Facing a DUI charge can be overwhelming, and being placed into handcuffs is a scary experience in itself. Everyday, people get placed into the back of cop cars due to being accused of driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The judicial system often frowns upon those accused of such crimes, and even though someone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, that doesn’t seem to be consistently true. If you are hoping that your DUI case will get dropped, here are some common reasons why the judge may decide to do so.
Lack of Probable Cause
If the officer halted you while as a pedestrian or driver, then they must have had probable cause to do so. As a DUI lawyer San Francisco CA residents trust from the Morales Law Firm has explained before, this means that there must have been something about you or your vehicle that prompted the officer to stop you and assess further. Keep in mind that a hunch or gut-feeling does not constitute probable cause, so the officer will have to bring forward a reliable statement or evidence that proves they were right in pulling you over in the first place.
When the officer pulled you over, had you just been the dentist? Had you used mouthwash that morning? Had you been experiencing intense heartburn, acid reflux, or something else that could taint the breathalyzer reading? These are questions that your lawyer may ask you, like a lawyer from Morales Law Firm, just to go over what the facts of the case are and how to best develop a strategy in your defense.
Breathalyzers are not perfect machines, and they must be calibrated and maintained in order to work as they should. Your lawyer can investigate to find out if the breathalyzer used on you was faulty or not. Additionally, field sobriety tests are subjective, and not completely reliable, so even if the officer thinks you appeared under the influence, it doesn’t mean that you were or to the extent that they suspected.
Law enforcement does not always act in the manner that they should. A police officer who obtained evidence unlawfully, did not read the person their Miranda rights, or otherwise did not conduct themselves properly may result in the DUI case being dropped immediately. If you suspect that the officer had engaged in misconduct, this is something to inform your lawyer without hesitation, as it can make a difference in the outcome of your charges.
There are certain medical conditions that can affect the results of a breathalyzer test. Those who have acid reflux, heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux illnesses may have an alcohol level show up on the breathalyzer despite not having any alcohol at all, or it may push the level higher than what they actually have in their system, impacting the severity of the crime they are charged with.