The cost and lasting effects of a DUI conviction can be devastating for most people. Not only can a conviction like this cost you thousands of dollars in fines and associated expenses, but it can also follow you and make it difficult to get a job, particularly because these convictions can result in a license suspension and a lasting criminal record. Here's a look at a few things you need to know about your DUI case as you prepare to head to court.
Is There Proof That You Were Under The Influence?
In order for you to be convicted of a DUI, the prosecutor will have to be able to prove that you were under the influence of alcohol at the time of your arrest. If you didn't complete a field sobriety test or a breath alcohol test, your attorney might be able to fight the charges due to a lack of proof. This also applies if you did consent to a breath alcohol test and the results came back below the legal limit for alcohol consumption.
Were You Actually In Control Of The Vehicle?
If you were arrested for DUI after being found asleep in your vehicle, you might be able to fight the charges on the grounds that you weren't actually in control of, nor able to be in control of, the vehicle. For example, the keys don't have to be in the ignition, nor does the engine have to be running for you to be deemed in control of the vehicle. If you were sleeping in the front seat and the keys were in your pocket, you could be considered able to easily be in control of the vehicle.
However, if you were asleep in the backseat, with the keys tucked in the center console, glove box, or trunk, you could reasonably argue that you had no intention of starting the vehicle and were instead just trying to sleep it off. This could be evidenced by the fact that the keys weren't in the ignition but were instead secured elsewhere, and you were not in the driver's seat.
Is The Evidence Valid?
There are a number of ways to contest the validity of the evidence. First, you could claim that any evidence gathered at all is irrelevant if the officer didn't have probable cause to pull you over. If traffic cam footage can show that you were driving responsibly and had no other reasons for the officer to stop you, that may render the evidence inadmissible.
Further, if the field sobriety test was not administered correctly, if the blood alcohol testing device hadn't been serviced and calibrated as it should, or if the officer used the device improperly, those are all also valid reasons to have the evidence against you dismissed.
Talk with a DUI lawyer right away about your case, even if you think it's going to be a guaranteed conviction. Your attorney may be able to help you fight it on some of these grounds or others. Contact a DUI lawyer for more information.
When you are faced with a serious legal matter, it only makes sense to work with an attorney who has the skillset to help. Attorneys are specially trained to manage everything from courtroom appearances to issues with paperwork, which is why you should have one on hand for when you are faced with an emergency. The purpose of this blog is to make it easier to understand when you should call a lawyer and how they can help. Read more on this blog to sort out everything you need to know to improve your legal prowess every single day, preventing problems.