Statistics reveal that around 31% of traffic crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers. If you’ve been convicted of a drunk driving offense in Virginia, you may face heavy fines and license suspension if you don’t hire an experienced traffic defense attorney. Being arrested and charged with DUI or DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a serious case, so planning what you do next is important. There are multiple ways to get a DUI charge dismissed without too much stress.
Effective Defense Strategies To Get a DUI Charge Dismissed in Virginia
Show That the Traffic Stop Is Invalid
If you prove that the traffic stop is unlawful, you stand a good chance of getting a DUI charge dismissed in Virginia. Law enforcement should have reasonable grounds to pull a driver over. That said, reasonable suspicion doesn’t have to always center on drunk driving or intoxication. Cops often enforce traffic stops for several reasons, like possible signs of intoxication. Fortunately, you may escape DUI charges if you have evidence proving the arresting officer’s lack of reasonable suspicion. Proof may include field sobriety tests and chemical test results.
Challenge the Results of a Blood or Breath Test
Law enforcement officers often conduct blood and chemical tests to verify intoxication. However, these results are not always accurate. Breath test devices measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC); they require effective maintenance to function correctly. That means if a BAC device malfunctions, it can show a wrong intoxication level. Even a 0.01% error margin can distinguish between passing and failing a test. In a blood test, mislabeled samples can result in the wrong person testing positive even though they may have consumed nothing.
Prove Illegal Search and Seizure
Officers don’t have every right to pull drivers over to search for anything, even if they have valid reasons for the stop. The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. Law enforcement must have a valid warrant to collect evidence. However, there are limits on what they can search if they believe your vehicle contains evidence of a crime you committed. Sometimes, you can suppress the evidence against you, making it impossible for the prosecutor to use. This can succeed only if the arresting officer lacks probable cause to search your car during the stop.
Show Signs of Impairment Due to Medical Problem
A driver may appear to be guilty of DUI when, in reality, they have a medical condition that an officer misinterpreted as intoxication. You may be able to dismiss a charge in Virginia if you have substantial evidence proving a sign of impairment due to a medical condition. Severe physical exertion, allergies, and other medical issues might cause signs of impairment like poor balance, slurred speed, and poor concentration.
Challenge the Validity of a Field Sobriety Test
You can also present valid arguments against a field sobriety test to get your case dismissed in Virginia. Field sobriety tests may depend on the officer’s ability to provide accurate instruction and make well-informed conclusions. The results of a standardized field sobriety test (SFST) may depend on the police officer’s interpretation of the driver’s behavior. An SFST may falsely accuse a person of intoxication, in which case dismissing the charges can be easy if you have a strategically prepared defense.
Get a Good Lawyer
As mentioned before, Virginia takes alcohol-related driving charges seriously. Police officers vigorously enforce these regulations, and the state takes a harsh approach to culprits convicted of DUI. The Motor Vehicle Administration can suspend your driving privileges due to a drunk driving offense. The duration may vary depending on whether you submitted to the breathalyzer test and your blood alcohol concentration during the offense.
Prosecutors usually reject a defense with weak evidence. Therefore, you need a solid legal team to get a DUI dismissed, so feel free to consider this.
Get Your DUI Case Dismissed Today!
Getting a DUI case is not something you want to deal with alone. Consult our experienced attorneys, and we will carefully review the case for potential defensive arguments. A professional defense attorney can evaluate whether the arresting officer had credible cause to perform the traffic stop or administer a chemical breath test. In case there is concrete evidence in your favor, we may be able to defeat the prosecution’s arguments. Our award-winning lawyers have freed several individuals accused of alcohol-related driving offenses for many years. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm to help dismiss your Virginia DUI charge.