Building a Defense For First Time DUI Charges in Rockville
Due to the serious penalties and long term consequences that you could face for a DUI charge, it is imperative you put forth the strongest defense possible and don’t do anything that could make your situation any worse. With this in mind, the following is information on the steps an attorney will take to build your defense and the mistakes you should avoid. For more specific information on your first time DUI charge in Rockville, call and schedule a consultation with a Rockville DUI lawyer today.
Steps to Building a Defense For a DUI Charge
The first and most important thing that a lawyer will look at when building a DUI defense is the point at which the officer decided to take action, and the manner in which they decided to take action. This includes making sure that field sobriety tests are administered according to the standards outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is also referred to as the Officer’s DUI Manual, which tells the officer exactly how to perform a proper DUI stop and arrest.
Additionally, a lawyer must assess why an individual was stopped, whether it was for a valid traffic violation, and why an individual was asked to step out of the vehicle. They consider if the officer had a basis to hold the individual and to investigate them by asking them to step out of their vehicle. Also, they determine if the officer detected an odor of alcohol and whether it was a strong odor, moderate odor or a faint odor. These are all factors that help determine if the officer had an appropriate basis to investigate an individual, or if they didn’t, whether it was a violation of the individuals’ Fourth Amendment rights.
Lawyers also must determine whether the officer had probable cause to place the individual under arrest and whether they had a basis to remove the individual from the side of the road, or where stopped by the police, and bring the person into the police station for further questioning or gathering further information. They should assess if the individual took a chemical breath test, took a blood test, and was properly advised of rights to refuse that test.
Other factors for determining what the appropriate defense might be in a case include whether the individual was given all of this information; whether the officer appeared in court, properly recalled all of the circumstances, and reported it properly; and whether the officer’s reports were consistent to testify effectively on exactly what was remembered or recorded as being part of the DUI arrest.
Mistakes That Hurt Your Defense
It is important to remember that when you are pulled over for a DUI, be very cooperative and polite to the police officer. People should not engage in any deliberate arguments. Even though these are not Field Sobriety Tests, they can be persuasive for any finder of facts in determining whether or not you are under the influence, or acting under the influence of alcohol, when you are communicating with the officers. If you would like to participate in the Field Sobriety Test, be sure to tell the officer exactly what your medical conditions might be that might impact your balance. Many people forget to tell the officers that they have a leg injury or a knee injury that might impact their ability to properly balance, which could help the officer determine whether or not probable cause actually exists to place you under arrest.
Mistakes to Avoid Regarding Chemical Tests
Typically, when a person is offered a chemical breath test and they are unable to take it, they simply say they are going to refuse rather than telling the officer about medical conditions that will keep them from giving a proper chemical breath test. These are all important factors that are considered when you might have a DUI arrest and you don’t want to make a mistake, as it could impact your ability to have a proper defense when you are in criminal court.
Advantage to Contacting An Attorney As Soon As Possible
One of the best ways to guard yourself from this is to have the phone number of an attorney who is a DUI specialist in your possession, or have access to it in your car. Many officers, although they are no longer required, will give an individual an opportunity to call their attorney from the police station to ask questions about whether or not they should give a breath sample. That attorney can help them in determining the right decision to make based on the number of drinks they have had, their body weight, and the amount of time that has passed.
Having access to an attorney is one of the greatest things that you can do to safeguard yourself from getting into trouble during the course of a DUI arrest.