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Common Defenses to DUI Charges

When are you are arrested for and charged with a DUI in Nevada, that doesn’t mean you are automatically convicted of the crime. You still have an opportunity to avoid serving harsh penalties by hiring a criminal defense attorney who can develop an effective and personalized defense strategy to either get your charges reduced or your case dismissed altogether.

The following are the common defenses to DUI charges:

  • Improper stop by police – The U.S. Constitution states that law enforcement is prohibited from stopping or pulling over a private citizen without establishing “reasonable suspicion.” In other words, police need to have more than just a “gut feeling” that a particular individual is committing or has committed a criminal offense. So if you were following all traffic laws and driving at the posted speed limit—without doing anything out of the ordinary, such as swerving or switching lanes without signaling—your attorney can assert that law enforcement did not have reasonable suspicion to stop you, making any evidence gathered thereafter inadmissible at trial.
  • Symptoms of intoxication do not mean intoxicated driving – Police may make note of objective symptoms of intoxication such as reddened eyes, an unsteady gait, or slurred speech. However, an experienced lawyer can address these observations using “innocent” explanations that could have led to such signs of intoxication. These explanations include allergies, eye irritation, or drowsiness.
  • Law enforcement failed to perform a 15-minute observation period – Before administering a breath test, the police officer must observe you for 15 full minutes. In many cases, they complete paperwork or set up the testing device instead, without watching the suspect’s actions and conditions. During this time period, the officer must observe that the suspect in question has not smoked, regurgitated, or placed anything in his or her mouth, except for the mouthpiece associated with the performance of the test.
  • The inaccuracy of field sobriety tests – Your attorney may challenge the results of the field sobriety test if it has been improperly administered or inadequately graded. Field sobriety tests are often subjective and depend heavily on the officer’s own observations.
  • Improper blood testing and storage of samples – Following an arrest, law enforcement can arrange a proper blood-alcohol analysis by a licensed phlebotomist. However, if testing doesn’t occur in a timely manner or an untrained laboratory technician performs the blood draw, then the results could be challenged in court. Additionally, if the integrity of the sample is questioned due to contamination, fermentation, or mislabeling, it could be inadmissible in the trial.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Nevada, request a free consultation with our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of David R. Fischer today.