If you get pulled over by the police, and think there might be a possibility that you are over the legal limit, you might just think that you're guilty, and will have to deal with the consequences. But don't let the police tell you whether you are guilty or not, that's not their job. Guilt is something that is determined by the courts, not by the cops. The police may have made a mistake when giving you field sobriety tests, or messed up when they took a breath or blood sample. You may be totally innocent and not even know it! So before you decide to plead guilty, you should talk to an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer who can find all the available defenses in your case, so you can have your charges reduced, dismissed, or found not guilty.
If you're checking the oil level in your car, and don't put the dipstick in all the way, it may look like you're low on oil, even if you have plenty. In the same way, if the police don't administer a breath test correctly, it may show that you're over the limit when you are really totally legal to drive. The problem is that it may be tough for you to know when and how the police messed up if you don't have the experience and training in police procedures. This is where an experienced DUI lawyer can really make a difference.
Legal Defenses to DUI Charges
A proper legal defense could mean the difference between a criminal conviction, and walking away without any criminal charges. Of course, the legal defenses will depend on the facts of the case. Your Atlanta DUI defense lawyer will be able to look at your case, find all possible avenues where defenses may be available, and investigate your specific cases to built the strongest possible defense against the prosecution. In some instances, the prosecutor may decide to drop your case due to the overwhelming evidence in your favor.
Most people think that because the DUI arrest only took place between them and the police, that they have no chance against the word of a police officer. But just like anyone else, police make mistakes on the job, and sometimes the mistakes result in you getting treated like a criminal. You may not know how to find what the police officer did wrong, but an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer knows what to look for and how to cross-examine police officers so that the truth will come out.
Challenge Your DUI Charges
Legal defenses to a DUI can come from a variety of sources. You can even challenge the reasons the police officer pulled you over in the first place. If they didn't have a reasonable suspicion or probable cause to think you were doing anything wrong, then they don't have the right to stop you in the first place. Under the U.S. Constitution, you are protected from unreasonable search and seizure. If the police unlawfully stopped you, or searched your car, then they should not be able to rely on the any evidence they found that you are guilty of any crime.
You may also have available defenses from witnesses that will affirm your side of the story, or contradict the statements of the defense witnesses. If someone who was with you at the time can confirm that you were not drinking, or that any alcohol you consumed would leave you under the legal limit, this may challenge the prosecutor's allegations that you were intoxicated.
Other defenses include challenging the accuracy of certain tests, including breath or blood tests, and field sobriety tests. Although almost all police departments use the standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) and chemical tests as investigative tools and evidence, none of these tests are 100% accurate all the time.
Chemical tests can be contaminated by improper handling, failing to clear the devices after a prior test, irregular maintenance, and operator error. You should not have to go to jail just because an inaccurate test said you were drunk. Field sobriety tests are even less accurate, especially when the police or State Patrol wasn't properly evaluating your test, or didn't give you the right instructions.
Atlanta DUI Defenses
Every case has possible defenses that your DUI lawyer will explore, to put the best case forward so that you can stay out of jail, keep a clean record, and keep your license to drive. This is why it is important to talk to a Georgia DUI lawyer who exclusively handles DUI cases. If you were charged with a DUI anywhere in Georgia, call Lawson and Berry today so we can put the best case forward, and defend your rights.