In the wake of an arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence - DUI - do you know what steps to take next? Is it possible to avoid a conviction if the arrest was already made? What can you do to help your case? These are common questions that often concern the thoughts of individuals who have been presented with the difficulties associated with fighting DUI charges in the state of California.
These concerns are so common, in fact, that our legal team has devised a number of strategies for handling them. While there is always room for change given the nature and particularities of any given case, defendants can look to these general steps of application to better secure their chances of avoiding an ultimate conviction.
- Review the methods of legal defense that might be applicable to your case: Believe it or not, there are several ways to combat a DUI charge, especially with the right defense attorney on your side. From involuntary intoxication to false arrests, to duress, any number of lines of defense can be drawn upon to defend a case in court.
- Challenge the officer's intent for stopping you: Law enforcement officers must have a legitimate reason for pulling over an individual on suspicion of DUI; it's the law. If a reasonable basis for the traffic stop cannot be proven, then there is no substantial claim to the arrest that was made. For example, if an officer cannot confirm that you were stopped due to signs of intoxicated driving, such as weaving, there is no basis for the arrest that was made and the case will need to be dropped.
- Question the reliability of field sobriety tests: Although it's not widely advertised by the law enforcement officers who execute them, field sobriety tests are far from reliable when it comes to producing an accurate reading of a person's level of intoxication. As such, an arrest that was made based upon any one of the three field sobriety tests was enforced should rightfully be questioned for the validity of the results that were yielded.
- Contest the results of a breathalyzer test: While breathalyzer tests are knowingly more reliable than the field sobriety tests that are conducted to measure a person's sobriety, these machines are not without their own faults. In fact, unless they are utilized correctly and calibrated accurately, breathalyzers can yield inaccurate results as well. Expert testimony has confirmed that the breathalyzer test is both unreliable and unstable.
- Fight the blood test results: In order to be considered an accurate reflection of an individual's blood-alcohol level, blood tests must be performed according to a very specific set of rules. If the procedures of a blood test were not followed to a tee, their results could be considered inadmissible in court. The same is true of results for a person who was taking prescription medication that contains alcohol, as well as individuals who've been using rubbing alcohol on their skin.
- Enact a plea bargain: When a plea bargain is made, it effectively acts as an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor in which the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor agrees to forego trial. The sentence that is ultimately issued will reflect the terms that both parties have agreed to.
Any one of the steps mentioned above could mean the difference between being convicted or not. Accordingly, the most important thing that you can do for your case at this time is to secure a reputable criminal defense attorney for your representation. Working with an Orange County DUI lawyer from our firm could immensely enhance your ability at obtaining a lesser sentence, reduced charges, or a dropped case.
At The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, defense against your DUI charges will be aggressively pursued by a defense attorney whose experience spans across nearly two decades of practice. For more than 18 years, we have been aggressively defending the wrongly accused, as well as those individuals whose punishments do not fit the nature of the offense for which they have been accused. We are here to put our defensive skills to work for you next, so call today.