3 Smart Ways to Fight a DUI Charge
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, then you may be feeling alone and helpless. Not only are your reputation and career potentially on the line, but you could also be facing substantial fines and mandatory classes.
The impending ordeal is enough to overwhelm even the most optimistic person, but there’s good news. In order for you to be convicted of a DUI, law enforcement officials are required to follow very specific steps. If they falter on any of them, the case can be thrown out.
The Weight of a DUI Conviction
A DUI conviction is a very serious matter. If you are charged and convicted of drinking and driving, you’ll face a number of potential consequences that could set you back in both the short term and the long run.
For starters, your license will most likely get suspended. “Even if you aren’t ultimately convicted of a DUI in criminal court, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (or equivalent state agency) will normally suspend your license if a chemical test shows that you drove with a BAC of .08% or more,” states one attorney.
Jail time is also a possibility. In the state of Indiana, you could spend little or no time in the county jail or years in the state prison, depending on the details of your case. Then there are the fines and fees, which could set you back thousands of dollars.
If convicted, you’re also likely to be required to attend some sort of DUI school, participate in community service, and join a mandatory alcohol rehabilitation and treatment program. In other words, a DUI conviction will turn your life upside down.
It’s not just something that goes on your record; it disrupts your finances, relationships, and career. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to fight a conviction and avoid these costly consequences.
Three Solid Strategies for Fighting Your DUI Citation
Many people don’t realize that a DUI charge doesn’t automatically equal a conviction. Certainly, you face an uphill battle to rid yourself of the charge, but there are a number of strategies that can be deployed to get your charge removed.
Check out three of the best things you can do about it.
- Challenge the Legality of the Stop
The most commonly used and effective strategy is to challenge the legality of the stop. In order for a law enforcement officer to pull you over, he or she must have reasonable suspicion that you’re engaged in some sort of illegal activity.
It could be something as simple as driving with a dead taillight or as serious as swerving into oncoming traffic and hitting another vehicle, but the point is that something concrete has to be there. What you’ll see in many situations is that a cop pulled someone over primarily because the driver was out late at night or spotted leaving a bar.
These alone are not enforceable reasons to detain a driver. Even if the officer found that you were under the influence, no evidence he or she gathered can be used against you.
- Dispute the Intoxication
The second big option is to dispute the contention that you were intoxicated. A number of interesting tactics can be employed in this defense strategy, including:
- Suggest the breath test used was unreliable or made a mistake
- Claim that residual alcohol lingered in the mouth as a result of burping or regurgitating small amounts
- Explain that you have a medical condition such as GERD, heartburn, or acid reflux that makes it possible to create “mouth alcohol”
- Suggest that the test was a result of “rising blood alcohol,” which means your BAC was at a higher level when you took the test than when you were behind the wheel
There are other defense moves like these. You should explore all of them to consider whether you might have a valid case for fighting your DUI charge.
- Challenge the Credibility of the Officer
This final strategy may be the most difficult, but it can work in some situations. Because a DUI case is often based on your credibility versus the credibility of the officer who conducted the stop, you might be able to challenge the integrity of the officer.
If you’re successful at doing so, you can elevate your trustworthiness and potentially create enough doubt in the validity of the case that a judge will drop the charge.
On a related note, it can help tremendously if you can find a third-party witness that has no relationship with you. If there’s someone out there who would support your claim, then you have power in numbers.
A surveillance camera can also be of service, so you might want to revisit the scene to see whether any are present.
Why the Right DUI Attorney Matters
So much about a DUI charge can be scary and unknown. And in a situation of such great uncertainty, it helps to have someone with experience and knowledge about how to approach the issues that lie ahead of you. This is where a skilled DUI attorney comes in.
A strong and skilled DUI attorney understands all the complexities of DUI charges and can swiftly identify the best ways to challenge a pending conviction. If nothing else, he or she can help you reduce the severity of your charge, and then the punishment.
Finding a good DUI attorney will take some effort, though. Do your research and try to locate a firm that has both experience and clout. The more experience an attorney has in this area, the better your lawyer will understand the system and how it works.
Let Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm P.C. Work for You
If there’s one thing you want in a DUI attorney, it’s determination. At Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm P.C., we pride ourselves on providing the aggressive representation that every one of our clients deserves.
Our lawyers are skilled in the intricacies of Indiana state DUI laws and have helped hundreds of clients avoid a conviction or get their charges greatly reduced.
If you’re interested in learning more about our services and how we can help you fight a looming DUI charge, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would be happy to arrange a free consultation that fits your busy schedule.