Whether you call it drunk driving, intoxicated driving, or driving under the influence, DUI is a serious crime to be charged with in California. If you are convicted, you could be jailed, fined, and deprived of your driver’s license, among other penalties. A conviction will also make it much harder for you to work in certain professions, particularly within the transportation industry. Fortunately, there are several strategies that a skilled Ventura DUI attorney can use to fight intoxicated driving charges in California.
5 Ways to Fight Intoxicated Driving Charges in California
The DUI defense strategies presented below will not necessarily apply to every case. Because each defendant’s situation is unique, it is critically important that you are represented by an experienced criminal attorney who, rather than taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach, is able to formulate an aggressive strategy based on the existing facts and circumstances. With that in mind, below are five defense strategies that can be used to fight DUI charges in California.
- Your attorney can challenge the legality of the stop and arrest procedures. Police officers cannot randomly pull you over whenever they feel like it. They must have probable cause based on their observations. Further, a police officer must read you the Miranda Warning – the famous statement that begins, “You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions” – if you are in custody and the officer intends to use your statements as evidence. If a police officer stops you because of racial profiling or other illegitimate reasons, or follows improper protocols when placing you under arrest, your attorney may be able to have the charges dropped.
- Your attorney can dispute your “failing” performance on field sobriety tests. Police officers are trained to detect the signs of impairment, but they don’t always get it right. Being sick, having itchy eyes, using mouthwash, taking a medication, wearing clothes or shoes that are hard to walk in, or simply being nervous or clumsy can all cause you to appear intoxicated when you are actually sober.
- Your attorney can challenge the accuracy of blood and/or breath test results. The results of breathalyzer tests and blood tests are susceptible to human error. If there is a possibility that a test was improperly performed, or was performed using faulty equipment, your attorney can dispute the validity of the results. Your attorney may also be able to raise questions about the chain of custody, such as issues with the way your sample was handled, labeled, or stored.
- Your attorney can dispute your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). Even when a testing device is properly used, certain medical conditions can cause inaccurate results. For example, diabetes – a condition that affects more than 13% of California’s population – can cause a high BAC to display. Further, using mouthwash or certain oral medications, such as cough syrup, can leave residual alcohol behind in your mouth, which can also produce a false BAC reading.
- Your attorney can question the officer’s compliance with the 15-minute observation rule. In California, police officers are required to wait 15 minutes before administering a breath test. During this time, the officer must observe you to make sure you do not vomit, burp, or even hiccup, all of which can skew your BAC reading to make it seem higher than it really is. If the officer fails to continuously observe you throughout the 15-minute period – for example, because he or she uses the time to fill out paperwork – the officer has no way of knowing whether bodily functions could have interfered with your BAC readout.
Contact a Ventura Criminal Defense Lawyer if You Were Arrested for Drunk Driving
A conviction of drunk driving or drugged driving could have intensely negative repercussions for your reputation, your career, your personal relationships, your finances, and your very freedom itself. Allow the Ventura DUI attorneys of Bamieh & De Smeth to supply the rigorous defense you deserve.
Bringing more than 22 years of experience to each case we handle, our Ventura drunk driving lawyers possess the knowledge and skill to aggressively and efficiently handle an array of DUI-related cases, including:
- Aggravated DUI
- Breathalyzer Refusals
- First Offense DUI
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Violations
- Open Container Violations
- Second Offense DUI
- Third Offense DUI
- Underage DUI
Our defense lawyers handle DUI and related offenses throughout Ventura County, including Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo, Moorpark, and Santa Paula. Additionally, our accomplished team of Santa Barbara DUI lawyers handle cases in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Goleta, Orcutt, Isla Vista, and throughout Santa Barbara County.
There’s no time to waste if you or a loved one was recently arrested for driving under the influence in Ventura or Santa Barbara County. If you were charged with felony DUI or misdemeanor DUI, call a Ventura criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC immediately at (805) 585-5056.