If you have been charged with a DWI (also referred to as a "DUI,") understanding the defenses available to you is crucial for a successful outcome. In this blog post, we will delve into possible defenses for a DWI, what to know if you have been charged, and how you can leverage this knowledge to build a strong defense.
1. The Science Behind Field Sobriety Tests
To build a strong defense, it's crucial to understand the science behind field sobriety tests (FSTs). These tests are designed to assess a driver's coordination, balance, and cognitive abilities to determine impairment. However, FSTs are subjective and can be influenced by various factors, leading to potential inaccuracies.
2. Common Errors in Field Sobriety Testing
Police officers are trained to administer FSTs accurately, but mistakes can still occur during the process. Common errors include improper instructions, conducting tests in challenging environments, and using non-standardized techniques. These errors can cast doubt on the validity of the test results.
3. Challenging the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test is used to detect involuntary eye movements associated with alcohol or drug impairment. However, medical conditions, fatigue, or prescription medications can also cause nystagmus, leading to false positives in the test. Challenging the HGN test's reliability can be a strong defense strategy.
4. Unreliable Walk-and-Turn Test
The Walk-and-Turn test requires the driver to take a series of steps in a straight line, turn, and walk back. Officers look for specific indicators of impairment, but nervousness, physical limitations, or uneven surfaces can affect the test's accuracy. Demonstrating such factors in court can challenge the validity of the results.
5. Navigating the One-Leg Stand Test
The One-Leg Stand test requires the driver to stand on one leg while counting aloud. Like other FSTs, this test is subjective and can be influenced by various factors. Physical injuries, health conditions, or officer bias can all impact the results, making it a viable defense strategy.
6. Breathalyzer Accuracy and Calibration
Breathalyzer devices used to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be calibrated and maintained regularly for accurate results. Challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer used in your case can raise doubts about the legitimacy of the BAC readings.
7. Rising Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) Defense
Alcohol takes time to absorb into the bloodstream, and your BAC may continue to rise even after you've stopped drinking. The rising blood alcohol level defense argues that your BAC was within the legal limit while driving but exceeded it at the time of the test.
8. Medical Conditions and Prescription Drugs
Certain medical conditions and prescription medications can mimic the effects of intoxication or affect FST performance. Providing medical evidence to support these claims can help challenge the prosecution's case.
9. Inadequate Probable Cause for the Stop
To pull you over for a suspected DWI, the police must have probable cause, such as erratic driving or traffic violations. If there was no legitimate reason for the traffic stop, your defense attorney can challenge the legality of the arrest.
10. Inaccurate Police Report or Testimony
Inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the police report or officer testimony can be used to undermine the credibility of the prosecution's case and raise doubts about the evidence presented.
Contact The Law Offices of Jed Silverman
Remember, it is essential to consult an experienced DWI defense attorney who can analyze your case, identify any test inaccuracies, and build a solid defense strategy tailored to your circumstances. At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, we proudly defend clients against DWI charges. Our team of skilled defense attorneys understands the intricacies of DWI law and can help you navigate this complex legal landscape. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us fight for your rights.