7 Reasons a Drunk Driving Case in VA Can Be Beaten in Court!
Virginia Drunk Driving laws are tough, but almost any DUI case can be won in court. A smart attorney will dig hard, challenge everything, and make the prosecutor prove every element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The Constitution requires nothing less.
The police frequently make procedural mistakes that go against their own training. They are also often biased in favor of arresting you based on the smell of alcohol and otherwise flimsy and unconvincing evidence.
Virginia DUI Defense Experience Matters
DUI cases are very complex, involving scientific evidence and testing, and confusing police and legal procedures. So you really want a criminal defense attorney with experience fighting and winning DUI cases in Virginia courts.
My job is to convince a jury that the case is simple and the evidence is weak.
But more than that, to help them understand that a DUI charge is something that could happen to almost anyone. If a jury can empathize with your situation, then we are halfway to winning the case.
Most adults have had a drink or two, and driven home. If the police smell alcohol, and you happen to have bad knees, or be unsteady on your feet for any reason, the chance of being arrested is very strong. Some Virginia police officers just tend to arrest people to be “on the safe side”, regardless of how strong the facts are that strongly prove that you are too impaired to drive safely.
This happens everyday in Virginia. DUI charges are disturbing easy to get. Butyou are not a criminal, and I will fight to defend you and save your license.
The following legal challenges can be used to win a DUI case in Virginia.
#1: Challenge the Reason for the Stop
The police can’t just pull you over for any reason. They have to explain exactly what circumstances caused them to stop your car. If they didn’t see you commit a crime or traffic violation, or they can’t produce a witness who did, then the case must be dismissed.
#2: Challenge Operation of the Car
Did the police actually pull you over while you were driving? If there was an accident, and you weren’t in the vehicle when they got there, they have to prove you were the driver. It doesn’t matter if you were drunk if they can’t prove you were driving the car. There must be a witness to you operating the vehicle.
If there was a phone call to the police, and the officer doesn’t get there until you are out of the car and already home, they have the same problem.
#3: Challenge Police Procedures
Did the officer properly give you your Miranda rights? This usually won’t get a case dismissed, but we may be able to get certain admissions or other incriminating statements excluded from evidence depending on if and when the police arrested and Mirandized you.
Did the officer advice you of your rights and the consequences of refusing a breath or chemical test? Test results can be excluded if procedures were not followed in implied consent warnings.
#4: Challenge Prosecutor Procedures
Did the DA follow all the rules of evidence for admissibility on chemical test data?
Did they properly notify the defense of all evidence they intended to present at trial? If not, it must be excluded.
#5: Challenge the Breath Test Machine or Other Devices
Many people think that if they failed the breath test, then the case can’t be won, but this isn’t so. There are countless challenges to these flawed devices.
Breath test machines don’t really measure alcohol in the bloodstream, and they make many assumptions about alcohol, and human physiology that don’t apply in many cases. We can challenge the state’s expert witness on chemical analysis of alcohol with our own expert.
These machines can issue false positives based on radio frequency interference, a person’s diet, medical conditions (acid reflux), and other failed testing procedures.
We can also argue testing during the “absorption phase”. If you are tested for alcohol while you are still absorbing alcohol after consuming it, results can be skewed. Eating food can slow absorption rates.
Retrograde extrapolation of BAC can also apply. If the testing is done well after you are off the road, it is possible that you were under the limit while you were over the limit once you were tested at the police station, sometimes hours later. We can argue if you’d been allowed to drive home, you wouldn’t have been legally impaired above .08 BAC until you were home.
#6: Challenge the Field Sobriety Tests
Field Sobriety tests are scored subjectively by police officers in Virginia DUI arrests. And they way the tests are administered is often designed for you to fail. What was the scoring method used, and what was your exact score on those measures?
There are also specific procedures that must be followed for the tests to be fair and scientifically valid. Did you have to balance on a slope? Did you have to walk on an imaginary line? Both of these things are against the officer’s training.
If you have injuries or medical problems with your back, knees, legs or feet, you may not be able to perform balancing tests like the 9 step walk and turn, or the one leg stand.
If you are overweight or over 65 years old, you are not considered a good candidate for agility tests, and they should not be included.
If you are wearing high heels, large boots, or other inappropriate footwear, the testing can be invalid.
#7: Challenge The Officers Observations
Officers will routinely state that you smelled of alcohol, or appeared unsteady on your feet, but these are completely subjective statements. Do they know how steadily you usually walk? Smell has no direct correlation with intoxication.
There may be other witnesses who can offer an unbiased opinion on your state. Also, if there is videotape evidence taken from the cruiser, or at the police station, that may be very helpful in letting the jury judge for themselves whether you appeared to be intoxicated.
These are just some of the countless challenges and arguments I can make in court to establish that you were not impaired, and are not guilty of a DUI charge.
When I review you case, other things may jump out at me that we can use to challenge the prosecution.
So call me today to talk about your Virginia DUI case, and I’ll give you the benefit of my experience in fighting and winning drunk driving trials. I’ll go over the facts of your case and tell you exactly what I think are the chances to win in a trial or get a dismissal, and why. The legal advice is free, so call me now!
The Attorneys of VaCriminalDefenseLawyer.com