If you're charged with DUI in Virginia, you need an attorney. You're facing the possibility of jail, a twelve-month loss of your license, fines, and other punishments.
Fortunately, there are techniques to beat the charge. Keep in mind that every case depends on the facts of your case, and these technique won't work in every case. But we certainly need to analyze them in your case.
1. Challenge the stop.
If the police stopped you, it has to be a valid stop. The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable seizures, and that includes traffic stops. If the stop wasn't legal, the evidence obtained from the stop should be kept out of trial. That should mean you win!
2. Challenge the arrest.
Many Virginia DUIs are proven using your breath alcohol content as measured by a breath test machine. In order to use that certificate against you in court, the officer has to have made a legal arrest for DUI. If the officer didn't have probable cause that you were intoxicated, the arrest isn't valid. That would mean the certificate shouldn't come into evidence against you, and the case may be dead in the water.
3. Prove you weren't on a "highway."
Exactly where you were driving provides another angle to keep the breath certificate out of the case. The same law that requires a valid arrest also requires that you were operating a vehicle on a "highway." This is a legal term that includes all areas open to the public for vehicles, but it's still a piece the Commonwealth has to prove against you. If they can't prove it, the breath alcohol certificate may not be usable in your case.
4. Check the time.
The final requirement for using the breath certificate is that the arrest occurred within three hours of your alleged vehicle operation. If the government can't prove that, the certificate is out.
5. Review the breath logs.
Even if the breath certificate is admissible in your case, it may not count for much if we can find problems with the breath machine or the operator who performed the test. That's why it's critical to get the breath machine logs and paperwork from the Department of Forensic Science. Problems in that paperwork can cast doubt on the breath test results which could beat your charge.
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Andrew is a Spotsylvania DUI lawyer who loves defending people who are charged with DUI in Spotsylvania. If you have a DUI, be sure to call Andrew or visit his website at www.AndrewFlusche.com.
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