No one ever thinks it will happen to them, but getting arrested for driving under the influence happens to the best of people. Keeping a lid on your emotions of fear, anger, embarrassment, and more can be difficult, but knowledge is both empowering and comforting. You should know that being arrested for driving under the influence is not the same as being found guilty, and concentrating on proving your innocence is paramount now. Your defense attorney knows what to do, but knowing about some common defenses to DUI charges yourself can be immensely helpful. Read on to learn more about defending yourself against a DUI.
Help Your Attorney Help You
Once you are bailed out of jail, you can begin to work on your case with your attorney. Provide that attorney with as much ammunition as possible by bringing pertinent paperwork to the first visit. More important than police reports, however, is your memory of the incident. Your case will based on the exact events of the traffic stop, field sobriety tests, and arrest, so spending some time doing a minute-by-minute recall of the event could turn up facts that could help your attorney get your charges dropped or reduced.
By the Book
Law enforcement personnel are compelled to follow procedure, and any variation could spell trouble for the state when it comes to DUI defenses. Some common areas of concern are listed below, and an impropriety in any one of them could prompt further exploration by your attorney:
- Was the stop made legally?
- What was the reason given for the stop?
- What field sobriety tests were carried out and why?
- Are the results of those tests valid?
- Do you have any physical or mental issues that could have skewed the test results?
- Was a search preformed on your vehicle without probable cause?
- Should your statements at the scene be suppressed from evidence?
- Is there the potential to use a duress or necessity defense?
- Did you have actual control of the vehicle at the time of the stop? For example, if you were just parked (without the vehicle running) and attempting to "sleep it off", you may have a defense.
- Was the Miranda Warning read to you?
- And more.
There is really no such thing as a "basic" DUI case; there are too many different aspects to address, any one of which could be grounds for having your charges dismissed or reduced. Speak with a defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest to get started on clearing your name.