A person who has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for the first time may decide to accept the consequences instead of fighting the charge. The situation is more serious for someone who has multiple DUI offenses or who has caused an accident after drinking.
Sometimes a criminal defense attorney can plea bargain with the prosecution for a lesser sentence or reduced charges, but that's not always possible. In fact, in some states, it's prohibited by law. That means a lawyer starts looking for technicalities that could result in the charges being dropped or the case dismissed.
Examples of Technicalities
Blood Test Reliability. A lawyer may question the reliability of the breath and blood tests used to determine the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). The lawyer may want to learn:
- how frequently the testing equipment is inspected, maintained and calibrated
- the occupation of the worker who drew the blood, because a medical assistant or police officer may be viewed as less qualified than a certified phlebotomist or a registered nurse
- whether any of the client's blood was stored so an independent test can be performed
- whether an alcohol-based swab was used before the blood draw, as this can interfere with results
Law Enforcement Actions. Police officers must have a specific reason to pull somebody over; they can't simply suspect that the person is intoxicated. If you were not pulled over for a traffic violation or erratic driving, or you were not stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, your lawyer can use that in your defense.
In addition, if there was no search warrant requiring a blood draw and you did not consent, that may be another point of contention. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that citizens generally are protected from forced blood draws because of privacy issues.
However, police officers are allowed to order a blood test without a warrant if they cannot get that warrant quickly enough for the BAC reading to be accurate. For instance, a small jurisdiction may not be fully staffed during certain hours or days of the week, and obtaining a warrant promptly may be difficult. The officers would have to show the court they did not have enough time.
Prosecutors Not Responding to Requests for Evidence. Known as discovery requests, requests for evidence must be provided by the prosecution. If the prosecution doesn't fully respond without a certain time frame, a judge may dismiss the case.
Contact an Attorney
Contact an attorney who handles DUI cases at Law Office of Michael Marinaro & Associates and explain your situation. If you decide to hire this lawyer, he or she will begin providing aggressive legal representation to help you maintain your freedom.