If you're stopped for drunk driving, you should call a DUI lawyer. Your lawyer may present defenses to reduce the charges against you or nullify your case. Here are some ways your DUI attorney can defend your case.
Failure to Afford You the Right to an Attorney
It's your right to seek the advice of an attorney during any investigation before or after being arrested. It's important to consult legal counsel because the time frames for DUI investigations are important in making decisions to get independent exculpatory evidence. If the law enforcement agencies deny you this right, your case may be dismissed. The defense can file a motion to suppress or dismiss evidence because they were deprived of the right to counsel.
In such a situation, the prosecution should prove that the deprivation of the right to a lawyer would have interfered with investigations. Otherwise, any evidence that's acquired after the defendant is denied the right to a lawyer should be suppressed, and, in some cases, the charges against the defendant will be dismissed.
A DUI attorney can raise several affirmative defenses in your favor. The necessity defense is when the lawyer shows that the defendant had no option but to drive under the influence in order to avoid a greater evil.
Another affirmative defense that your lawyer can raise is duress. For example, your lawyer may claim that you drove to avoid a threat of injury or death. In this case, you need to prove that you were forced to drive while drunk.
Your attorney can also claim entrapment and involuntary intoxication. Entrapment is when a police officer encourages a driver to get intoxicated or drive while drunk. On the other hand, involuntary intoxication occurs when a driver ingests alcohol without their knowledge.
Lastly, your lawyer can claim a mistake of fact. This arises when a person isn't intoxicated, but the police stop them for drunk driving. For example, your medication may cause your breath to smell or your eyes to appear like you're intoxicated. The medication may also cause you to fail a field sobriety test. In such cases, your DUI attorney will raise the defense of a mistake of fact.
Challenging Chemical Tests
One of the ways used to prove the intoxication element of a DUI charge is a chemical test. However, your DUI attorney can challenge the result of chemical tests. Your lawyer may claim that the tests weren't administered properly.
When challenging test results, your lawyer will claim there was a flaw in the testing process. They may also claim that the results are an inaccurate reflection of the amount of alcohol or drugs that you had consumed at the actual time you were operating the vehicle. In many cases involving a challenge of chemical test results, the opinion of an expert witness is required.