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Contesting a Drunk-Driving Charge, by Our Miami DUI Defense Attorney

March 21, 2016 • DUI Defense

Clients sometimes call our Miami DUI defense attorney after they have tried to fight the charges against them on their own. However, our lawyers can explain all of your options, which you might not know if you do not contact our lawyers first. With the help of competent legal counsel, the prosecution might be willing to reduce the charges, negotiate a plea deal or even drop the charges against you. Just as important, we might be able to prevent you from losing your driver’s license or even secure an acquittal.

The Prosecution’s Case

The prosecution will need to prove two key points:

  1. You were driving and
  2. You were impaired by drinking, using drugs or taking a combination of the two.

Our defense team will use their resources to fight these two points, thus keeping the prosecution from proving that you committed a crime. We also fight to keep evidence out of court, which limits the prosecution’s ability to prove your guilt of the Miami DUI charges. Here is some additional information on common DUI and DWI defenses:

Driving Defenses

If you were not driving a vehicle when you were arrested, you cannot be convicted of drunk driving. Usually, a law enforcement officer stopped you while you were behind the wheel, so this defense is often difficult. However, if the officer did not personally see you driving, your attorney might challenge the evidence.

Questions about the Justification for the Arrest

A police officer needs specific legal justification in order to stop you and arrest you. In addition, he or she needs to follow certain procedures during the arrest. Failure to adhere to these details could mean that the evidence is not admitted in court, resulting in dropped charges.

Lack of Probable Cause

The officer also needs probable cause, either based on how you were driving or due to your possible intoxication, in order to stop you. If you think that you were stopped for an unrelated reason, such as your race, then we might be able to raise doubt about the validity of your arrest.

Failure to Provide Miranda Warnings

Law enforcement must read you the Miranda warnings prior to arresting you. These warnings include the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney and the warning that what you say might be used against you in court. The officer needs to read the warnings to you word for word. If he or she fails to do so or forgets to read them, our Miami DUI defense attorney might be able to refute some of the evidence against you.

Testimony from the Arresting Officer

The arresting officer provides the bulk of the testimony against you, including his or her observations, recollections about what you said or did and an assessment regarding your level of impairment. For example, the officer might discuss how you were driving, your appearance and how you did on breath or field sobriety tests. By challenging the officer’s evidence or questioning his or her integrity, you might be able to cast serious doubt on the prosecution’s case. 

Witnesses for the Defense

If other people saw what happened before or during your arrest, they can testify on your behalf. Their testimony might include the following:

  • They were with you the entire time prior to the arrest and did not see you drink.
  • They believed that you were not impaired.
  • They believed that you were swerving, or driving as if you were impaired, because you were distracted as opposed to being impaired.

Additional Reasons for Your Actions or Appearance

Other explanations for your actions or appearance might include the following:

  • The directions for the field sobriety tests confused you, causing you to fail them.
  • Physical impairments, such as bad knees, caused you to fail the field sobriety tests.
  • Medications or a lack of sleep caused your slurred speech.
  • Contacts, dry eyes, allergies or a lack of sleep caused your bloodshot eyes.

Saliva, Urine, Blood and Breath Tests

The results of saliva, urine, blood and breath tests usually form the foundation for a DWI or DUI charge. If your lawyer can raise doubts about the validity of these tests, your case might be dropped. For example, some medications cause the breath-testing machine to register alcohol consumption. The machine might not have been properly calibrated, or the officer might not know how to operate it correctly. The officer might not have given you the correct warnings prior to testing you or might have tested you while alcohol was still being absorbed into your system.

Retain the Services of Our Miami DUI Defense Attorney

If you are facing Miami DUI charges, contact the Law Office of Antonio G. Jimenez for seasoned legal representation.