The California laws take drunk driving very seriously. There are severe penalties that follow after you have been arrested with a DUI. In that case, it is recommendable to employ relevant legal defenses to have your case dismissed or reduced to a minor sentence. San Diego DUI Attorney offers the best legal services to anyone with a DUI case within San Diego, CA.

Top Legal Defenses for DUI

Every legal defense falls into three categories. These categories as follows:

  • You were not intoxicated

  • You were not impaired while driving

  • Your arresting police officer did not follow the right procedure

Here are the legal defenses that your Ramona DUI attorney will employ in your case.

The Police Officer Pulled Me Over for No Reason

Under the US 4th Amendment, a police officer should have a valid reason while pulling over a suspect. If the police officer did not have any valid reason for your stoppage, then your Ramona DUI attorney can successfully defend you for the illegal stoppage, and the evidence that shows that you are guilty of DUI will be suppressed.

For an officer to legally stop you, he or she must reasonably believe that you have

committed a DUI offense or have violated a traffic offense. Common signs and symptoms of drunk driving include:

  • Straddling at the center of the lane mark

  • Appearing to be drunk

  • Almost striking an object while driving

  • Swerving

  • Following another vehicle too closely

  • Excessive braking and slow acceleration

Other than being pulled over for no reason, other aspects prove a violation of the US 4th Amendment. These factors are as follows:

The Officer Pulled Me Over since I Was in a Bad Neighborhood

It is not common for police officers to pull over someone since he or she is in a high crime area. However, this does not warrant the police officer to pull you over a person without any reasonable cause. Therefore, if the police officer pulled you over based on this consideration, you might be eligible for dismissal of your case.

A Police Officer Came to my Vehicle While I Was Asleep for No Reason

An unusual case would be a scenario where police consider a DUI litigation to a sleeping driver. In such a case, the driver is not eligible to arrest you despite your drunkenness since you were not driving. It is not a crime to sleep in a vehicle hence the potential of dismissing your case. Please note, there is a striking difference between detention and a consensual encounter. The police officer only violates the law if he or she detains you or restrains your movement. Here are examples of consensual encounters, which are legal even for any reason:

  • Closely following a car

  • Approaching your car in a public place

  • Asking for Identification card from a citizen sitting in his or her car

  • Stopping a police car next to your vehicle to allow it to move forward or backward

  • Approaching your vehicle when you voluntarily roll down the window

On the other hand, instances that show detention or seizure are as follows:

  • Pulling on the door handle of your vehicle

  • Asking you to exit your vehicle

  • Opening up the door of your car when you are sleeping and waking you

  • Pulling his or her car behind or in front of you to restrict your movement

You had No Choice but Had to Take the Roadside Tests

In this kind of defense, the DUI officer must have asked you to take a DUI test by the roadside. However, the officer should have resolved to request you to undertake the test if there is reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence before arresting you. This will help the police officer build a case against you. Therefore, you are not required to take any field sobriety exercise after taking the roadside test.

If you feel that you were involuntarily required to take the test, the judge might decide to throw away all the evidence that was collected from the roadside test.

Unreasonable Detention Timeline

The fact that a police officer holds you for a legal basis does not mean that he or she should keep you for an extended timeline. Such cases usually arise when a patrolman pulls you over for speeding, the smell of alcohol in your breath, and decides to call another officer for a DUI investigation. However, since the other officer is quite busy, you end up waiting for an extended period without doing anything.

In some cases, such a delay is entirely unreasonable and might be violating your constitutional rights. Therefore, the judge might throw away all the evidence gathered in the DUI stoppage.

You Had a Rising BAC

Ideally, it is not illegal to drink before you drive. What makes your drinking unlawful is being impaired while you were driving. Soon after taking an alcoholic drink, your BAC rises steadily and rapidly to reach its maximum level. At this time, the BAC is considered to be on the rise and takes an average of fifty minutes.

In that case, If the investigating officer takes long to undertake the DUI chemical test, the evidence collected during this period is not eligible for a DUI court case. Ideally, you were not drunk while driving, and your BAC rose when you were stopped for an unreasonable long time. Additionally, with an estimate of your target destination, there are fewer chances of experiencing any change in your BAC until your time of arrival.

