Drunk driving charges are unquestionably serious and can result in license suspension, fines, possible jail time and other penalties and consequences such as a criminal record that may follow accused individuals for the rest of their lives. Because of how serious a DUI charge can be, it is essential for accused individuals to be familiar with the options available to them to defend against these serious charges.
The most common methods of challenging a DUI charge are to challenge police procedures or the alleged evidence against the accused individual. In addition, what are referred to as affirmative defenses may also be possible in some situations. Affirmative defenses to a DUI charge include necessity, duress, entrapment, involuntary intoxication and mistake of fact. If theses circumstances exist, it is important for accused individuals to understand these defense options.
In addition, common defenses focus on the accuracy of the evidence or if authorities violated procedures in place for the protection of the rights of accused individuals. To begin with, it may be possible to challenge the stop that resulted in a DUI charge if the police officer did not have probable cause to make the stop. Additionally, it may be possible to challenge the accuracy of a field sobriety test based on how it was conducted or if the officer was qualified to perform it. Breathalyzer tests may be challenged for accuracy if the officer was not properly trained to perform it, it was not properly calibrated or maintained or there was some other type of interference with the result. Accused individuals can also argue that a breath test at the police station would be more accurate and may also point out that their blood alcohol content level may have risen from the time of the stop and the time of the test.
There are a variety of important criminal defense strategies to be familiar with to help an accused individual handle a DUI charge. Drunk driving charges can impact an accused individual for some time to come so it is important to take them seriously and be prepared to respond accordingly.