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Avoiding Conviction: 3 Possible Defenses In Your DUI Case

by Layla Bryant

Being convicted of a DUI offense can come with serious consequences including a loss of your driving privileges, thousands of dollars in fines, and even jail time. This is why it is so important to be aware of the different defenses that can be used to help clear your name after being charged with driving under the influence. Below you will learn more about these defense strategies and how your criminal lawyer (such as one from Kaiser Law Group) may use these defenses to help you avoid a conviction.

Defense: You Were Not Driving

A key factor in any DUI case is to prove that you were in fact driving while under the influence. While you may have been legally intoxicated, this is not a crime unless you were operating a vehicle. Therefore, the fact that you were not driving can be used as a total defense to the charge of DUI.

For the purposes of a DUI case, the law defines driving as being in control of a motor vehicle. Therefore, you can still be charged with this crime if your vehicle was idling at the time the arresting officer approached you. However, if your vehicle was parked and the engine was turned off, you can argue that you were not in control of the vehicle at the time and where therefore not driving. While this defense strategy is rarely used, it can be highly effective in cases where individuals pass out behind the wheel on the side of the road or in a parking lot and are subsequently charged with DUI.

Defense: You Were Not Intoxicated

Chances are, you were given a sobriety test both before and after your arrest. If you refused to submit to this test, you should know that this refusal is the same as failing the test in the eyes of the law. However, if there is an alternative reason for your inability to pass a sobriety test, this information can be used to help you avoid a conviction. For instance, if you are currently taking prescription medication that can result in a false positive, presenting evidence of this fact to the court could result in the charges against you being dropped.

Defense: Arresting Officer Did Not Have Probable Cause

If your arrest for DUI occurred after being pulled over for an unrelated issue, the evidence that was collected against you as a result of your traffic stop cannot be used to convict you of DUI if you are able to prove that the arresting officer lacked probable cause to stop you in the first place. While this defense does not directly attack the validity of the charges against you, it can result in these charges being dismissed if the prosecution is unable to introduce any of the evidence against you in court.