Driving under the influence (D.U.I.) is a serious criminal offense in the United States, and the consequences of a conviction can be life-altering. A DWI-DUI arrest starts some form of administrative driver’s license suspension or revocation, which is a separate case from the criminal charges.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Many states have very short appeal periods for these administrative license actions so you should contact legal counsel immediately after arrest. Otherwise, you lose your one chance at getting interim driving privileges of some type.
If convicted of impaired driving later, that can lead to significant fines, loss of driving privileges, increased insurance rates, and even imprisonment. In many states, no expunction of that conviction is allowed under existing laws.
That means that a drunk driving conviction or drugged driving conviction can derail previous plans for a career, for travel to some countries (e.g., Canada), and may even disqualify the person from certain high-security positions.In states like Georgia, Maine, South Carolina, and Alabama, you take these convictions to the grave.
With so much at stake, it is crucial for individuals facing DUI charges to seek legal help. Although getting DUI charges dropped is difficult, entrusting your case to a skilled DUI defense attorney can substantially increase your chances of achieving an optimal outcome.
This article outlines the role of a lawyer for DUI near me, common legal strategies for getting charges dropped, and why hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential. Much like the medical field, certain surgeons have a very high survival rate, while others have lower success rates on complex surgeries.
The Role of a Trained DUI Defense Attorney
When facing DUI-OVI charges, it is important to have a knowledgeable D.U.I. defense lawyer on your side. These litigation attorneys specialize in navigating the complex web of DUI laws and regulations. Through a series of complex training courses not taught in law schools, these legal professionals learn how to build strong defense strategies based on the specific defenses and arrest circumstances of your case.
A skilled DUI-OUI defense lawyer can identify weaknesses in the prosecution's evidence in a variety of ways. Any improper acts or conduct by police officers at the scene and in the transport phase can be significant.
In addition, with body cameras now being prevalent, significant departures from protocol can be identified in a detailed investigation of every aspect of each case. The goal of this national directory is to align tough cases with attorneys well-versed in criminal defense.
So, starting with a challenge to the legality of the traffic stop, followed by questioning the accuracy of field sobriety tests, and then looking for errors or omissions in some aspect of breath alcohol testing or laboratory testing blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or testing for drugs like marijuana. By doing so, your criminal law attorney can increase the likelihood of getting your OWI-DUI charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Common Legal Strategies to Get DUI Charges Dropped or Reduced
Several legal strategies can be used by your legal advocate to challenge the charges against you. Here are three common approaches:
- Challenging the legality of the traffic stop: In order for a DUI charge to be valid, the initial traffic stop must be lawful. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle, such as observing a traffic violation or erratic driving behavior. Your attorney can scrutinize all circumstances of the traffic stop and argue that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion, rendering any subsequently-obtained evidence inadmissible.
- Questioning the accuracy and reliability of the NHTSA field sobriety tests: Law enforcement officers often use field sobriety tests, such as the one-leg stand and to determine if a driver is likely to be impaired. However, these non-scientific tests are not foolproof and fatigue, stress, or medical conditions can influence them. Your lawyer can challenge the claimed results of these tests by questioning the officer’s training, the tests’ instruction phase, plus the administration of the evaluation, and the validity of the results.
- Contesting the results of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests: BAC tests, which measure the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream, are a key piece of evidence in DUII-DUI cases. However, these tests can be prone to error because of improper handling, calibration issues, or contamination. Your attorney can scrutinize the forensic reliability of the testing process and argue that the government’s results are unreliable, potentially leading to the dismissal of the charges, or convincing a jury of tthe sloppiness of the process at trial.
The Importance of an Experienced DUI Lawyer to Defend You
Hiring an experienced DWI defense lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. These attorneys have access to resources for thorough investigation and case preparation, such as expert witnesses who can testify about the potential flaws in sobriety and BAC tests.
An experienced OWI defense lawyer can effectively negotiate with the prosecution to reduce or dismiss charges. Their familiarity with local judges, prosecutors, and court procedures can be invaluable in achieving a favorable resolution.
Getting DUI charges dropped is no easy feat, and it requires the expertise of a knowledgeable OUI defense lawyer. With their guidance, you can navigate the complex legal process and increase your chances of a successful outcome. By challenging the legality of the traffic stop, questioning the accuracy of sobriety tests, and contesting the results of any BAC tests, your DUI-DWI attorney can structure a powerful defense.