Facing a DUI charge in Virginia can be daunting, but there are several strategies a skilled lawyer can employ to challenge the charge and potentially have your case dismissed.
Possible Defenses for a Virginia DUI Case
A knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer can argue for the dismissal of your case based on one or more of the following grounds:
The Police Violated Your Fourth Amendment Rights
In the United States, the Fourth Amendment grants citizens protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. This means the police must follow strict guidelines when stopping a car, performing a search, and making an arrest for DUI. To have your DUI case dismissed, your lawyer might argue that the police violated your rights. For instance, if the police searched your car without a valid reason or arrested you without probable cause, you might have a defense against the charges. Such violations allow an attorney to argue that the police’s evidence is inadmissible in court, which might result in a dismissal.
Law Enforcement Conducted an Illegal Traffic Stop
A traffic stop is legal only if the police have a justifiable reason, such as observing traffic violations or erratic driving. If your lawyer can demonstrate that the police stopped you without legitimate grounds, the court might consider the stop illegal. This illegality can play a crucial role in your defense. Often, the evidence obtained during an unlawful stop, like observations of DUI signs or a breathalyzer test result, is not permissible in court. If the primary evidence against you is obtained from an unlawful stop, there’s a strong possibility that your DUI charge could be dismissed.
Your Breath or Blood Test Results Were Inaccurate
Breath and blood tests are crucial in most DUI cases, but they’re not always accurate. The authorities must conduct these tests with properly functioning equipment and follow strict procedures to ensure accuracy. If your lawyer can prove that your test was mishandled – maybe the sample was contaminated, or your results got mixed up with someone else’s – your DUI charge could be dismissed. The court requires reliable evidence for a conviction, and any doubts about the accuracy of your test results will significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.
The Police Conducted an Unfair Field Sobriety Test
The police use field sobriety tests (FSTs) to assess impairment. They may ask a person they’ve stopped for DUI to perform tasks like walking in a straight line. However, FSTs are highly subjective, so the police must administer these tests in a standardized and fair manner. If your lawyer can show that the police didn’t conduct these tests properly, such as by providing unclear instructions or conducting the tests in challenging conditions, it could lead to a dismissal of your Virginia DUI case.
A Medical Condition or Prescription Affected Your Test Results
In some cases, a medical condition or prescription medication can falsely influence DUI test results. For instance, certain health issues can impair your ability to perform field sobriety tests, or some medications might affect the accuracy of a breathalyzer test. If your lawyer successfully argues that such factors impacted your DUI test results, the court might dismiss your case.
Contact a Virginia DUI Attorney Now
Facing DUI charges in Virginia? Don’t navigate the system alone. Contact Buczek Carpenter PC now to learn how we can defend your rights and protect your future in an initial consultation session.