The after-work get together with colleagues was filled with drinks and merriment and concluded with laughter and goodbyes. Now, it was time to head home. En route while behind the wheel, though, you glance in the rearview mirror and notice a car following you.
Within moments, the roof of that vehicle illuminates. It is the lights of a police car. You are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. A DWI arrest and conviction brings a number of ramifications to your life. Loss of reputation, enrollment in a rehabilitation program and the potential for incarceration, probation, steep fines and the loss of your driver’s license. How do you fight this charge?
Probable cause and breathalyzers
There are ways to limit the effects of a DWI arrest. You can plead guilty to a lesser charge, but there are legal options that could lead to the dismissal of a DWI charge. An inexperienced or overzealous police officer may have made mistakes or jumped to conclusions.
When faced with a DWI, these factors could help you overcome the criminal charge:
- Issues with probable cause: In order to stop you for DWI, an arresting officer needs reasonable suspicion to do so.
- The inconsistencies of breathalyzer tests: These devices can malfunction, providing inaccurate readings. In addition, some law enforcement officers may not have received the proper training in operating the device. This inexperience also can lead to inaccurate readings.
- Health issues with similar symptoms: Certain health conditions may lead to unusual behavior behind the wheel, causing law enforcement officers to stop you on suspicion of DWI. For example, people with epilepsy, dementia, diabetes and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may seem inebriated.
- Failure to read the Miranda rights: This pertains to rights against self-incrimination and the ability to retain an attorney. If an officer neglects to read them to you during an arrest, you could overcome any criminal charges.
You never wanted to put yourself in the position of a DWI arrest. However, if you face such a challenge, there are some legal strategies that work in your favor.