Some people think if you get a DUI ticket, there’s nothing you can do. While this may be true for the average lay person, nothing could be further from the truth in the hands of an experienced defense attorney. DUI tickets can be challenged from before the stop until after the breathalyzer test is administered or the blood or urine is analyzed. At each step of the way, there are legal challenges that are available to pursue. Whether the legal challenge will be successful in any given case depends, of course, on the facts of the case. However, below are a few areas where a good DUI defense attorney might find fault with the prosecution’s case.
DUI Defense: Challenging the Stop
Law enforcement is not permitted to simply pull cars over to determine whether the driver may have been drinking. Instead, law enforcement must have “probable cause” to pull a car over. In every DUI case, a qualified defense attorney will review the stated basis for the stop. Additionally, where there are dashcam videos, a review of these videos to confirm the basis for the stop takes place. Defendants are entitled to a hearing to determine whether the evidence the government has was obtained illegally. If the stop is not based on probable cause, supported by the evidence, the entire case can be dismissed.
DUI Defense: Challenging the Testing
The manufacturer of the breathalyzer test has issued a protocol for performing testing. This includes a period of time where the arrested person is monitored prior to testing. There are medical conditions which can impact the test result. The machine must be maintained properly. Further, law enforcement must calibrate the instrument on a regular schedule. Any one of these topics could be the basis for litigation. Depending on the facts of the case, this could result in charges being dismissed. In Boston, thousands of DUI test results were tossed out of court when it was discovered the machines were being improperly maintained and the settings were incorrect.
DUI Defense: Challenging the Interpretation
Interpreting test results is another area subject to challenge. Even though in some cases a machine does the calculations, a qualified defense attorney knows this is not the end of the analysis. Controls must be reviewed. Additionally, tests and retests must be compared.
In blood and urine cases, there are additional concerns. Chain of custody must be examined to ensure the integrity of the sample. The analysts’ notes must be reviewed. Reagents and test tubes have expiration dates; these must be examined. Any test specific failure may be the basis to dismiss the case.
You Need a Lawyer Fighting on Your Behalf
If you are charged with a DUI, don’t attempt to handle this yourself. There are many areas which could be subject to challenge in a DUI case. However, to do so properly, you need a qualified DUI defense attorney, familiar with the law and the science. Additionally, different jurisdictions have different rules that may permit a resolution without criminal conviction. Contact the Law Offices of Steven F. O’Meara to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case. With over 22 years of experience, Steven F. O’Meara knows the process. Let his experience work for you.