The DUI Book - Washington Edition
A Citizen's Handbook
on Fighting a Drunk Driving Case.
Washington State DUI Defenses
How can there be any defense to my DUI charge? (I was caught for DUI and shouldn’t have been driving) Regardless of what you have heard, a DUI arrest or DUI charge does not necessarily lead to a DUI conviction. Although you may feel as though you were wrong to have driven after drinking, you should not plead guilty and subject yourself to the severe penalties that follow conviction. Even the best DUI attorney in Washington will not win every case, but will have knowledge of potential defenses—defenses that are as varied as the facts of each individual’s case, and could lead to a “win” in your case. In some cases, a “win” is a reduction to a lesser charge, in other cases a “win” is a dismissal or acquittal.
What DUI defenses apply in your case?
- Our Federal and State Constitutions protect persons from unlawful “seizures” and “searches.” A seizure occurs when a law enforcement officer activates his or her emergency lights or siren to pull you over. This may not be done without reasonable grounds to believe that you are committing a crime or have committed a traffic infraction. If a vehicle stop is unlawful, all evidence obtained after the stop is inadmissible making the case impossible to prosecute.
- A search occurs when the officer has you perform field sobriety tests, which cannot be performed without your consent. Persons who politely decline these tests will often have a greater chance of winning their DUI because without the tests, the officer may not be able to accumulate enough evidence to give him or her probable cause for a DUI arrest.
- Likewise, breath and blood testing is also a search that you may or may not agree to perform. Although we suggest that people should politely decline to do field sobriety tests, we recommend that you take the breath or blood test. This is because the procedure for administering the test, machine maintenance and other requirements for reliable accurate testing are rigorous, and if any of the requirements are not met, the test may be excluded from evidence, making your case difficult or perhaps impossible to prove by the prosecution.
- Sometimes, people can be their own worst enemy when they make a confession after a DUI arrest. However, if they were not given the Miranda warnings before being interrogated while “in custody” the confession may be excluded from evidence. Also, if the person asked for an attorney to be present during questioning, but no attorney was provided, the officer is not allowed to interrogate (ask questions) because the person invoked their constitutional rights.
These are just a few of the defenses that may apply in a DUI case, all of which are too numerous to list, and are varied depending on each individual case, the person’s health condition, exposure to chemicals, the habits and routine of the officer who made the arrest, to name a few.
Finding the thread that will unravel a DUI case is what we do best. Let us defend you, and work to help you minimize the consequences of your DUI arrest.
You can reach us 24/7/365. Give us a call and we will discuss the defenses that might apply to your case. The sooner you call, the better you will feel.
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Disclaimer: This site contains general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice, nor does it substitute for the professional judgment of Ms. Callahan concerning the facts and the laws that apply in your individual case.