Driving while under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) are serious charges. If you, a friend or family member have been arrested for criminal drunk driving or driving while intoxicated, though, there are quite a few many possible defenses. It is often possible to get the prosecution to drop or reduce the charges or even get an acquittal.
The prosecution must prove:
- The defendant was actually driving the vehicle.
- While driving the vehicle, the defendant’s ability to drive safely was impaired by drugs, alcohol or a combination of the two. In a DUI or DWI case, anything that is evidence against one of these two points should be introduced as part of the defense.
In California, for criminal charges to stick, the state prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt the act of driving while under the influence. If the state cannot do this, you may be entitled to a dismissal or acquittal.
There are other ways to defend against DUI or DWI. For example, if the officer failed to follow proper legal procedures during the stop, then any evidence gatheref from the stop or the arrest could be “inadmissible” and kept out of court. What if you were stopped for a reason other than your driving behavior? If the arresting officer stopped you because of your race or ethnicity, you may be able to challenge the initial stop itself, before the arrest.
There also explanations for your appearance. Bloodshot eyes? What if you haven’t been sleeping well or you have allergies? Slurred speech? What if you are on medications? The list goes on, and every situation is different. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to ask the right questions and come up with the best defense. Don’t do it alone, and don’t think there aren’t ways to make the better. There usually are.