5 Best Ways to Fight and Beat your California DUI case
The arrest and prosecution of a DUI case involve specific legal steps that must be followed or the case will fall apart. The DUI investigation is highly technical with the police officer training playing a major role in whether the case can be prosecuted. The police officer must not only follow all the legal requirements but also he must follow all the scientific requirements during the investigation. In addition, to pull your car over, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion to start the investigation and probable cause to arrest you. During the investigation, the police officer will usually take copious notes to build a criminal case against you to prove your guilt. Often, even slight errors by the police officer during the investigation will help fight your DUI case and get your DUI dismissed. DUI Attorney will help you figure out the best way to increase your chances of dismissing your DUI case.
DUI is one of the most common crimes in California, but the punishment for drunk driving while impaired varies greatly depending on several factors. The factors determining DUI punishments include:
- the blood alcohol level of the driver at the time of the stop,
- prior record,
- whether there was an accident etc.
Jail time is not often imposed on a first-offense DUI. Yet, several aggravating factors can cause the prosecutor to ask for jail time. As discussed above, accidents and high blood alcohol levels might cause harsher punishment. If you’re charged with an aggravated DUI, the court can also sentence you to various additional conditions of probation, such as MADD classes, attendance in the Alcoholic Anonymous groups, Hospital and Morgue program, etc.
Defense attorneys can use the following standard strategies and tactics to defend your case at trial or to get a good plea bargaining offer from the prosecutors.
Here are the 5 most common DUI Defense Strategies to negotiate a better deal or defend your case at trial.
- Unreasonable traffic stop. A police officer needs a reasonable suspicion that a crime took place to pull you over. For example, for a traffic stop, the police officer needs to observe a traffic law violation or have another reason to approach the vehicle. A valid reason to approach the vehicle can be an observation that someone in the vehicle needs immediate assistance. If a police officer stops you on a “hunch” or because he is profiling you based on your race or a suspicion that he can not articulate, your DUI can be dismissed during a search and seizure motion.
- Police’s errors at setting up a sobriety checkpoint. Being stopped at DUI checkpoint can sometimes be very defensible because the checkpoint has a lot of requirement that police does not always follow. Sometimes deviation from the court mandate on sobriety checkpoints can be used by DUI attorney to get your case dismissed. This process involves litigating a motion under 4th amendment prohibiting unlawful search and seizure.
- Failed field sobriety tests. The prosecution usually relies on field sobriety tests very heavily, yet these tests can be very inaccurate and can give false positive results. For example, some studies show that one leg stands and walk and turn test are often failed by sober people. Moreover, there are far more factors beyond alcohol and drugs which can affect test results. Vertigo, fatigue, using prescribed medications or mouth-washing liquids can make the person look under the influence to even an experienced police officer. Horizontal gaze nystagmus, which is considered to be a reliable evidence of being drunk or drugged, can be caused by neurological dysfunctions, brain traumas, and heavy medical intoxication. On the other hand, good results on a field sobriety test will allow you to easily fight your DUI case.
- No probable cause for arrest. This issue is similar to the first issue. The police officer can only place someone under arrest when there is a “probable cause” that you were in violation of the law. Mere speculation or “hunch” that you are impaired is not sufficient, the police officer has to have some evidence that you were impaired when you drove your vehicle. The police need to specifically explain the reasons for stopping and explain the circumstances of the arrest. Once again, the court needs to be convinced by the prosecutor that there was evidence of a crime sufficient for probable cause to arrest.
- Violating the procedure of breath test. Breathalyzers, one of the most commonly used devices to test the level of alcohol in impaired drivers, are known to be inaccurate. If the precise procedure for usage and maintenance is not followed, the result of the breathalyzer’s test can be thrown out. For example, the law dictates that the police officer has to observe you for 15 minutes before taking a breath sample with a breathalyzer. If he or she fails to do that, call your DUI attorney who can get the results of the test thrown out based on the possibility that it is inaccurate. Also, breathalyzers can measure a substance that is remained in your mouth but is not in your blood. For example, mouthwash or some medication or gas escaping from the stomach can give a “false positive” for a breathalyzer. Lastly, Ketogenic diets or medical conditions, such as diabetes, will affect the results of a breath test because different substance will give a false reading in a breathalizer.
- Taking blood in a way that hurts you. If you are arrested for a DUI, police will ask you for a sample of your breath or blood. If blood is taken, it can be taken with a warrant or simply because you agree to give it. That blood will be used to prosecute you for a DUI if you it tests is above .08% BAC. DUI can be won when blood results are thrown out. This can be done after a motion to suppress. Some people think that a motion to suppress can be be used after a warrant. Not true! Blood can be suppressed even with a warrant when the blood is not taken in a proper way. For example, if blood is taken when you are not in a sanitary environment – it can be suppressed. Also, when blood is taken in a way that injures you – it can be suppresed. Suppresing blood will win your case! This reasoning is based on People v. Cuevas’s footnote #3 which explicitly says that searches under warrants are not “per se reasonble”. If you were injurued or saw that the ares of blood draw was not cleaned or that needle did not come from saled package, or that any other reason existed why you faced risk or pain or infection, your blood can be suppressed and your DUI case won.
If you are facing jail time or afraid to lose your job or are wrongfully accused after a DUI investigation, you have to call our office. We can help defend Los Angeles DUI cases even with the most difficult facts. Los Angeles DUI attorney has years of experience defending people just like you in Los Angeles Superior Court.
(818) 921 7744 Call anytime to talk directly to Los Angeles DUI Attorney.