A DUI defense attorney will want to attack any weak spots they might find in a case against a client. If you're trying to figure out whether the case against you is weak, you should look for these four common problem areas.
Reason for a Traffic Stop
Whenever a police officer tries to build a DUI case against a member of the public, they have to start with reasonable suspicion. This usually involves pulling a driver over because they did something like repeatedly crossing the center lines, ignoring a stop sign, or having an equipment violation like a busted taillight.
Suppose the center lines were practically gone due to wear and it was dark. A DUI attorney might assert there was no credible way to claim the driver crossed the center line if there was no observable yellow paint in the middle of the road. The lawyer might take pictures from the location to show the disrepair and demand discovery of the police cruiser's dash camera video.
Prolonged Detention without Probable Cause
If a cop stops you, they have a limited amount of time to establish probable cause to warrant further investigation, such as administering a field sobriety test and breathalyzer. The police can't spend a significant amount of time hoping for you to slip up and give them an excuse, such as claiming you have slurred speech after talking that long. While courts vary in their interpretation of these rules, normally a cop should figure out whether they have cause within a few minutes after pulling a driver over. If they haven't found grounds for testing a driver, they should either cut the motorist loose or write a ticket for the initial offense that justified the stop, such as speeding.
Lack of Consent
Without a search warrant, a cop must seek your consent to do certain things. For example, they can't conduct a search of your car for drugs. Similarly, they can't administer a blood test on a conscious person without their consent.
Notably, the police can do these things once they obtain a search warrant. However, that takes time. Also, the cops may have to impound your vehicle pending the search and document that they didn't disturb it until they received and executed the warrant.
Finally, a DUI attorney might take issue with the alleged evidence in a case. The police have to prove their case beyond a shadow of a doubt. For example, they have to maintain and document an unbroken chain of custody for any evidence they might present, such as sending alleged drugs to a lab.
Contact a DUI defense attorney to learn more.