The Top DUI Defenses Every Defendant Should Know

DUI - Hanlon Sarasota

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense that can result in hefty fines, jail time, and even loss of driving privileges. However, being charged with a DUI does not necessarily equate to a conviction. In fact, skilled defense attorneys know that there are numerous strategies available to fight against these charges. This article will take an in-depth look at the top DUI defenses every defendant should be aware of when facing criminal charges. From challenging field sobriety tests to attacking probable cause for pulling over a vehicle, defendants must understand their options and utilize effective legal defenses to avoid harsh penalties associated with this crime.

The “Rising Blood Alcohol” Defense: Understanding Alcohol Absorption Rates and Timing

This common defense strategy argues that the defendant’s blood alcohol level was below the legal limit at the time they were driving, but rose above it during or after they were pulled over by law enforcement. This can happen due to a delay in the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, causing an individual’s blood alcohol level to rise even after they have stopped drinking. Understanding how alcohol is absorbed into the body and how long it takes can be crucial in determining whether this defense will be successful. To support this defense, a skilled attorney may call upon experts such as toxicologists or pharmacologists to testify about their client’s rate of absorption of alcohol; factors like body weight and food consumption can affect absorption rates as well. 

By presenting evidence that shows their client’s BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was rising when tested, an attorney may successfully argue that their client was not technically over the legal limit while operating a vehicle. However, judges and juries are often skeptical of this defense since it requires accepting evidence presented by expert witnesses who are attempting to refute field sobriety test results from on-scene officers. As with any other DUI defense tactic, defendants should consult with experienced attorneys before pursuing any given path forward for building their case against impaired-driving charges.

Attacking Field Sobriety Tests: Common Flaws and Inaccuracies

One of the most common defenses utilized against DUI charges is attacking the accuracy and credibility of field sobriety tests. These tests, which are commonly employed by law enforcement officers during traffic stops, are designed to measure a driver’s level of impairment. However, there are numerous flaws in these tests that can lead to inaccuracies and false positives. For example, one well-known flaw is that certain medical conditions or physical impairments can cause an individual to perform poorly on field sobriety tests even if they have not been drinking.  

Another issue with field sobriety tests is that they rely heavily on subjective interpretations by police officers rather than objective measures of impairment. This means that results can be influenced by the officer’s personal opinions and biases, leading to unreliable and potentially unfair outcomes for defendants. In fact, many states have recognized the limitations of these tests and have restricted their use as evidence in court.

Overall, attacking the credibility of field sobriety tests remains one of the most effective strategies for defending against DUI charges. By exposing flaws in these tests and calling into question their accuracy, defendants may be able to cast doubt on evidence presented against them at trial and ultimately avoid conviction.

Challenging Probable Cause: Unlawful Traffic Stops and Police Misconduct

Police misconduct is another issue that can be used as a defense against DUI charges. If an officer acted improperly during a traffic stop or arrest, it could result in the dismissal of charges entirely. Examples of police misconduct may include using excessive force, coercion to obtain an admission of guilt from a suspect, or failing to properly administer sobriety tests. A skilled attorney will thoroughly review all aspects of an individual’s case for any signs of improprieties on behalf of law enforcement officials involved with their arrest and build strong legal arguments based on this information.

In conclusion, challenging probable cause and instances of police misconduct are two powerful weapons that individuals charged with DUI should consider when formulating their defense strategies. While being arrested for driving under the influence can seem daunting, knowing your rights and working with experienced attorneys who understand these complex legal issues can ultimately give defendants leverage in seeking acquittal or reduction of criminal charges against them.

Consider reaching out to the skilled attorneys at Hanlon Law for more information and guidance. 

Hanlon Law
1605 Main St Ste 1115
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 462-1789

Attorney Will Hanlon
Attorney Will Hanlonhttps://www.criminalattorneytampa.net/
As a native Floridian and criminal defense attorney, my family history in Tampa spans generations. Since being admitted to The Florida Bar almost 20 years ago, I founded Hanlon Law and have gained extensive legal experience in criminal courtrooms in and around Tampa and throughout Florida.

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