From the moment a driver was first pulled over up until the trial, there could have been many ways in which an officer or other person involved in the investigation made a mistake. In the days, weeks, or months leading up to a DUI trial, evidence may have been tampered with, blood tests could have been run incorrectly, the driver’s rights violated, and so much more. Unfortunately, the judicial system is anything but close to perfect, so those who have been arrested for a DUI should get legal help as soon as possible.
What if the officer had no reason to stop me to begin with?
Drivers have the right to not be stopped by the police for no reason at all. An officer must have what is called a “reasonable suspicion” that something isn’t right. The officer must have observed signs that criminal activity could be taking place, before halting a driver and asking questions. If the officer only had a hunch that the driver was drunk but he or she was driving perfectly fine, then it may be deemed an “improper stop” by the court.
What are the chances that my DUI test results weren’t reliable?
After an arrest, an officer must arrange for the driver’s blood to be collected and then that sample evaluated by a licensed and trained lab worker or phlebotomist. Testing that is done by an inexperienced lab technician may become a useful defense, depending on the factors of your case. Also, an officer is required to properly maintain the blood sample after being gathered to prevent mislabeling, contamination, and fermentation. Your attorney can investigate further to see if tampering with your blood sample had occurred, which likely skewed the results.
I have a medical condition, could that influence my DUI case?
People who have a medical condition may have the appearance of being under the influence. For some, their condition can even result in a flawed breathalyzer test result. Additionally, being fatigued or having a neurological issue can cause slurred speech. Perhaps the driver was struggling with a sinus infection and had watery, blood-shot eyes and a lazy demeanor. Lastly, any “alcohol smell” that the officer claimed to notice could be due to ketosis (a side effect of diabetes, in which glucose in a person’s bloodstream can ferment).
What if the officer didn’t read me my Miranda rights until much later?
Every person has the right to be informed of their Miranda rights upon being accused of criminal activity. If a driver has been placed under arrest for a DUI, the officer must read him or her Miranda rights before the process moves forward. Otherwise, it is possible that any evidence gathered by the officer becomes void in court. To take this point further, this means that incriminating statements, urine samples, blood samples, a field sobriety test, and other observations cannot be used against the driver. When talking with your drunk driving attorney in Bloomington, IL, be sure to let him or her know if the officer who arrested you failed to read you your Miranda rights in a timely manner, or forget them entirely.
Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into criminal law and getting out of a DUI conviction.