How to find the right Los Angeles DUI Attorney:
Every client deserves a hardworking, honest, dedicated Los Angeles DUI Attorney if they face a DUI arrest in Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. Finding the right Los Angeles DUI Attorney can make all the difference in a successful outcome for a DUI case. The list of things you should look for when choosing a DUI attorney are:
DUI cases aren’t like any other case because of the legal and scientific issues that come up. Some cases involve strictly legal defenses. Other cases involve strictly scientific defenses. And many cases involve both legal and scientific defenses that need to be developed by an experienced DUI Attorney. These strategies are discussed below:
What are the defenses used by a Los Angeles DUI Attorney?
DUI cases can be won using a variety of defense strategies. These strategies include legal defenses and scientific defenses that have been proven effective in DUI defense.
Legal Defenses used by DUI Attorneys:
1. Attacking Probable Cause
DUI cases are criminal law cases involving police investigation and arrests. Because of this, the starting point for any DUI attorney handling a DUI case is looking for defenses that attack the police investigation and subsequent arrest. This starts with an examination of probable cause used by the police officers in the case. The typical DUI case involves a police officer stopping a driver either on suspicion of DUI or a violation of another vehicle code rule. Police officers must have probable cause that a crime is occurring before they stop a driver on public roads.
Most DUI cases start with the police officer watching the driver violate one of the many hundreds of vehicle code rules that govern the public roads. For example, a police officer sees a driver driving faster than the posted speed limit. Based on this observation, the police officer has probable cause to stop the driver.
Many times, the situation is not this simple. A common mistake made by police officers (especially rookie police officers) involves California’s vehicle code rule against “lane straddling.” Lane straddling involves a driver driving along the edge of a lane, with a tire of their car touching or even crossing lines on the road. To a new police officer, a driver momentarily crossing a line would be “probable cause” to stop the driver. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, however, and a police officer that makes this mistake opens the door to a DUI attorney to raise one of the most effective defenses: showing a lack of probable cause. In the case of US v. Colin, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled a police officer who uses “lane straddling” as the justification for their stop of a driver must follow the driver for a substantial distance before forming the necessary probable cause to stop that driver.
A DUI attorney who is familiar with DUI case law, such as the Colin case, can find other ways to attack the probable cause officers use.
2. Attacking Police Investigation Procedures
If there is adequate probable cause for the police involved to stop a driver, a DUI attorney will next look at the investigation procedures used in the case. One of the most common areas where police officers make mistakes are with the Field Sobriety Tests that they use after stopping the driver. Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) are complicated tests designed to be used by the roadside to determine whether the driver is in fact, impaired. A DUI attorney knows that these tests must be carried out exactly as they were designed, otherwise they will give false results that officers use to erroneously arrest drivers. Learn more about Field Sobriety Tests.
Scientific Defenses used by DUI attorneys:
The science in DUI cases involves human observation (usually the police officer conducting Field Sobriety Tests) and chemical tests (either blood or breath tests) that are used to pinpoint the driver’s blood alcohol level.
At first glance, the blood or breath tests seem highly sensitive and appear to be difficult to attack when dealing with a DUI case. A DUI attorney understands this sensitivity is their downfall: if each and every step of the tests isn’t done properly, the results, however sensitive, are wrong and can be challenged in court.
A Los Angeles DUI Attorney will understand the different defenses that are used to attack the scientific evidence against driver accused of DUI. To speak with a knowledgeable DUI attorney who can help you look at your case and build a defense, call 213-400-0358.