Driving while impaired charges are common and categorized under misdemeanor suits in most U.S states. DWI conviction means you could face jail time or lose your driving privileges for a given period. Unfortunately, being convicted of driving while impaired significantly affects your reputation, especially in your area of employment.
The prosecution often uses all means to intimidate individuals facing DWI trials with extended jail time and other threats hoping to squeal them. However, you shouldn’t give up easily, especially since proving these cases is difficult. Hiring a Fort Worth DWI Lawyer increases the odds of being acquitted of a DWI case.
Like accident cases, winning a DWI case is possible. While most people won’t understand this concept rightfully, especially because they feel they were wrong driving while impaired, you don’t have to plead guilty outright for several reasons. Several factors come into play when defending DUI cases.
Conviction in DWI cases doesn’t rely solely on the defendant’s actions. It also depends on the actions and inactions of the police during the stop. Below are ways a DUI case can be won because of the actions or inactions of the arresting agency:
1. Was the Stop Conducted Legally?
This is crucial because DWI incidents start from a traffic stop. Police officers should have probable cause for making the traffic stop. If the car was stopped wrongly, the prosecution has no choice but to drop the case. Evidence collated from an improper traffic stop is considered to have been obtained unlawfully and can’t be used in court.
A probable cause should exist before the traffic stop. Unless the police suspect you are involved in criminal activities or have any other reasonable suspicion, the traffic stop was illegal. For instance, the police can’t stop defendants driving home at 2:30 a.m. because the bars are closing. Unless the defendant commits a traffic violation, evidence obtained after the stop can’t be used in court.
2. Did the Arresting Officer Read the Defendants their Rights?
This is another important aspect of a DWI case. If the police didn’t advise the defendant of their right to remain silent during the stop, any information gathered by the authorities during the arrest is deemed illegal. Such information cannot be admitted in court or used against the defendant.
3. How Was the Sobriety Test Conducted?
In Florida and most states, sobriety tests cannot be used as accurate indicators of drug and alcohol impairment. Interestingly, several studies have shown that alcohol tests are 65% to 77% accurate. As if not enough, most of these tests are administered and scored improperly. Besides, defendants can score poorly because of the following:
- Intimidation from the police officer
- Uneven road surface
- Bad weather conditions
- Poor lighting
- Uncoordinated or unathletic nature
- Poor footwear
4. Did the Arresting Officer Provide Misleading Information?
Most arrests, including DWI incidents, usually begin with the patrolling officer asking the defendant suspected of DUI questions. For instance, if the defendant questions a process, such as refusing a breathalyzer, and the arresting officer misleads the defendant, evidence collected from the breathalyzer is dismissed. Police misconduct is a major contributor to DUI charges being dismissed.
If you are arrested for DWI, the prosecution typically files two DWI charges, one relating to the amount of alcohol in your body and the other based on impairment caused by drug intoxication. The prosecution does so to strengthen the case and hope to achieve one conviction. Even if you are convicted of both charges, the court can only punish one conviction. The prosecution should prove the following elements of DUI charges for a successful conviction:
● Proving the Defendant Was Driving
In most DUI arrests, the arresting officer personally observes the defendants’ driving behavior. However, on a few occasions, specifically in DUI collisions where police officers are not present onsite, the prosecution should prove that the defendant was driving using witness statements or the defendant’s admission.
If there are no witnesses and the defendant doesn’t admit, the prosecution can rely on circumstantial evidence to prove the defendant was driving the vehicle. This includes the driver’s position in the vehicle and the absence of other people in the car.
● Proving the Defendant Was Impaired At the Time of Driving
The prosecution should also prove the defendant was intoxicated enough to impair their judgment and driving ability. Proving this requires that they conduct blood or breath tests. Most states convict motorists for DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or more. This limit drops for drivers aged 21 and below.
Fortunately for prosecutors, the implied consent laws apply in all states. These laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for DWI to submit to drug tests. Without these results, getting convicted for DWI is impossible.
It is uncommon for motorists to be arrested for DUI. If you have a pending DUI case, hire an experienced DWI lawyer immediately. Each state has varying laws on DUI cases, and a qualified attorney can help you get a fair trial.