You Have Defenses To DUI Charges, But You Need Someone Who Knows How To Use Them
There are many ways to win a DUI case. There are also many ways to lose a DUI case. And if you want the former and not the latter, the deciding factor may be whether or not you hire an experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest for drunk driving.
If You Want to Win a DUI Case, You Need To Hire a Winning DUI Lawyer
That’s because a good DUI attorney knows a lot you don’t know. They understand the many defenses available to you and also know how to assert those defenses with the right arguments and evidence. Colorado DUI law is nuanced and complicated, and the procedures and rules that govern DUI cases are strict and detailed. However, many of the factors determining whether you will win a DUI case in Colorado Springs are not in statutes or law books.
There are different judges in El Paso County who preside over DUI cases and different prosecutors who seek to obtain convictions for drunk driving. Each judge approaches DUI cases in their own way and has their own unwritten rules about how they run their courtrooms. Likewise, each prosecutor has their own way of pursuing convictions and pressure points that may make them consider dropping or reducing the charges. Understanding these nuances can influence whether you lose or win a DUI case, and that is something that only comes from experience.
Many of the best criminal defense attorneys were formerly Colorado prosecutors. The insights gained when pursuing convictions in a prosecutor’s office can be invaluable when defending criminal cases. Knowing the likely approaches and strategies of prosecutors can help prepare the strongest possible defense. It can also be instrumental in formulating strategies for negotiations and plea agreements that minimize the potential consequences of a conviction.
Your DUI attorney needs to be able to effectively assert a strong defense against the charges if you are going to win your DUI case in Colorado Springs courts. Proving the following defenses requires the experience, knowledge, and advocacy skills that only a seasoned DUI lawyer can provide.
Problems With Your Traffic Stop
The circumstances surrounding why and how police pulled you over and arrested you for DUI may provide the basis to defeat the charges against you. Colorado Springs police officers cannot legally pull you over unless they have a valid and lawful reason to do so, such as simple traffic violations like speeding, improper lane change, or running a red light. Likewise, just being pulled over for a simple traffic violation does not give the officer the right to demand that you submit to a test to determine your blood alcohol content. Before they can legally administer such a test, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you are impaired, such as a visible open container, slurred speech, or glassy eyes.
If the stop was improper, El Paso County judges could find that everything following the stop, including breathalyzer results, is inadmissible as evidence against you. This legal principle means that an illegal traffic stop can be the domino that knocks the prosecutors’ whole case down.
The Arresting Officer Violated Your Miranda Rights
If Colorado Springs police ask you questions designed to solicit incriminating statements after your arrest for DUI (called a “custodial interrogation”), they must inform you of your constitutional rights beforehand. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against self-incrimination. The Sixth Amendment protects defendants by giving them the option to speak with legal counsel before answering questions from law enforcement.
If your arresting officer doesn’t advise you of your Miranda rights, a judge may find that any incriminating statements or admissions that you made in the absence of such notice are inadmissible as evidence and may invalidate any breathalyzer test evidence as well.
Challenging Breathalyzer and Other Alcohol Test Results
Like all technology, breathalyzers can malfunction and not work as well as they should, especially if they are not regularly calibrated and maintained. The same goes for police officers, who can make errors when administering blood alcohol tests to drivers. Such mistakes can form the basis of a successful DUI defense when they cast doubt about the reliability or accuracy of breathalyzer evidence.
The judge may disregard and exclude such evidence if the mistakes make the results inadmissible as evidence. Several factors can taint the reliability and admissibility of breathalyzer test results, including:
- The timing of the breathalyzer test;
- The qualifications, experience, and training of the test administrator;
- The calibration, maintenance, and testing of the breathalyzer;
- The procedures followed when administering the test;
- The chain of custody of test samples;
- The possibility of contaminated samples; and
- Biological factors that impact blood alcohol levels including acid reflux, naturally occurring “mouth alcohol,” diet, and breathing patterns.
Put Yourself In The Best Position To Win A DUI Case
DUI convictions in Colorado can upend your life in ways you may have never imagined. From the expense of interlock ignition devices and DUI alcohol classes to fines and time behind bars, your best chance to beat DUI charges is to hire a tenacious, experienced attorney who knows what is at stake for you and will take the charges against you seriously.