Criminal Defense in Ventura County
Common DUI Defense Strategies

Common DUI Defense Strategies

A DUI arrest does not have to mean a DUI conviction. You can avoid severe, life-altering DUI penalties in California by fighting the charges with the help of a criminal defense attorney, who can build a strong defense strategy just for you.

From the initial stop by police to the introduction of evidence in the courtroom, the following DUI defenses may help either dismiss your entire case or reduce the penalties you face:

  • Improper stop by law enforcement. According to the U.S. Constitution, police are not allowed to stop or pull over private citizens without establishing “reasonable suspicion.” In other words, law enforcement officers must have more than a hunch that specific person is committing or has committed a crime. So if you were obeying the speed limit and all traffic laws, and didn’t do anything out of the ordinary such as swerving, it may be possible to assert that police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, and any evidence gained thereafter is inadmissible in court.
  • Objective symptoms of intoxication do not mean drunk driving. The prosecution may use the defendant’s physical symptoms of intoxication to argue that you were under the influence. Signs include reddened eyes, slurred speech, or an “unsteady gait.” A knowledgeable DUI attorney can defend you by addressing the “innocent” explanations that could have led to those signs, such as allergies, fatigue, or eye irritation.
  • Field sobriety tests are not accurate. If the prosecution’s evidence includes the results of field sobriety tests (FSTs), you and your lawyer may be able to challenge those results. Police officers are required to administer and grade FSTs according to certain guidelines outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An FST that is improperly administered or inadequately graded can be challenged in DUI court.
  • The police officer failed to conduct a proper 15-minute observation period. The arresting officer is required to observe you for 15 complete minutes before administering a DUI breath test. However, many officers do not actually observe during this time. Rather, they fill out paperwork or set up the breath test device. Demonstrating that the officer failed to properly conduct the observation calls into question not only the breath test results, but the entire case.
  • Improper blood testing and storage of blood samples. Police must first arrange for a proper blood-alcohol analysis by a trained and licensed phlebotomist following an arrest. Prolonged wait times or inadequate testing by an untrained laboratory technician could be potential defenses against blood test results. Furthermore, law enforcement is required to ensure that blood samples are maintained in a proper manner after testing to avoid contamination, fermentation, or mislabeling. If the integrity of the sample is questioned, it could be inadmissible in court.

For more information, schedule a free consultation with our Ventura criminal defense lawyer at Wilfert Law P.C. today.