If you are facing DUI charges, you may be worried about the consequences you will face if you are convicted. Many DUI convictions result in lengthy license suspensions, significant fines, and jail time, depending on the circumstances of your arrest.
Fortunately, a DUI charge does not always result in a conviction. An attorney specializing in DUI defense can build a case in your favor to defend against the charges you face. The defense strategy used in your case will be tailored to fit your needs, but here are some of the common DUI defenses that have proven to be successful in many cases nationwide.
Lack of probable cause/reasonable suspicion
In order to stop your vehicle in the first place, an officer must reasonably suspect that you were involved in criminal activity. In most legitimate DUI cases, officers will stop someone after they see that they are swerving, failing to follow the speed limit, or driving erratically. The officer may also observe that the driver has bloodshot eyes or slurred speech. However, if the officer stopped you without a legitimate reason to do so, the initial stop, and therefore the following arrest, may be legally invalid.
Inaccurate Breathalyzer results
If an officer reasonably suspects you are driving while under the influence, they will likely ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. If your BAC is .08 or above, the officer will likely have enough to arrest you on DUI charges. However, Breathalyzer test results are not always accurate due to failure to properly calibrate the device. Additionally, blood alcohol levels can increase with time, so if your test was not administered immediately, your results may not accurately represent whether your BAC level exceeded the legal limit at the time of the traffic stop.
Failure to properly administer field sobriety tests
If you have been pulled over for a possible DUI, the officer may also ask you to submit to the Standardized Field Sobriety tests, including the walk-and-turn, horizontal gaze nystagmus, and one-leg stand. The officer will evaluate your performance on these tests to determine whether you are impaired. However, many officers are not properly trained on how to administer these tests, and therefore, the results are inaccurate.
Facing DUI charges can be stressful and overwhelming. Fortunately, experienced DUI defense attorneys in Springfield are available to help you navigate the criminal court system and give you the best chance at having your sentence reduced or your charges dropped entirely.