No matter the circumstances behind your drunk driving arrest, or how strong the evidence is against you, it's always wise to fight the charges rather than bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. Doing so only hands the prosecution an easy conviction, and it's unlikely that falling to put up a fight will compel the judge to "go easy" on your sentencing.
It comes as a surprise to many that even drunk driving charges that seem like an open and shut case usually have some room to build a defense, even if the defense does not ultimately result in dismissed charges. A strong defense can help a person facing DWI charges protect his or her rights and possibly reduce the severity of the consequences, all of which are positive outcomes to some degree or another.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of DWI charges, now is the time to act. The longer you put off building your defense, the fewer legal options you may have--and the easier it may be for the prosecution to push through your conviction.
Examine your charges closely to identify ways you may challenge them on any front, to ensure that your rights and privileges remain secure. Below are a few key areas to look into.
Was your traffic stop legal?
In many cases, a traffic stop that leads to DWI charges was not properly initiated, which may serve as solid grounds for getting the charges dismissed altogether. In order for an officer to properly stop a suspect, he or she must have probable cause, or a specific reason to suspect criminal activity. If the officer does not have probable cause to make the initial stop, then any subsequent developments may be inadmissible in court and lead to dismissal of the charges.
Was your testing properly administered?
Whether your DWI charges are based on a field sobriety test, breath test, or a blood or urine test, all of these testing methods may produce unreliable evidence if the officer administered them incorrectly.
For field sobriety tests, it is important for the officer to use proper testing techniques and explain the test accurately to the subject. Many field sobriety tests, for instance, require a suspect to exit the car and stand or walk about in the immediate area. If the ground is uneven or wet where the test takes place, then the results are possibly unreliable since the ground may have compromised the ability of the suspect to fairly complete the test.
Similarly, if a breath testing device does not receive regular maintenance and calibration, it, too, may produce unreliable results which a defendant may challenge in court. Even devices that receive proper calibration are still susceptible to operator error by the administering officer.
Fight the charges immediately
A DWI defense can take many forms, but every defense is stronger and more likely to prove effective if it's undertaken sooner rather than later. If you or a loved one is facing drunk driving charges, don't wait another day to have an experienced criminal defense attorney carefully construct a four-corner legal defense that uses the evidence and the law to protect your rights and privileges.