Have You Been Falsely Charged With A DUI? What You Need To Know
Every year more than one-million people are arrested with a charge of driving under the influence. While this is a serious crime that should not go unpunished, the unfortunate reality is that not everyone arrested for this crime is guilty. Given the long reach and power of the justice system, it's easy to feel helpless when accused of a crime you didn't actually commit. If you have been falsely charged, you do have options.
Whether it's a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test, an officer will generally validate their suspicion by administering one of these tests. Unfortunately, these tests aren't always conclusive. This is especially the case with breathalyzer machines. If you happened to use mouthwash shortly before the test was administered, the machine was incorrectly calibrated or serviced, or you were taking certain medications, you may have received a false positive. How to fight an inaccurate test is dependent on the cause of the error.
Take a case of medication prompting a false positive, for example. In this instance, you would need to provide information from your physician notating the type of medication you are taking, as well as how long you have been prescribed it to prove that it was in your system. In the case of an error with the machine, you have a legal right to request that the equipment be inspected to check for any malfunctions.
Lack Of Probable Cause
Legally, officers can't simply pull drivers over for the heck of it. There must be probable cause, which is basically a reasonable suspicion. To put this into perspective, consider two drivers who have just driven off from a local bar. The first driver is swerving in and out of the lane, braking excessively and driving well below the speed limit. The second driver is driving normally and well within the limits of the law.
With the first driver, based on their actions, an officer would have probable cause that they may be driving under the influence. However, with the second driver, this isn't exactly the case. In this instance, just because someone has recently left a bar doesn't mean they have been drinking. If an officer pulls you over for suspicion of DUI and arrests you without probable cause, this may be considered a false arrest.
Your innocence doesn't at all reduce your need for a qualified DUI attorney. In fact, it increases this need. Understand that you will need the assistance of an attorney to successfully defend your claim of innocence.