If a few moments of bad judgement has left you with a first time DUI offense in California, you may assume that your case is completely hopeless. You might be tempted to plead guilty rather than fight your case because of the evidence against you. Don’t make these assumptions if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving.
The consequences of a conviction include substantial fines and a suspension of your driver’s license. Fight for your freedom by challenging your DUI charges.
The truth is that you need an experienced DUI attorney on your side. A DUI attorney knows that no DUI case is cut and dry. In fact, there are a number of legal defenses that your attorney can use to offer a strong defense on your behalf. With the right attorney, you might be able to have your charges reduced or even dropped.
Schedule your free consultation today. Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein.
The Top 5 DUI Defenses in California
Every driving under the influence case is unique. Not every defense in the list below may apply to your case. However, a qualified attorney who understands the challenges that prosecutors face in getting a conviction can help you determine which defenses you have available to you.
Bad driving does not equal drunk driving.
Sometimes a quick glance at your smartphone or an overcorrection at the wheel could appear to be consistent with impaired driving to a police officer. Your attorney could argue that, while this kind of driving pattern could be seen in a drunk driver, it is the exception not the rule.
Another aspect of this defense is that while the defendant may have swerved or drifted into another lane, they otherwise followed the rules of the road and did not exhibit any signs of impaired driving.
Objective symptoms of intoxication are present due to other reasons.
Under the law, there are a number of “objective signs and symptoms of intoxication” that the arresting officer can check off that indicate that you are under the influence. These include red eyes, watery eyes, slurred speech, a red face, the smell of alcohol on your breath or an unsteady gait. A top-notch DUI attorney can defend against these claims by stating that the symptoms were the result of other factors unrelated to alcohol or drug use, such as allergies or time spent in the sun.
The field sobriety results are unreliable.
The results of field sobriety tests such as the the one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test are used to verify that a person is driving drunk. A poor performance on these exams will be a highlight of the prosecutor’s case against you. Your DUI attorney can fight these results by explaining how other things not related to alcohol impacted your performance, including your shoes, a physical condition or nerves. Another aspect that your attorney can expose is the possibility that the officer was not qualified to properly administer the tests.
The officer did not properly administer the blood or breath test.
In California, blood and breath tests for DUI offenses must be conducted in a specific manner. For example, the officer conducting the test must have proper training, the equipment must be properly calibrated, the samples must be properly handled and there must be a 15 minute observation of the accused. Your attorney can challenge the officer’s adherence to any of these requirements and call into question the results.
Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was rising.
After you consume an alcoholic beverage, your blood alcohol concentration continues to rise, reaching its peak about 30 to 120 minutes later. Under the California law, you can only be convicted of DUI if your BAC exceeds the legal limit while you were driving a vehicle. Your attorney may use this fact to your advantage by stating that, at the time when you were operating your vehicle, your BAC was below the limit. It only rose above the limit while you were stopped by the police.
Have you been arrested for DUI in San Diego County? Call the San Diego Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today for your free consultation.
If you are on the fence about hiring a defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now
Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.