lawyer.
Getting Help From a Lawyer
You have the option of defending yourself, having a court appointed lawyer, or hiring a professional lawyer. You need to hire your own DUI lawyer 99% of the time. A lawyer should be fair on prices, experienced in court with DUI cases, and be able to spend enough time helping your case.