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Common Defenses to DUI Charges in Chicago


Defending against a DUI charge is of utmost importance. Not only can the consequences be severe, but they could also affect your reputation and livelihood. A conviction may lead to jail time, loss of driver’s license, fines, higher insurance rates, or even loss of employment.

It is important to understand that no two cases are the same, and successfully defending against DUI charges is possible with assistance from an experienced attorney. Hiring legal counsel can help you defend your rights and freedom.

3 Ways to Defend Against DUI Charges

If you are facing a DUI charge, it can be daunting to think about how to defend against it. Despite what might seem like an improbable task, there are several defenses that you may be able to avoid a conviction or mitigate the consequences of one.

1. Attack the Prosecution’s Evidence

The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were impaired as a result of alcohol or drugs while driving. If it can’t, you are acquitted and have beaten your DUI charges – but achieving this outcome isn’t easy.

The evidence against you can include the following:

  • Field sobriety tests
  • Breath tests
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Dashcam footage
  • Bodycam footage
  • Police testimony
  • Witness testimony

All of this evidence can be flawed in more ways than one. For example, improper specimen collection, storage, or testing procedures can invalidate the results of blood or urine tests, even if they indicate guilt. If blood isn’t properly refrigerated, for example, it can ferment can generate an artificially high BAC.

Attacking the evidence against isn’t just about seeding reasonable doubt, either. Your attorney should help you suppress any evidence that is obviously faulty.

2. Allege the Police Lacked Reasonable Suspicion or Probable Cause

Police officers must at least have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop and probable cause to arrest someone for DUI. “Reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause” are both legal standards of varying degrees, with the former requiring less evidence to justify it than the latter.

All a police officer needs to establish reasonable suspicion is just that – a reasonable suspicion that someone may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police can establish reasonable suspicion by claiming that they saw a driver swerving or otherwise driving in a manner consistent with intoxication. If dashcam evidence or witness testimony counters these claims, however, it can be used to defend against DUI charges.

Probable cause is a higher standard and is more than mere suspicion. It requires police officers to have formed a reasonable belief, based on facts that they can articulate, that someone is more than likely driving under the influence. Probable cause is typically established during interaction with a driver, a preliminary breath test, or a field sobriety test.

Alleging that a police officer lacked either of these (i.e. there was no good enough reason to stop or arrest you) is one way to counter DUI charges.

3. Collect Exculpatory Evidence

Not only should you attack the evidence the prosecution presents against you, but you should also have evidence that supports you were not intoxicated. Testimony from your passenger may be admissible in court, as well as footage from your own dashcam documenting your driving up until your arrest.

In some cases, a medical condition such as hypoglycemia can mimic the effects of intoxication. If you are diabetic and have problems with low blood sugar, medical records establishing your diagnosis and vulnerability to such conditions can help you defend against DUI charges.

Contact an Attorney for Legal Assistance

If you are facing DUI charges, nothing is more important than securing the right legal representation for you. The Law Office of Steven Fine can build a personalized defense that can help you avoid or mitigate the consequences of a DUI conviction. If the evidence against you is overwhelming, there may even be an opportunity to plea for a lesser charge with less significant consequences.

Ultimately, discussing your legal situation with our experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your legal situation and the best possible options for moving forward.

Learn more about how we can help during an initial consultation. Contact The Law Office of Steven Fine online now to get started.