How to Beat a DUI
You thought you were driving just fine. The traffic cop currently on your tail begs to differ. You completely flubbed the field sobriety test, and you just blew a .09 BAC on the Breathalyzer. Now what? You’re in big trouble, and it will go from bad to worse very quickly unless you get the highly skilled and experienced attorneys from Bruno Law Offices on your side. If you haven’t called them already, stop what you’re doing and call them right now at (217) 328-6000.
Can I Really Contest a DUI Charge?
Your driving privileges, your job, and your liberty are now in serious jeopardy. This is no time for amateurs. The prosecutor brings – and wins — hundreds of DUI cases every month. A substantial percentage of those wins are obtained against first-time DUI offenders. That doesn’t have to happen to you. There are ways to beat a DUI charge or to negotiate lesser charges and penalties but trying to do it yourself is like taking a knife to a gunfight. Your Bruno Law Offices attorney can bring the heavy artillery and level the playing field, so you have a chance to contain the fallout from this unfortunate incident before it costs you everything.
The first thing you need to know is that, under Illinois law, you are presumed innocent, and the prosecutor has to prove every element of the DUI charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If your attorney from [firm name] helps you prevent the prosecutor from making his case, you can be acquitted of the charges—that is, found not guilty. So how, exactly, do the attorneys at Bruno Law Offices convince the judge or jury that there is reasonable doubt about whether the prosecutor made his case? While every matter is unique and is decided on its own specific facts, the attorneys at Bruno Law Offices have helped many clients in similar circumstances. We have found the following strategies helpful if the situation warrants these strategies.
- Challenge the basis for the traffic stop. A police officer must have a reasonable basis to pull you over and detain you. That means the officer has to identify specific behavior that shows you violated a traffic law or some other law. While weaving from side to side in your own lane without actually leaving the lane may look bad, it is not illegal. If you can demonstrate that you did not commit any traffic violation before the officer pulled you over, the court may find the arrest unlawful and refuse to admit any evidence obtained during the arrest.
- Attack the reliability of the field sobriety test. In many cases, the officer cites your “failing” the field sobriety test as the basis for demanding that you submit to a breathalyzer test. The truth is, there are some people who couldn’t pass the field sobriety test even when stone-cold sober. Numerous factors influence how an individual driver performs when asked to stand on one leg or touch his nose with his finger. A driver suffering from an injury, obesity, diabetes, old age, or on heavy medication might appear to be intoxicated when doing these “tricks” on the side of the road with other cars zipping by at high speeds. If you can prove the officer misjudged your condition and therefore should not have made you submit to the breathalyzer test, any results obtained from that test may be excluded from evidence.
- Contest the validity of the breathalyzer results. Breathalyzer units are sophisticated but sensitive devices. Each manufacturer establishes its own protocols for operating the unit so that the results may be considered valid. If the unit operator does not faithfully adhere to those requirements, the unit will produce inaccurate readings. The Illinois Supreme Court recognized more than 30 years ago that breathalyzer tests are not “flawless.” Where a variance of .01 percent BAC one way or the other could determine whether you’re found guilty or innocent, it’s worth it to rigorously challenge how both the unit and the operator performed. If the court excludes an adverse breathalyzer result from the case, the prosecutor may have to dismiss the charges against you.
- Undermine the results of any blood tests. Like the breathalyzer unit discussed above, the equipment used to measure the alcohol concentration in the driver’s bloodstream must be properly calibrated and operated in full compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions to reliably produce valid results. If the prosecutor cannot prove that the blood test results are scientifically valid, the court may not admit the evidence, and the case is over.
If you find yourself arrested for or charged with a DUI, don’t panic. You don’t have to go through this alone. Call Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000 today to set up your initial consultation. You can’t afford not to.