If you are convicted of DUI in California, you could spend time in jail, lose your driving privileges and face other penalties. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that you may be able to use to defend yourself against the charge. These strategies may enable you to avoid some or all of the penalties associated with it.
Were you actually under the influence of alcohol?
A common criminal defense tactic is to claim that you weren’t doing anything illegal when taken into custody. In a DUI case, it may be possible to assert that your slurred speech was caused by a medical issue or that a mechanical problem caused your vehicle to swerve prior to a traffic stop. You may also cast doubt on the results of a Breathalyzer test in an effort to get a charge dropped or to obtain leverage to negotiate a favorable plea deal.
Were your rights violated?
A police officer cannot stop your vehicle simply because of where you were traveling or because you were traveling late at night. If you were stopped illegally, any evidence found during such a stop would likely be ruled inadmissible. The same might be true if you weren’t made aware of your right to remain silent or to talk with an attorney before speaking with authorities.
Having a DUI charge dismissed or reduced may save you thousands of dollars in fines and other costs. It may also ensure that you can retain the right to drive to work, school or other important destinations. In the event that your case is dismissed or results in an acquittal, you may be able to have the charge removed from your criminal record or sealed from view.