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3 Common Defenses Against DUI Charges

January 26, 2024
By The Wiseman Law Firm

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you may ask yourself, “How will this affect my future?” or “What are my legal options?” This situation is not just about the immediate consequences but also the impact on your long-term future. However, amidst these worries, it’s important to remember that you have avenues for defense with the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer at The Wiseman Law Firm. 

In dealing with DUI charges, it’s crucial to recognize that not every case is straightforward. Various factors, from the reliability of breathalyzer tests to the legality of the traffic stop, play a significant role in determining the course of a case. Attorney Simon Wiseman will utilize personalized defense strategies, such as suppression, affirmative defense, or a defense that negates an element related to the DUI charge to protect your driving privileges and reputation. 

3 Common Defenses Against DUI Charges

The repercussions of a DUI conviction can be harsh, ranging from fines to significant legal consequences. Understanding the facts of your situation is essential for you and your DUI lawyer to create a strong defense. Every piece of information counts, from the details of the traffic stop when you were first pulled over and any interactions with law enforcement to the specifics of any field sobriety tests you underwent.  

These insights are invaluable and can map out the following defense strategies: 

1. Defense of Evidence Suppression

In DUI defense, one of the key strategies often employed involves seeking the court’s permission to omit incriminating evidence from consideration in your case. This step is initiated when your DUI attorney submits a Motion to Suppress to the court.

For your attorney to file this motion, there must be valid legal grounds. This means there needs to be a justified reason, based on legal principles, to request the exclusion of certain evidence. An experienced DUI defense lawyer will meticulously scrutinize various aspects of the DUI investigation, looking for any potential grounds to contest.

Such grounds for challenge may stem from errors or procedural missteps made by law enforcement officers. These could include issues with how the traffic stop was conducted, the administration of field sobriety tests, or the handling of blood, breath, and urine tests, among others.

2. Affirmative Defense 

Affirmative defenses involve acknowledging (or affirming) that you were driving under the influence. However, the defense lies in arguing that the circumstances surrounding your intoxication left you with no other reasonable choice. To succeed, you would have to persuade the jury that the extraordinary situation you were in justifies a not-guilty verdict. 

The following are examples of affirmative defenses:

  • Necessity: This defense may be relevant in situations like medical emergencies, natural disasters, or instances of domestic violence where there’s concern for the safety of children.
  • Duress: This applies in scenarios where you were forced to drive under the influence due to immediate threats of harm or death to yourself or your child by someone capable of inflicting such violence.
  • Entrapment: This defense may come into play if, for instance, an undercover officer encourages you to drive after providing you with drinks. 
  • Mistaken Fact: This might be applicable if you unknowingly consumed alcoholic drinks (believing them to be non-alcoholic) or if there was an unexpected reaction to prescription medication.
  • Involuntary Intoxication: This defense is generally only valid in cases where someone has been unknowingly given a substance like a date rape drug.

Speak with a DUI defense lawyer at The Wiseman Law Firm to understand which defense strategy may be used in your specific case. 

3. Defense by Negating Elements of a DUI Charge

Defenses that focus on negating an element center around disproving one or more of the key factors that the state needs to establish for a DUI conviction. These critical elements include: 

  1. Your operation or control of a vehicle
  2. Your being under the influence of alcohol or another substance while doing so
  3. Your impairment in driving abilities due to the influence of alcohol or another substance

Challenging any one or a combination of these elements can form the basis of a defense strategy. An experienced DUI defense lawyer at The Wiseman Law Firm can provide guidance on the viability of this approach based on the specifics of your case and help navigate the complexities of DUI laws.

Speak With an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer at The Wiseman Law Firm Today 

Dealing with a DUI charge on your own can risk your driving privileges, reputation, and, sometimes, your freedom. Speak with The Wiseman Law Firm to understand your best legal options and what defenses may help you get charges diminished or dismissed. 

Contact our office for a consultation at (407) 420-4647 or fill out a contact form.

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