Dumfries DUI Attorney
If you have been stopped for, arrested for, or charged with DUI or DWI in Virginia, regardless of the circumstances, you should never assume that you will be found guilty. For state prosecutors, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drug cases can be some of the most difficult matters to litigate because they depend on the ability of police officers, technicians, and Virginia Department of Forensic Science personnel and other parties to comply with proper procedures and follow complicated laws.
Contact a Dumfries DUI lawyer today to ensure that your rights are protected and begin building the strongest defense possible. Our DUI defense attorneys will stand by you and help you figure out your next move.
Dumfries DUI Defense Strategies
No matter if it is your first, second, or third or subsequent offense, an effective Dumfries DUI attorneys need just a single mistake by the prosecution— anywhere along the chain—to significantly challenge the prosecution’s case and possibly beat a conviction in a DUI case. Depending on the circumstances, an experienced Dumfries DUI lawyer can conduct a review of your situation and determine what DUI defense can make a significant difference and obtain a successful outcome for the client.
Even if you do not receive a dismissal of the charges, you may receive a lighter sentence. Here are a few of the possible defenses that Dumfries DUI attorneys can use to minimize the consequences of a DUI charge:
Invalid Traffic Stops
Generally, a law enforcement officer must have a “reasonable articulable suspicion” that a crime has occurred. If the officer cannot provide a legitimate reason why they reasonably suspect that the driver had broken the law prior to stopping the vehicle, the court may declare the traffic stop unconstitutional and dismiss the DUI case.
Sometimes, an officer makes a vague accusation, such as that the driver looked like he was speeding, or that he received an anonymous tip from a citizen. If a Dumfries DUI lawyer can show that the arresting officer did not meet the “reasonable articulable suspicion” requirement, then the court will probably throw out the DUI case.
Constitutional Issues With The Arrest
A law enforcement officer must have probable cause that the driver was intoxicated before the actual arrest. If the officer lacks probable cause, the court can rule the arrest invalid and dismiss the DUI case.
Often, Dumfries DUI lawyers mount a challenge against drunk-driving arrests by focusing on at least one of four types of evidence presented by prosecutors, in the following order:
- Preliminary Breath Tests (PBT) procedures and result
- Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)
- The driving behavior of the defendant
- Signs of intoxication – odor, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and lack of coordination
If the court rules that the arrest was unconstitutional, the DUI case is dismissed.
Field Sobriety Tests
In Virginia, you cannot be forced to take a field sobriety test. If a law enforcement officer forces you to take such a test, then the court may rule the act a violation of your constitutional rights. As a result, all the evidence related to the FST may be ruled inadmissible.
Preliminary Breath Tests
A Virginia police officer must have enough evidence to show a judge or magistrate that “probable cause” existed for making the DUI arrest. A PBT can be used to justify an arrest, but it cannot be used as evidence of intoxication in order to obtain a conviction.
Dumfries DUI attorneys have the know-how to aggressively attack PBT results using the following strategies:
- Failure to inform the driver that the test is voluntary
- Failure to allow the driver to see the PBT results if requested
- Failure to maintain and use the PBT device in accordance with the
- Manufacturer’s instructions
- Radio signals interfering with the test device
- Tell your attorney immediately if you believe any of the above has occurred.
Whether You Were Intoxicated at the Time of the Offense
Virginia law requires the prosecutor to prove that a driver was drunk at the time of operating the vehicle — not just when tested at the station. If the PBT results at the scene turn out to be much lower than your evidentiary breath test (EBT) level at the station, your DUI attorney may be able to prove that you were not legally intoxicated at the time you were pulled over by the officer.
Usually, this rising BAC situation happens when a person indulges in an alcoholic beverage immediately before being pulled over. In that case, the alcohol in the stomach had not yet entered into the bloodstream at the time they were driving. Your attorney can argue that you could have arrived home before becoming legally intoxicated had you not been arrested.
Consult With a Dumfries DUI Attorney
These are just a few examples of potential defenses Dumfries DUI attorneys have to question the validity of a drunk driving charge in Virginia. A determined, aggressive attorney can raise dozens of possible defenses to win your case or have the charge reduced.
If you or a loved one are arrested and convicted of DUI in Virginia, it can have serious, long-term, and life-changing civil and criminal consequences. Contact a Dumfries DUI Attorney for a free consultation to discuss your case and find out what your options are, based on the circumstances of your case.