You may think that once you are arrested on DUI charges in Pennsylvania you are all-but-guaranteed to be convicted. However, the reality is that some people have their DUI charges dismissed, or at the very at least reduced. If you choose to hire a criminal defense attorney to help you, you may be able to use one or more of the following defenses to fight the charges against you.
Many of the most common DUI defenses relate to the legality of the traffic stop and arrest. A DUI arrest generally starts with an officer stopping a vehicle for a traffic violation. However, in some cases, the officer did not have probable cause to make that initial traffic stop, therefore making the ensuing arrest unlawful.
Even if the initial stop was legal, the arrest may not have been. Generally, if an officer notices signs of drunk driving, the officer may ask the driver to submit to a breathalyzer test and to perform various field sobriety tests. However, many officers fail to properly administer these tests, therefore making the results invalid. For example, if an officer administering the breathalyzer test was not properly trained to do so or if the device was not properly calibrated before use, the results of the test could be inaccurate. Another common issue is that indigestion, vomiting and a variety of other factors could also affect the results. If the officer asks the driver to submit to a blood test, the sample may have been mishandled at some point in the chain of custody or the test itself may have been tampered with.
Another common defense relates to the fact that the driver’s blood alcohol level could have increased between the time the driver was stopped and time the breath test was given. A DUI arrest does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. A criminal defense attorney can review the specifics of your case and attempt to help determine which defenses will work best for you.