Effective Defense of a Los Angeles DUI Charge

  • September 2, 2017

    It may be worrying to face a DUI charge in Los Angeles, but keep in mind that a charge does not always result in a conviction. You will not face legal consequences unless the prosecutor successfully proves that you were both driving and intoxicated during your drive. Since you are innocent until proven guilty, there can be a few different defense options that keep the prosecutor from proving both of the requirements for a conviction.

    Even if you know the prosecutor has a lot of evidence about failed sobriety tests and high readings in breath tests, do not despair. There are many situations where a talented lawyer has still be able to successfully defend their client despite supposed evidence against the client. Let’s stop to take a look at an example of a successful defense against the type of situation that often leads to a DUI.

    Todd goes to a friend’s birthday party even though he is sick with a cold. Despite having taken some cold medication earlier, he still feels so bad that he only drinks a single beer. Todd knows that he will not be intoxicated from this, since he weighs 180 pounds, so he decides to drive home. On his way back home, Todd stops at the store to get cold medication. In his hurry to get home and take the medicine, Todd forgets to turn his headlights off before he leaves the store. A police officer is waiting by his car when gets back, smells the beer on his breath, and asks him to take a breath test. Since Todd is confident that he is sober, he agrees to take the test. However, the reading shows that Todd has a BAC of .12, so he is arrested and charged with a DUI.

    In this case, there are a few potential DUI defenses. Since Todd smelled of beer and agreed to take the test, his defense attorney probably will not go with the common defense that the police overstepped their bounds and the evidence was illegally obtained. His attorney could attempt to argue that Todd was not driving, but the prosecutor can probably prove Todd was driving since he had to get from the party to the store with the car somehow.

    Because those DUI defenses will not work in this situation, the attorney will move on to consider defenses against the second part of a DUI charge that must be proven. The facts support the idea that Todd was not drunk, so his defense attorney should try to prevent the prosecutor from using the breath test as proof of drunkenness. It is possible that a test could measure the alcohol in Todd’s cold medicine, but that does not contain enough to explain such a high level.

    Though things might seem grim for Todd, it is important to keep in mind that sobriety tests are not invaluable. The machine could be broken or have some unnoticeable defect that is causing it to record higher BAC levels than Todd actually has. Todd’s lawyer can ask to look at maintenance records for the machine or get an independent third party lab to analyse the machine. If it is showing inaccurate readings, then that evidence could not be presented in court. Todd would be able to argue against the charge because there would be no evidence to prove that he was intoxicated.

    As you can see, most Los Angeles DUI defenses will rely on your lawyer successfully arguing that you were not driving the vehicle or that you were not intoxicated. There are often quite a few explanations for high BAC levels in a breath test or for failed field sobriety tests that do not involve drunkenness. If your attorney is able to show this, the prosecutor may not be able to prove his case.

    The outcome of your DUI charge will depend heavily on the support you receive from your attorney. Even if your situation seems hopeless, you might be surprised to learn that their are many valid defenses against a DUI charge in Los Angeles. With the right defense, you may be able to successfully avoid a conviction. Seek a consultation with a legal profession to see what defenses are available for your DUI charge.

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