A DUI conviction in Oregon comes with serious consequences that most people cannot afford. When you have been charged with a DUI, you might feel hopeless and assume there is no way to beat it, but there are some common DUI defense strategies that are often used to successfully get a DUI charge dismissed.
It is important to remember that just because you are arrested and charged does not mean you will be found guilty. As with any other criminal case, the prosecution must prove that you were driving while intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt.
Was the traffic stop legal?
When examining potential defenses, the first place to look at is the initial traffic stop. The stop must be legal. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over.
This means they must see you do something that makes them believe you are committing a crime. Without this, the traffic stop would be illegal and anything that happened during or after it could not be used as evidence.
Were your rights violated during the stop?
If the stop appears legal, the next step is to determine if any of your rights were violated during the stop or if the police officers did anything illegal or improper. Missing even one procedural step could get a DUI case dismissed.
For example, when you are placed under arrest, the police officers must read you your Miranda rights. They also cannot keep questioning you after you exercise your right to an attorney. A violation of these or any other procedures may provide you with a defense.
Were the tests you took properly administered?
Attacking the credibility of any tests is another defense strategy. Field sobriety tests are not always reliable, and they must be performed in a certain way.
If you failed a breathalyzer test, there is a chance the police officer did not administer the test correctly or the breathalyzer itself was not properly calibrated. Showing the tests results were inaccurate robs the prosecution of valuable evidence they need to prove their case.
The bottom line is do not panic if you have been arrested for a DUI. A thorough investigation of your case might uncover possible defenses.