April 22, 2016 By Paul Wallin

DUI defenses

The 10 Best Defenses to DUI Charges in California

DUI convictions carry serious consequences, and these consequences could follow you around for the rest of your life. That is why our skilled DUI lawyers are here to help you. For more than 40 years, Wallin & Klarich has been successfully defending clients facing DUI charges. Here are the best defenses we’ve used to successfully help our past clients charged with DUI:

1. Rising BAC Defense

Your body continues to metabolize alcohol after you drink it. This means that your blood-alcohol content level is not necessarily at its highest point just after you’ve finished your last drink.

If you blew .08% or close to .08% on a Breathalyzer test, it may be possible to prove that, at the time you were driving, your BAC was actually lower than the legal limit because you BAC increased between the time you were stopped and the time you were asked to take a chemical test.

2. You Were Not “Under the Influence”

It may seem obvious but in order to be convicted of DUI, you actually need to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If prosecutors don’t have chemical test results to prove you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could still be charged with DUI if the police say you showed objective signs of intoxication.

Your attorney can refute the officer’s claims by offering a reasonable explanation for why you showed objective signs of intoxication. For example, your DUI lawyer may be able to show that you were suffering from a medical condition at the time.

3. You Were Not Operating a Vehicle

In order to be convicted of DUI, it must be proved that you were operating the vehicle. If it was someone else who was driving your car or if you were not actually driving the vehicle, your attorney may be able to use this defense in your case.

4. Police Violated Your Fourth Amendment Rights

In order to pull you over, police must have reasonable suspicion. If they pulled you over on a whim or for some pretextual reason, this may be considered a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. If the traffic stop violated your rights, all evidence collected during the stop will be thrown out and your lawyer may be able to get your case dismissed.law

If the police had reasonable suspicion to stop you, they also must have had probable cause to further detain you past the time necessary to issue you a ticket. This means that police must be able to specifically articulate a reason based on objectively reasonable facts as to why they thought you may have been intoxicated. If law enforcement cannot do this, you may be able to get the case dismissed before trial.

5. Police Sobriety Checkpoint Methods were Unconstitutional

At a DUI checkpoint, police do not need any reasonable suspicion to stop you. However, they cannot target you based on race, the kind of car you drive, or any other unreasonable purpose. Police are required to use neutral criteria when deciding which vehicles they will pull over (i.e. every fourth vehicle to drive through).1 If they did not follow these methods when arresting you, this could be a winning defense in your case.

6. Police Made Mistakes During Field Sobriety Testing

Your DUI lawyer may be able to challenge field sobriety test results if law enforcement did not follow proper protocol. Police must strictly comply with the standards and methods written by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.2 If officers failed to follow these standards, your attorney may be able to have the results suppressed as evidence, which could lead to your charges being dismissed.

7. Emergency Doctrine

Another possible defense is if you were driving out of a necessity “imminent peril or sudden emergency.”3 This defense requires that an objectively reasonable person would have driven, even if intoxicated, under the same circumstances.

For example, if your wife is going into labor and needed to get to a hospital, this could be a valid defense for your case.

8. Mistake of Fact or Involuntary Intoxication

If you made a mistake in ingesting some drug, such as inadvertently taking the wrong prescription medication, you may be excused from criminal liability. In order to be successful, you must have made an honest and reasonable mistake.4

For example, if you’re prescribed a drug and were not given adequate warnings of its side effects or have a very unusual reaction to a medication, your attorney may be able to use this defense.5

9. Police Violated Your Miranda Rights

Anytime police are holding you in custody, you must be given Miranda warnings. In DUI cases, this issue often comes up when defendants told police they had “a couple of drinks.” Prosecutors will use these statements as direct evidence of intoxication.

However, if you made a statement like this to police after being taken into custody and without having been read your Miranda rights, your attorney may have a valid defense to the charges against you.

10. Breathalyzer Results were Inaccurate

Law enforcement must follow strict procedures when administering Breathalyzer tests. If they failed to do so in your case, your attorney may be able to argue that the results were not accurate.

Contact a DUI Attorney at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, you need to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing DUI charges for over 40 years. We will meet with you to review the facts of your case and plan the best defense strategy for your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI lawyer available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

1.People v. Alvarado, 193 Cal. App. 4th Supp. 13, 17, 123 Cal. Rptr. 3d 222, 225 (Cal. App. Dep’t Super. Ct. 2011) href=”#ref1″>↩

2. http://www.nhtsa.gov/Impaired href=”#ref2″>↩

3. People v. Boulware (1940) 41 Cal.App.2d 268, 269–270 [106 P.2d 436].) href=”#ref3″>↩

4. People v. Scott (1983) 146 Cal.App.3d 823 href=”#ref4″>↩

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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