Can I Fight My DUI Charges?
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, it may seem like you have no choice but to plead guilty — the evidence is just too strong. But before you decide you are out of options, discuss your case with the legal team at DeVries + Kelly. As a former Indiana deputy prosecutor, founding attorney Scott A. DeVries knows that drunk driving cases are not always as strong as they may seem. He is skilled at spotting weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments and leveraging them to his clients’ advantage.
Why Were You Pulled Over?
Evidence may not be admissible if the traffic stop itself was illegal. To initiate a traffic stop, a police officer needs to observe you violating a traffic law, notice vehicle issues or suspect impairment based on driving behavior.
The officer does not need to suspect drunk driving prior to making the stop, but there needs to be reasonable suspicion of something wrong based on an observed vehicle problem or driving issue. Things like “having a hunch” or thinking that the driver “looked suspicious” would not be legal reasons to pull you over.
If the stop was illegal, we can file a motion to suppress any evidence obtained during the stop.
Were There Problems With Testing Devices Or Test Administration?
Field sobriety tests and the results of a portable breath test can give an officer probable cause to make a DUI arrest. But these tests are not foolproof. And what most people don’t know is that you do not have to take these field sobriety tests. The handheld devices are portable breath tests, and you do not have to submit to these — nor should you. The only test you must take (or face a possible license suspension) is the certified chemical test that involves a larger breath test machine typically located at a police station or a blood draw.
Police officers must be properly trained in how to administer field sobriety tests and must administer them according to strict guidelines. If the officer deviated from protocol, the test results may be challenged.
Similarly, breath-testing devices are accurate and reliable only if they are calibrated correctly. If there was a suspected problem with the device used prior to your arrest, we may be able to subpoena the service and calibration records and contest the accuracy of the results.
Are There Other Explanations For Your Driving And Test Results?
Individuals who are completely sober can fail field sobriety tests. Anyone who suffers from limited mobility, poor balance or other medical issues may not be able to stand on one leg or walk heel to toe. So, do not take these tests or any other tests that are typically offered on the side of a busy and dark road with traffic flying by, as such conditions are a prescription for failure.
Moreover, erratic driving is not always a sign of alcohol intoxication. Drivers sometimes:
- Experience medical emergencies behind the wheel
- Have a bad reaction to a new medication
- Drive drowsy or distracted
- Drive while in a heightened emotional state
- Simply make mistakes
Our firm offers free initial consultations to all prospective clients in intoxicated driving matters. To discuss your case, call us at 317-643-5918. You can also contact us via our online contact form. With offices in Indianapolis and Hamilton County, we serve throughout the state.