Potential DWI Defenses

Ask an Indiana Criminal Lawyer

Penalties for OWI (operating while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under influence) offenses can be serious. Therefore, if you have been arrested for OWI charges, it is advisable to seek the services of a qualified OWI lawyer to know of the possible available defenses. With a viable defense, you can persuade the prosecutor to reduce or drop the charges, and prevent suspension of your driving license. Below are some of the best OWI defenses available.

Improper Stop By The Police

Police are prohibited by the U.S constitution from stopping private citizens without a “reasonable suspicion” concept. This concept has long been interpreted by the supreme court as specific grounds that provide the police with a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is on board. In simple language, the reasonable suspicion concept means that the police must have more than a gut feeling that a citizen has either committed or is committing a crime. Therefore, in the DWI defense, cops need to see the citizen do something wrong. In case you are not swerving, obeying speed limits, and obeying traffic rules, you can defend yourself that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop you and thus evidence gained thereafter does not stand.

Failure to follow field sobriety test protocol

When administering field sobriety tests (FSTs), some protocols should be followed. Therefore, failure to adhere to these procedures by law enforcement results in the suppression of any evidence collected during the test. This occurs especially when law enforcers are overly intimidating, engage in inappropriate conduct, or are disrespectful towards the test subject. Moreover, it is necessary to note that FTS observation is not proof of intoxication by themselves, but rather are just but a component of evidence by the state.

Medical Conditions

In case one has a medical condition, sometimes one can not only appear drunk but this condition can affect the roadside breathalyzer test results. There are many causes of slurred speech, they may include neurological or fatigue problems. Watery eyes may be as a result of allergies, crying, or sinus troubles. Moreover, ketosis which is a diabetic side effect may produce a smell like that of alcohol due to glucose in the blood system being fermented, thus creating the smell. This condition may lead to a sober individual registering alcohol presence on a breathalyzer test.

Miranda Violations

The U.S constitution requires law enforcers to officially inform a suspect once under arrest. This statement by the officers distinguishes an arrest from a mere conversation. Once an individual is under arrest, the police must advise them on their rights. These rights include the right to an attorney, the right to stay silent, and the right to have a court-appointed counsel if he or she cannot afford one. Therefore, if the individual is not issued with Miranda warnings, all evidence or statements gathered thereafter will be excluded no matter how incriminating they may seem.

Inappropriate Communication - police officer talking to person in car on rainy day

Inappropriate Communication

It is against the law for prosecutors to interrogate a defendant without both the consent and or presence of his counsel. However, often than not district attorneys and law enforcers attempt to take the shorter route by enticing the defendant with attractive plea bargains. Normally, these are tactics that DWI attorneys can never agree to. In case this happens, any pleas that happened outside the due protocol can be overturned easily by proving that the prosecutors or police officers improperly communicated to the defendant. The judge will surely not entertain this in the court.

Violation Of Both Procedure And Evidence Rules

Finally, several OWI defenses may not come up not until the day of the trial. This may include violations of state rules on procedure and evidence. This category encompasses the use of unauthenticated recordings, documents, and photographs. A good example is in case of video evidence, the officer that arrested the individual must testify that indeed it is the defendant in the video at that time. Failure to testify to this will lead to the video being excluded as evidence in the case.

From the above article, you are now better informed on the best defenses to win over a OWI charge. Your OWI attorney with his experience will certainly be able to dismiss or reduce your OWI charges depending on your situation of course.