Getting pulled over by the police can be a stressful and frightening experience. In most cases, the police will only stop your vehicle if you have provided them with a justification, such as weaving, running a red light or speeding. When it comes to suspicion of a DUI, things get a little trickier. The police must have a probable cause to stop you, which can be tough if you don’t break the law at all while driving, even if you are intoxicated. Things like weaving within a lane, is not reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull someone over, although the police still do.
If an officer stops your vehicle without reasonable suspicion and finds you to be intoxicated, your lawyer can have evidence of your intoxication suppressed because the officer had no right to stop you in the first place. Police contact without reasonable suspicion or probable cause infringes on your 4th amendment right to be free form illegal search and seizure. On the other hand, if you are driving dangerously and an officer stops you, any evidence thereafter will be admissible in court including roadsides and chemical testing.
Going to court
DUI cases go to court. Whether your case goes to trial in front of a jury depends on procedural challenges by your attorney of the police contact and evidence obtained by the police. In aggravated driving under the influence cases, where an accident resulted from driving while intoxicated or on drugs, where serious bodily injuries have resulted (yours and others), or where a death has resulted, you will face felony charges of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide where a death occurs . While it’s one thing to get pulled over and handed a ticket or have cuffs slapped on because of questionable driving behavior, it’s an entirely different matter when you cause an accident, injure, or kill another motorist or pedestrian.
Going to trial on a felony vehicular assault or vehicular homicide case is often necessary since district attorneys do not offer reasonable plea resolutions. Judges often give maximum sentences in vehicular homicide cases. Challenging each step of the case is paramount to mounting a defense. The police contact, the arrest, the blood test, the statements made by the defendant, accident reconstruction, blood chemistry and the police investigation are fertile areas to challenge. You are presumed innocent and that presumption stays with you until a jury is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the charged offense. Sometimes mounting an aggressive defense leads to a much better resolution when there is no reasonable offer by the district attorney.
In cases involving prescription drugs, your DUI attorney has several different lines of defense they can pursue. In the case of alcohol, your lawyer will investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest, and what lead up to it.
Always remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, and when your DUI case goes to court, it doesn’t mean your fate is sealed. Hiring a skilled attorney is just the first step you need to take in defending yourself. Through collaboration with your attorney, and their own independent investigation of your situation, your legal representatives will be able to formulate a defense to help combat the evidence the prosecution has against you. If you’ve been arrested and are facing DUI charges, contact us today.