If police arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol, you might think your fate is sealed. However, with the right legal guidance, it is possible to beat a DWI charge. First, it is important to understand your rights. You have the right to remain silent, and it is essential to your case that you do so until you have a chance to speak to your lawyer. Engaging in any conversation with police without your lawyer present may harm your defense. In fact, all police questioning must cease when you request a lawyer.
Types of DWI defenses
The exact defense strategy you use depends entirely on the circumstances of your case. A solid defense requires a skilled attorney from the start. Your lawyer may use any number of DWI defense strategies, including:
- Showing that your rights have been violated - Why were you pulled over in the first place? Did police have a reason to stop your car? Did the police read you your rights? Did police abuse you in anyway during the arrest or while you were in custody?
- Challenging field sobriety tests - In many DWI stops, police use field sobriety tests or FSTs to obtain probable cause for an arrest. The problem, however, is that FSTs are known to be inaccurate. If you are arrested for a DWI after performing the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, walk and turn or other FST, a lawyer may be able to have the results dismissed as evidence.
- Challenging Breathalyzer test - Machines are not infallible. Some, like Breathalyzers, require constant maintenance and calibration, and may yield inaccurate results under certain circumstances.