Did officers follow proper procedure when arresting you for DUI?
Flashing blue lights. Cold handcuffs. The back of a police car. Before you could even process what was happening, you may have found yourself under arrest for driving under the influence. You may not have felt that you drank too much or that your driving constituted an officer pulling you over, but now you face criminal charges, likely with little understanding of how to properly address the predicament.
Fortunately, you do not have to make any decisions without the guidance of an attorney, if you wish to obtain the help of one. When facing criminal charges for DUI, you may think that few options exist for getting out of the situation with your innocence intact. However, many factors could play into your defense presentation, and some of that information could relate to how the arresting officer handled your case.
For every step of the traffic stop and arrest processes, police officers have steps and procedures that they should follow. For instance, they must have reasonable cause to stop your vehicle, such as having a broken tail light or swerving out of your lane. They must also conduct themselves properly when questioning you, administering field sobriety tests or breath tests, and when determining reasons why a DUI charge may be applicable.
If the arresting officer fails to follow the correct procedures in the previously mentioned examples or in other steps of the arrest process, those mistakes could work in your favor when it comes to creating a defense. Additionally, other procedural mistakes could also make certain evidence inadmissible in court. Some of those errors include:
- An uncertified person administering tests
- Incorrect calibration of a Breathalyzer
- Improper preparation of paperwork
- Broken chain-of-evidence
- Prolonged detainment
You may not have considered police mistakes when considering your defense options, but this type of information could play a major role in how the court and jury view your case.
Building a defense
Because you likely do not have a working knowledge on how police officers should conduct themselves during traffic stops and arrests, obtaining reliable information about this area and how it could apply to your defense may prove useful. Additionally, enlisting the help of an attorney could also help you understand how to apply that information in the manner most useful to you. Creating and presenting a meaningful defense may allow you to work toward your desired outcomes.