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A driving under the influence (DUI) charge in California is a serious matter that can lead to harsh penalties, including hefty fines, license suspension, or jail time. State prosecutors are known for their aggressiveness in these cases. No matter how challenging your case may seem, there are viable defenses to a California DUI charge. Proving innocence will be difficult without the assistance of an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. Their goal is to craft an equally aggressive defense to obtain a favorable outcome.
Bad Stop by a Police Officer
Before law enforcement can pull over a driver, they must have reasonable suspicion that one or more persons in the vehicle committed a crime. In most DUI cases, the officer will observe the car and note possible intoxication signs, such as weaving between lanes, sudden stops, or excessive speeding. If a DUI attorney can prove that the stop was not valid, everything that happened after the cop pulled the driver over may be inadmissible as evidence. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that driving patterns predicted only 35% of DUI cases.
Faulty Field Sobriety Tests
If a police officer suspects the driver is intoxicated, they may perform a field sobriety test. This may include a walk-and-turn or one-leg test to measure a driver’s balance. Police officers may also use the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which measures a suspect’s eyes as they follow a moving object. There are dozens more, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states these are the three most reliable because of their objectivity. However, even when conditions are optimal, which is rare, sober drivers may appear intoxicated.
For example, a person in heels might have trouble walking straight or standing on one leg. Similarly, a person may have a foot injury, causing them to fail without alcohol in their system. Environmental factors, such as weather and road conditions, can also cause someone to fall. Officers themselves also might be the cause of a faulty field sobriety test. If they do not have proper training or fail to follow all the steps, it may cause someone to fail a test.
Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration Level
An attorney might use the rising blood alcohol concentration (BAC) defense depending on the circumstances. This defense will argue that the defendant’s BAC was below the legal limit when they were driving. Since BAC levels continue to increase even after drinking, it likely rose between the time a cop pulled over a driver and when they administered a breath test.
False Positive Breathalyzer Tests
After a driver fails a field sobriety test, a cop may bring them to a local police station to administer another breath test. An attorney might be able to challenge the results, especially if someone recently calibrated the breathalyzer. Poor maintenance records may also show the system is not kept up to standards. Another defense could be that the administering officer did not conduct it correctly.
Rather than arguing the driver was intoxicated or test results were not accurate, a San Diego DUI lawyer may say that other factors were forcing their client to drive under the influence. For example, a defendant may have driven because they feared for their life. In other instances, the individual may have become intoxicated without their knowledge or consent, such as a spiked drink.
Speak to an Experienced DUI Attorney in San Diego Today
These are just a few of the top DUI defenses in California. The defense your attorney uses will all depend on your case and the circumstances surrounding it. Attorney Dod of Dod Law is an experienced DUI attorney in California who will thoroughly investigate your charges and represent you in court.
With a 10.0 “Superb” rating on Avvo and more than 6,500 criminal cases under his belt, you can be confident that Attorney Dod has the skills and resources needed to defend you against a DUI charge. To schedule a free consultation, call 619-814-5110 or complete our contact form.