There Was No Probable Cause for Your Arrest

If a police officer had a reasonable basis to detain you and reasonable suspicion to investigate your DUI, the officer must accumulate the logical fact that you were guilty of DUI based on the observation of his training and experience. If there was no concrete reason behind your stoppage and arrest, then the judge will be inclined to do away with your case.

For instance, if the officer notices that you have an alcoholic odor and empty beer cans and nothing else, this does not conclude that you were DUI to the point of being arrested.

Other situations explain no probable cause for your arrest. These causes are as follows:

A Police Officer Coming Into Your Place and Arresting You

A police officer cannot arrest you from your home without any warrant or permission. The only exception includes:

  • A hot pursuit for a fleeing felon

  • The need for preventing an escape

  • Risk of danger

A police officer can only enter your home if one of the above-stated facts is correct, and if the case in pursuit is a felony. Since most DUI cases are misdemeanors, there would be no probable cause for an arrest at your home.

If the police officer illegally entered your home, the court will suppress all the evidence and dismiss the case.

Violation of the Miranda Rights

When a police officer asks you to submit to a chemical test, the request is supposed to be coercive. For instance, a police officer is mandated to let you know that your license can be suspended if you do not submit to a test. The implied consent should be told to you very carefully, which in most cases, is read from a pre-printed card.

However, if the officer did not read out the implied consent correctly or provided the wrong information, your case might be thrown out of the court. Also, if no breath test takes place, the lawsuit gets damaged severely and reduced if the judge does not dismiss it.

You can also dismiss the case if you did not understand what the officer was telling you while you were undertaking a sobriety exercise. If that is the case, your Ramona DUI should access the testimony and video of your field sobriety test and have the lawsuit suppressed at pretrial motion.

Please note, these kinds of cases are specific to particular lawsuits. Therefore, your attorney should evaluate its facts and check if they match your court case.

Claim that the Objective Symptoms of Intoxication Do Not Mean You Were Driving Under the Influence

The fact that you exhibit physical symptoms that are close to someone who is DUI should not make a police officer conclude that one is under the influence of alcohol. Physical appearances that are commonly mistaken to DUI include:

  • Slurred speech

  • A flushed face

  • A robust alcoholic odor on your breath

  • An unsteady gait

  • Red, watery eyes

Although such symptoms fall under the official listing of the signs and symptoms of intoxication, they might further elaborate on other usual problems. Possible problems include:

  • Allergies

  • Cold

  • Eye irritation, and

  • Fatigue

Your Ramona DUI attorney will also argue out that alcohol has no odor, and what people perceive as alcohol in-breath is the smell of other things that are found in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages like malt and hops that are found in beer.

Not all Field Sobriety Tests Accurately Measure Impairment

One of the prosecution evidence that is presented to the court is your field sobriety test result. Your attorney can challenge these results and help in fighting your DUI case. Field Sobriety Test results usually rely on the prosecution team, which is a team of experts that determine whether they should be considered as part of your evidence.

In most cases, your DUI defense lawyer will explain that the results that were achieved from the Field Sobriety test resulted from the lack of balance and coordination. Therefore, the FSTs results were probably affected by:

  • Fatigue

  • Nerves

  • Your natural physical coordination

  • Your clothing

  • Flat feet

  • Other issues

Besides that, the DUI defense attorney can challenge the results themselves. The NHTSA claims that the Field Sobriety Test can accurately predict whether one is impaired in around 91% most of the time. Although this can be true, the decision is made out of a considerable assumption and must not necessarily mean that the percentage is exact. In most cases, the results are considered in through:

  • A horizontal Nystagmus test

  • Walk-and-Turn test

  • One-Leg stand

There are quite a lot of factors that can affect the results that are achieved through this kind of testing. Therefore, your attorney can challenge the results and have your case dismissed by the court.

