If you were arrested for DUI in Virginia, it may seem like the deck is stacked against you. Before pleading guilty and making a rash decision, consider the full spectrum of defense strategies and how seemingly strong evidence can wither under scrutiny.
Was the stop legal?
A good place to start in building a strong DUI defense is the stop itself. Police officers cannot simply stop a driver for any reason at all. If a police officer pulled you over based on merely “a hunch,” that officer has violated your constitutional rights. Any evidence obtained from an illegal stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.
Are the chemical test results reliable?
Evidence from breath, blood and urine tests often prove pivotal in a DUI case. But remember, even if your test results came out at .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher, it does not necessarily mean you are guilty. There are a number of reasons chemical test evidence is unreliable, including:
- The officer conducting the test was not properly trained
- The breath test machine was not properly calibrated
- The solutions used in the testing were expired or otherwise tainted
A good defense lawyer understands the technology behind DUI chemical testing and can scrutinize your case for possible weaknesses in this element of the prosecutor’s case.
Did you fail the field sobriety test for innocent reasons?
There are a number of reasons you might fail the physical challenges of the field sobriety of test that have nothing to do with drinking and driving. You may have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to balance. Or perhaps the police officer may not have given you proper instructions. Perfectly sober drivers can fail this test. Your failure in one or more elements of the test is not necessarily evidence you were driving under the influence.
Remember to keep a positive attitude when confronting these serious charges. Even if you think the state has a strong case, a skilled attorney can use proven defense strategies to help eliminate or at least mitigate the impact this has on your life.