4 Defense Strategies That May Get A Vegas DUI Charge Dropped Or Reduced
If someone is facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, he or she may worry about what chances are available to fight the charges in Nevada. While DUI defense strategies can be hard to prepare, it is possible that a DUI charge can be defeated.
The key is for the defense attorney to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. It should not be assumed that the prosecution can automatically win. It is important that the driver find the right attorney for him or her situation.
1. Investigate Reasons The Officer Made The Arrest
One of the first strategies is to focus on why the officer arrested the driver.
Perhaps the officer witnessed the driver operating his or her vehicle erratically, jumping in from lane to lane and not obeying traffic circles.
If the driver was acting in this manner for any other reason other than intoxication, such as lack of sleep or a medical issue, this defense could be presented to dismiss the case.
However, odds are the police already have evidence that alcohol or drugs played a role in the arrest before DUI charges were issued.
2. Inappropriate Interpretation of the Field Sobriety Test
Sometimes the field sobriety test results can be attacked as a defense to a DUI. Field sobriety test results are not always conclusive evidence of a DUI.
They can be very compelling and helpful in producing a conviction, but it does not mean they make an open and shut case.
If it can be shown that other factors played into the driver failing the test, such as the test taking place on an uneven surface or an object obstructed the driver’s gaze, then the test results could be disputed.
If the case hinges solely on the test results, then the prosecution may struggle in producing a conviction.
3. Faulty BAC Results Interpretation
In rare situations, the defense can dispute the BAC test results altogether. This comes from questioning the credibility of the test results.
If a driver fails the field sobriety test, he or she will then be asked to take a breathalyzer. The results of the breathalyzer can give a more detailed picture of the alcohol content in the driver’s body.
A driver can always refuse to take the test, but many times blood tests can then be ordered.
The defendant can try to argue that the machine was faulty or the results were not produced properly, but this often requires an expert witness to testify, someone who is trained in these specific types of tests.
4. Reduced Charges And Plea Bargaining
If the defendant does not dispute that he or she was impaired but wants to try to get the offense reduced from a DUI, a defense strategy could be to try to work with the prosecutor to get the charges reduced.
Depending on how many offenses the driver has in the past, how high his or her BAC was and any other extenuating circumstances, a defense attorney may be able to get the offense dropped to reckless driving.
A plea bargain can mean less serious charges in the driver’s criminal history, as well as the possibility that the record could be sealed or charge later expunged.
In addition, some lesser offenses do not come with a mandatory driver’s license suspension, and if the driver wishes to continue driving but knows he or she cannot fully fight the charges, a plea to a lesser offense may be best.
However, keep in mind that if the driver is arrested again for another, later DUI within a seven-year period, that previous reckless driving offense will count as a prior charge and will still enhance the later sentencing for a DUI.
Weighing The Options
When it comes to deciding which way to go, whether to take the plea or use one of the other defense strategies, the client needs to weigh his or her options before going forward.
Nothing can be predicted, especially when it comes to how a judge will rule on any given case. The driver may believe that he or she has the facts that can defeat the prosecution, but the judge may see it the other way.
A good criminal defense attorney can work with the client to discuss his or her options before making a decision on which path to choose.
Contact The Hill Firm Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI while visiting our state, it is important you contact the Hill Firm today.
We can meet with you to discuss your rights and all potential legal consequences from your arrest. Contact us at (702) 848-5000 for your free consultation today.