3 Ways to FIGHT a DUI
So, you want to FIGHT your DUI?
You probably feel this way after your arrest.
A DUI can affect anyone — so here are 3 ways to contest one:
1. Lack of Probable Cause
In order for an officer to detain you the officer needs to establish he had a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot or probable cause that an infraction was committed. Your lawyer can challenge that.
After he or she suspects you of a DUI, and before arresting you, the officer must have probable cause that you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired. Probable cause is a low standard of proof, but if your attorney challenges the stop in a “Motion to Suppress Evidence”, the State still needs to prove the officer had an adequate reason to believe you committed a criminal offense based on more than just a “hunch” or “intuition”.
If you feel that your DUI arrest wasn’t based on probable cause (E.g.: it was due to your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language or you gave the officer no legal reason to suspect intoxication or pull you over), you may have an adequate basis to have a judge throw out your DUI prior to even having a trial. A good lawyer will challenge it all.
2. Challenging an Officer’s Opinion Testimony
A significant part of the State’s DUI case is the arresting officer’s testimony as to the officer’s opinion of your state of impairment. While, ultimately, your conviction will likely stand or fall on whether they can prove that your breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) level was above the legal limit at the time you drove, you can still poke holes in the prosecution’s case by refuting parts of the testimony, and it might help garner a lesser sentence.
If there is no breath or blood test, the credibility of this opinion testimony will mean the difference between conviction or acquittal! These cases are won with a vibrant and vicious cross examination of the officer’s opinion testimony.
For example, if an officer claims you appeared disoriented or really drunk, but you really were just tired after working a long shift or not feeling well, you can provide witnesses who can testify to your condition. If there is evidence that you were at a place that they serve alcohol, produce receipts from that night with witnesses that were there, which show how many drinks were bought between how many people, and at what times…
You might be surprised at what you find you have going for you, to challenge the officers account. Remember, unless you were “drinking and driving”, the officer probably did not see you drink or know what you drank. The burden of proof is on the State, through its officers to prove you were impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance.
3. Accuracy of Blood or Breathalyzer Tests
There are many ways you can challenge the legitimacy of a breath or a blood test. First off, you can challenge the reliability of your breath test by having an expert testify to the defects in either the monthly maintenance or yearly maintenance of the machine. Both are done by independent agencies and maintenance records are public record. Your attorney can subpoena the evidence and the witnesses to a hearing.
Your blood test has to be collected following a procedure as well. If the officer did not request blood from a qualified blood drawing personnel as listed in the statute or did not properly establish a chain of evidence, your lawyer can move to exclude the evidence.
You also have the option of challenging the calibration of the equipment used to either take your breath or blood. Without proof that a testing device was properly calibrated, results from a blood or breathalyzer test can be excluded from evidence. Even if the prosecutors argue that there was “substantial compliance” as required under the statutes and rules governing admissibility of this evidence, and the judge lets the evidence in against you, your attorney can argue to a jury that it is unreliable, and should be discarded by them as evidence against you.
A DUI is a complicated matter, however, and fighting these charges can get even trickier and a little complicated. It’s best to consult a local, experienced DUI Criminal Defense Attorney, like Albert M. Quirantes, in Miami, who can help you sort out your options.
At the Ticket Law Center, a Criminal Defense Law Firm in Miami Florida, attorney Albert M. Quirantes, has been fighting DUI, Suspended License, DWLS, Reckless Driving, Vehicular Homicide, speeding, careless driving, accidents and all civil traffic offenses, citations, and tickets for professional CDL as well as regular drivers, since 1988.
Call THE TICKET LAWYERS at Ticket Law Center for a FREE NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION,
NO COST, NO PRESSURE, JUST PLAIN LEARNING MORE ABOUT FIGHITING YOUR CASE AT: 305-644-1800.
We serve MOST FLORIDA COUNTIES and will go fight for you! — Albert M. Quirantes, Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer, www.DUIfirm.com