When you end up behind bars and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you will likely be struck by a number of negative feelings. It's only natural to be embarrassed, afraid, and confused about what might happen to you. Make no mistake about it, DUI convictions carry serious penalties, and some of those can affect your freedom and driving privileges.
You should understand, however, that DUI arrests are one area where law enforcement must do things exactly by the book. Read on to find out more about how your defense attorney might fight back and seek justice your DUI charges.
Assist in your case
Your first step is locating an attorney to help in this important battle. There are, however, some things beyond that you can do to assist in your case and get it off to a quick and efficient start. You can begin gathering and preserving information right away. You will learn that each and every thing you can remember about the arrest could turn out to be a key determinant in your case. Here are two things to do right after you contact a DUI lawyer:
1. Get a copy of your arrest report. This report holds a great deal of information your attorney will need and it might be provided to you upon your release from jail. If not, contact the arresting agency directly.
2. Keep a journal. The more stressful the event, the more your brain might try to hide it from you. Using a journal to record your thoughts and memories about the arrest might help you identify facts that could get your charges reduced or removed.
Was the stop and arrest by the book?
A DUI stop and arrest is far from a simple event, and the potential for mistakes to be made are high. Take, for example, the following areas of concern:
1. Due cause: Law enforcement cannot pull a person over without a reason. The reason doesn't have to be connected to the DUI charge, but it should be a valid traffic or equipment-related issue. Additionally, law enforcement must have due cause to suspect you of being intoxicated before they administer field sobriety tests.
2. Field sobriety tests: There are three commonly-used tests and each one requires the administering officer to be trained and certified. The tests must be performed to the letter of the law. If there are any conditions that might affect the validity of the results it will be explored by your attorney. Some of those issues that might affect the tests include:
- physical barriers (bad knees, balance issues)
- neurological barriers (brain disorders, stress)
- language barriers
- environmental barriers (sloping ground, too dark)
These are but a few of the facets of your arrest that must be scrutinized for absolute correctness. Speak to your criminal law attorney about your drunk driving defense and see justice get served.