Identifying key DUI defense factors
It may be possible to challenge evidence in a DUI case.
In order to convict you on a California DUI charge, the prosecution must prove that you had a blood alcohol concentration (BA) of .08 or more, or that you were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Blood alcohol and drug levels come from blood or breath testing. In the review and preparation of a DUI case for resolution or trial, not only do these tests need to be carefully reviewed, but other evidentiary and mitigating factors must be considered as well.
With a DUI conviction comes serious possible direct consequences. These include:
- License suspension
- Large fines
- Possible jail time
- Increased car insurance rates
- Possible installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device
- Probation terms and conditions
- DUI programs
Among areas of a defendant’s life indirectly affected, these include employment, security clearances, immigration, educational opportunities, vocational licenses and criminal record.
Reviewing the evidence
A skilled DUI defense attorney will not only carefully review the evidence against you, (chemical tests, initial contact, field sobriety testing and driving), but will also identify mitigating factors. Evidentiary issues and/or mitigating factors might result in lesser offenses, lesser penalties, or dismissed charges. Some of the areas of review are:
- Calibration and maintenance of the testing equipment: Ongoing calibration and maintenance of the testing equipment is important for valid results, as are properly trained operators following manufacturer guidelines.
- Validity of the underlying stop: Did the officer have reasonable cause to contact, detain and arrest the defendant? Under some conditions, the officer does not have to observe driving, like an accident. There does have to be sufficient evidence to show you were driving when you were under the influence or .08 BA or more, however.
- Mitigating factors: These are factors specific to individual defendants that may be considered in the resolution of a DUI or criminal case. While not a defense, they may deserve special consideration in case resolution. It could be military service, professional impact, age, physical or mental health condition, prior trauma, immigration, employment, lack of prior record or anything else that may be considered to differentiate this case and justify special consideration.
An experienced DUI defense attorney not only reviews the evidentiary issues but also identifies other factors that may be helpful in achieving the best resolution in your case. Christoph Law Offices, located conveniently across from the Vista Courts, has been providing the highest level of personal and professional DUI and criminal defense for over 35 years. For a free consultation to discuss your case, call 760-670-3885 or contact them online.