What Are Your Options When Facing A DUI Charge?

If you've been charged with a DUI, you might be wondering what your options are for addressing the situation. Your options range from trying to fight it to pleading guilty, and there are a couple in between. Let's examine what might be worth considering as you present a DUI defense.

Proving You Weren't Intoxicated

This is one of the tougher defenses because it usually relies on proving something about your body chemistry or about the equipment used to do the tests. Exotic defenses include things like auto-brewery syndrome, a disorder where the stomach produces excess alcohol that throws off tests. The simpler approach is to look at the equipment used to do the breath test and raise questions about its accuracy or how it was used. This usually involves collecting data about the model and comparing your tests to other cases that were questionable.

It's usually wise to avoid this defense if you're not 100% sure you hadn't been drinking. Bear in mind the police might argue that you were otherwise intoxicated, such as from the use of pharmaceutical or illicit drugs, but that at least makes prosecution harder.

Questioning the Traffic Stop

In American law, there's an understanding that the police can't randomly pull people over without cause. If you study the charges filed against you, there should be an affidavit from the arresting officer explaining that something initially caught their attention. This might be something like a non-working taillight, going over the speed limit, or repeatedly crossing the center line. Attorneys often seek cruiser dash video feeds to see what the cop saw and confirm or refute the claims from the affidavit.

Pleading Guilty

There does come a point where the futility of presenting a defense may not be worth the effort. Entering a plea of guilty may give you a chance to ask the court to go light on you, especially if you're a first-time offender. Accepting responsibility may also help the judge arrive at a lighter sentence, particularly if the defendant is open to drug and alcohol counseling.

A Reduced Charge

In the strictest sense, this is also pleading guilty. The big difference here is that you wouldn't plead guilty to the DUI charge. Instead, your lawyer might propose a plea involving a reduced charge, with reckless driving being one of the more common options. Once again, this approach usually works best if you don't have a history of recent offenses.

About Me

Fascinating Legal Problems

There’s a reason why there are so many legal procedural shows on television these days. The law can be an intriguing thing. Going to court isn’t usually something that you look forward to, but having the court system available is definitely a positive thing. You never know when you may need to use it for one reason or another. I’ve found, as a legal professor, that taking a look at interesting cases in different areas of the law is the best way to help my students understand their subject. I’m hoping this blog will give you an idea of how the court system can work for you by giving you at glimpse at some fascinating cases and the laws behind them.