Being charged with a DUI is an overwhelming and frightening experience. Oftentimes, people tend to feel resigned to defeat and assume that a charge will lead most certainly lead to a conviction. This is far from the truth, however. DUI charges are frequently successfully challenged when defendants choose to hire experienced and skilled legal representation to defend their rights. With so much at stake, why would you short yourself by neglecting to hire a criminal defense attorney to ensure you are able to secure the most favorable results possible for your case?
Below are some of the defenses your DUI criminal defense attorney could potentially use to have your charges dismissed:
- The stop was not legal: You cannot simply be pulled over for no reason at all. For a stop to be considered legal, you must have either committed a traffic violation, including driving over the speed limit, making a wrong turn, tailgating another driver, driving with a burned out taillight, or weaving in and out of traffic. Without meeting the standard of reasonable suspicion, the legality of the stop could be challenged. However, if this standard is met, the law enforcement officer will have the right to briefly detain you, which could ultimately lead to an arrest. If your attorney is able to prove that the stop was not legal, any evidence collected against you during the investigation would be inadmissible in court and it is likely the charges against you would be dismissed.
- Disputing the officer’s suspicion: When a law enforcement officer stops you for suspicion of a DUI, he or she will be very observant, noting if you smell of alcohol, are slurring your speech or exhibiting poor motor functioning skills, and other telling signs of inebriation. However, some of these factors might not be related to alcohol ingestion. For example, if you used mouthwash shortly before driving, your breath might smell of alcohol and it might even be detected by a breath test. Additionally, your attorney can dispute if there were any signs of inebriation at all. Footage from the law enforcement officer’s dashboard camera might not be aligned with his or her claims.
- Questioning the field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests are commonly used to identify whether or not an individual has been drinking. Unfortunately, these tests are often unreliable. Several factors, including weight, physical ailments, poor footing, restrictive clothing, unstable footwear, or even poor coordination can all cause an individual to perform poorly on these tests.
- Challenging the breath test: If you blew over the legal limit on your breath test, you probably think it is all over for you. The fact is that breath tests are not infallible. Although a breath test is far more reliable than a field sobriety test, lots of factors can still lead to an inaccurate reading. This device must be properly maintained, calibrated, and the officer must be appropriately trained in how to operate it. Additionally, the use of over-the-counter products such as mouthwash can affect the reading as well as certain health conditions.
- Challenging the results of a blood test: Just as errors can occur with a breath test, it is also possible for errors to occur when drawing blood to for BAC testing. Despite the fact that it is considered the most reliable form of testing, there are a few factors that could potentially impact the accuracy of a blood test’s results. For example, if the tester is inexperienced or unqualified, this could put the results of the test into question. Additionally, blood work, requires precision, so if the equipment is outdated, faulty, or poorly maintained, this could also compromise the results. Lastly, given that blood tests are a multi-stage process, problems with how the sample is collected, stored, or transferred can all lead to an inaccurate result.
DUI Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago
If you were arrested for a DUI and are now facing charges, you are likely feeling rather scared and overwhelmed by the whole situation. However, it is important to act fast and hire skilled legal representation as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Steven Fine in Chicago, our criminal defense attorney has been protecting the rights of clients for over 20 years. With so much at stake, you should not risk going through this difficult time on your own.
Work with a skilled legal advocate today and contact our law office at (312) 436-0638 to request a consultation and learn more about your legal options.