If you're facing a DUI or DWI charge, you may be wondering if there's any way you can avoid your fate. As it turns out, there are plenty of reasons for a seemingly ironclad case to suddenly result in a dismissal. The following talks about five different ways your attorney could have your DUI or DWI case dismissed.
No Probable Cause for the Traffic Stop
Anytime a law enforcement officer performs a traffic stop, he or she must have a legitimate reason—otherwise known as probable cause—to stop the vehicle. This usually comes in the form of legitimate vehicular violations such as expired registration tags, noticeably erratic driving behavior or even being stopped at a DUI/DWI checkpoint. If a law enforcement officer decides to pull someone over based on a whim or a hunch, any arrest or conviction stemming from that stop could be thrown out due to a lack of probable cause.
No Probable Cause for Breath or Blood Testing
Likewise, law enforcement officers must also have probable cause to perform a breathalyzer test or draw blood from anyone suspected of DUI or DWI. Officers on the scene will likely ask you to perform a field sobriety test in order to generate probable cause for advancing to the next step, which is usually a blood or breathalyzer test. However, it's not uncommon for completely sober people to fail field sobriety testing for a variety of reasons.
Without field sobriety testing, law enforcement officers may not have the probable cause needed to perform any further DUI or DWI testing. You may also refuse field sobriety testing, but this option may result in an automatic suspension of your driver's license in some states.
Faulty Testing Results
There's no such thing as the perfect test, as every test has a margin of error. This also applies in the case of breathalyzer and blood testing. With breathalyzer testing, the machines used for this purpose must be carefully calibrated to deliver a relatively accurate result. Otherwise, any readings from the machine may prove inaccurate and any conviction stemming from it invalid.
In comparison, blood testing for DUI is a significantly more complicated matter. Not only must the samples be carefully drawn and handled in order to ensure accuracy, but certain types of blood samples must be tested in a particular way. Serum blood samples, for instance, often contain a higher concentration of blood alcohol than whole blood samples. Without this and other factors taken into account, it's easy to produce a faulty test result that eventually leads to a dismissed case.
Entrapment Leading to Arrest
No one wants to be deliberately goaded into getting themselves arrested, but that's exactly what could happen in a DUI case. It's not unusual for law enforcement officers to issue commands or orders that inadvertently or deliberately lead to a person performing an action that leads to their arrest. For example, police officers may order someone attempting to sleep off their intoxication in their own vehicle to vacate the area. If that person then attempts to leave the area by driving the vehicle, they could be pulled over and arrested for DUI.
Your attorney could argue that the above scenario constitutes entrapment, since a government agent induced someone to commit a crime that would otherwise not have been committed. As a defense against the entrapment argument, a prosecutor may argue that you are already predisposed towards committing the criminal act before being induced by law enforcement or other government agents.
No Concrete Evidence of Intoxication
Things are not always as they appear, especially in the case of someone who may display symptoms that may suggest intoxication but lack the BAC level required for a DUI conviction. Nevertheless, there been many cases of law enforcement officers making DUI arrests based on these so-called "objective symptoms" of intoxication. The symptoms often include bloodshot eyes, slurred speech or even a faint odor of alcohol.
Just because someone displays these "objective symptoms" doesn't necessarily mean they'll have the BAC level required for a DUI arrest and subsequent conviction. As with any crime, there must be concrete evidence that substantiates the charges issued. To learn more about how to properly handle your case, contact services like Thomas & Associates, PC.