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Challenging DUI Evidence

Ways to Challenge DUI Evidence

Should you plead guilty to charges of DUI?

If you have received a DUI, there may be ways that a Marietta criminal defense attorney can help you fight these charges. By creating a strong defense, there is a possibility of the prosecution dropping or reducing the charges, or preventing the suspension of your driver's license at an administrative hearing. In a DUI case, it is required for the prosecution to prove that the defendant was in fact driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. If the defense is able to prove that the defendant was either not the one driving at the time or that they were not under the influence, the prosecution is forced to drop or reduce the charges. During the trial, if the defense can prevent the prosecution from using evidence, the prosecution's chance of proving the defendant to be guilty can be weakened.

Challenging Performance of Arresting Officer

At the time of the DUI stop, if your car was not actually in motion, such as being parked in a lot, there is a chance that the charges can be fought. If the police officer did not observe you in the actual act of driving and cannot come up with evidence to that fact, the DUI charges can be challenged. Another possibility of fighting a DUI charge is through police officer error. If you believe the officer did not have probable cause when pulling you over or arresting you, you may be able to keep the officer from using the evidence gathered from that stop. For example, if you believe you were pulled over because of your race instead of the nature of driving, you may be able to challenge the charges.

Additionally, if the police officer did not abide by the proper procedures, the evidence they have may be deemed as admissible by the court. Examples of improper procedures include an officer failing to recite your Miranda rights, or perhaps if they did recite them they did so incorrectly. Similarly, if you were tested for your blood alcohol level using a breathalyzer and the forced you to comply even when you refused, the report of your BAC level can be discredited. If the prosecution has to dismiss certain evidence, they may be left without a case, and no other options than to drop the charges.

Attacking the Validity of Field Sobriety Tests

Oftentimes, evidence the prosecution is using against you is based not only on the way you were driving before the officer pulled you over but also on your physical appearance, behavior, and performance of the sobriety tests. If you have a way to challenge or offer alternative explanations for these observations, such as your eyes were red at the time because you were tired or because you have allergies, then you may have a chance of dismissing this evidence. There is also the possibility of fighting the results of the field sobriety test by claiming that you did not perform as well as you normally would have because you were dealing with an injury or you have a handicap.

Maybe you are overweight or have difficulty maintaining your balance—both which could negatively affect your performance of the test. It is possible that the police officer at the time was intimidating, which could have caused you to become nervous and give a shaky performance. There is even the possibility of arguing against your performance results by showing that the location where the sobriety test took place was unsuitable. For example, the area may have not been well-lit, there could have been bumps or debris in the road, or it could have been a loud and crowded area where you were easily distracted.

Another way to challenge DUI evidence is to have a witness present. If a witness was there at the time you were pulled over, they may be able to argue against the police officer's report. They testify to the fact that you did not have any drinks before getting into the vehicle or that they had good reason to believe you were sober at the time. A witness could also report that they thought you may have been distracted from your driving because there was an argument going on in the car right before you were pulled over.

Contact a Marietta Defense Attorney

Being charged with a DUI does not necessarily mean the evidence being used against you is valid. Here at Stahlman Law, P.C. we aim to do everything we can to increase your chance of dropping or reducing your DUI charges. 

Contact a Marietta criminal defense lawyer and see how we may be able to help you challenge the DUI evidence being used against you!

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