The Police officer Recorded a Falsely High BAC Result Due to Mouth Alcohol

A falsely high BAC result can also be a suitable ground for a successful legal defense for your DUI charges, particularly when you were driving with a BAC of 0. 08% or above.

Before a California DUI police officer conducts a breath test, he or she must observe you for at least fifteen minutes. At this time, the officer will ensure that you do not put anything that contains alcohol in your mouth. This includes:

  • Medicine such as cold syrup

  • Mouth spray

  • Drinks

The officer will also check that you do not belch, regurgitate, or burp during the fifteen minutes observation period. Any of these activities might bring alcohol from your stomach to your mouth and create phenomena known as the residual mouth alcohol, which function well as a legal defense charge.

The accuracy of the breath test relies on the BAC measurement from deep lung, but when you blow with alcohol in the mouth, it mixes with the air from the lungs. Therefore, the results that are registered are falsely high.

Suppressed HGN Testimony from Non-Experts

During the initial DUI investigation process, a police officer usually shines a penlight into the eyes of a suspect DUI driver. The officer usually checks for Nystagmus, which results from an involuntary jerking of the eye.

When the officer uses a penlight test to determine whether the driver was impaired, the driver is usually unaware of what is happening around. Therefore, if the test is left unchecked, the officer will pinpoint that the alcohol level is 0.10 based on the perceived angles of the eyes when they start to jerk.

Even so, the officer must be an expert to present the testimony to the court. If your DUI attorney can manage to prove that the officer is not experienced enough to undertake the horizontal gaze Nystagmus, the judge can throw away all the evidence of the pen test and any video that might be used to support it.

Non-Compliance with Title 17 on Testing

According to the California Code of Regulations Title 17, there are specific requirements that both breath and blood testing must take into consideration. These requirements are as follows:

  • Have a 15-minutes observation period for the period

  • Administer the test properly

  • Proper training for anyone involved in the testing

  • Appropriate collection, storage, and handling of the samples

  • Maintenance and calibration of the testing equipment regularly

If any of the title 17 regulations are not considered, your Ramona DUI attorney should use such a failure to regulate and question the results that have been presented to the court, which works as a legal defense for your DUI case.

You Had a Medical Condition that Inflated your BAC

Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and other popular diets, can be a suitable form of legal defense to your DUI case. Usually, the body gets energy from dietary carbohydrates. However, under certain conditions, the body might start breaking down fats to produce energy. Such conditions include:

  • Fasting

  • Diabetes

  • Low-carbohydrates diabetes or high-protein

While the liver is burning fat, it produces a by-product known as ketones, which is similar to isopropyl alcohol that is common in a solvent like acetone. Some of these ketones can be excreted through breath, which can end up recording as a BAC. In such a case, you can end up recording a falsely high BAC, which your attorney should prove at court. Besides that, Ketosis can produce other symptoms that are similar to alcohol-based impairment like:

  • Lack of coordination

  • Breath that can be mistaken to alcohol

  • Confusion

The Test Operator Did Not Have Proper Training or Permission

The officer or operator who did not administer your breath test should have proper certification and training for your results to be relevant. In that case, the operator should meet the following criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma

  • Be of eighteen years or old

  • Completing a breath test operator course

Once the test operator has completed his or her permit, he or she undertakes a renewal course four years after the license. If your breath test operator did not renew the license, the judge could suppress the evidence presented against you. This should apply to anyone else who is involved in handling all the samples collected in your test.

Restrictions to Take an Independent Blood Test

If you have to take a blood test, you can request an independent DUI test, which is coordinated by someone that you trust. This kind of testing is usually done out of your expense. However, if the driver is not guaranteed the warrant to do an independent blood test, the court might decide to suppress the blood test results. However, you must consider all the procedures required by Title 17 to have your results accepted by the court.

Find a Ramona DUI Attorney Near Me

It is quite different to challenge a DUI case in court, especially when the prosecutor has a lot of evidence against you. However, with a skilled and experienced lawyer, you can manage to have your case dismissed or plea bargain to a charge with lesser penalties. If you are in San Diego, contact the San Diego DUI Attorney at 619-535-7150 and let us help in your case.