Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense. In many cases, however, an Alameda DUI lawyer can help someone who is charged with a DUI avoid a conviction. Lawyers have expertise, resources, and experience that can prove invaluable to a defendant. Let’s look at what a good lawyer can do for you, and why you would be foolish to not hire one.
DUI Definition and Penalties
Driving under the influence refers to the presence of controlled substances such as alcohol or drugs having a presence in a person’s system while they are driving a motor vehicle. A person with a .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or higher is considered legally intoxicated.
A DUI is a misdemeanor, but it carries some stiff penalties, which include suspension of driver’s license, hefty fines, and a combination of required educational classes, community service, or even jail time.
The major advantage of hiring an Alameda DUI lawyer to represent you is that they understand what evidence is typically used in these sorts of cases, and how it can be challenged.
To begin with, the arresting officer must file a report, which is based on their observations. They will describe their cause for pulling you over, enter anything you said into the record, and detail your behavior, and circumstances such as the presence or smell of alcohol. An Alameda DUI lawyer will be able to ascertain how accurate these details are, and no how to properly challenge anything circumstantial.
Field Sobriety Test
Blood tests and breathalyzer results are usually the accepted currency to assess intoxication. Officers will usually also ask suspects to perform field sobriety tests, which are highly subjective and may not hold up under the scrutiny of questions from an Alameda DUI lawyer. Their goal here is to let facts speak for themselves, rather than observations, even those made by the police.
Many times, a DUI charge is dismissed because the proper procedures were not followed before or after the fact. An Alameda DUI lawyer can challenge the timing of a blood or breathalyzer test, spot inaccuracies on reports, or other discrepancies or clerical mistakes. If the mistake is big enough, the state cannot convict you.
DUI attorneys are highly skilled and highly trained to examine the case against their clients and take the best course of action to defend them. Defendants who choose to try to “wing it” without representation open themselves up to the full strength of the legal system and may face stiff penalties when convicted.