Alleged Drunk Drivers are Entitled to a Defense

Everyone accused of drunk driving is entitled to a defense. Never assume a case is what it looks like from the outside.

Justice has two sides — justice for the victim and for the accused. While that concept may seem alien to some, all persons accused of a crime have the right to counsel, and the right to have a defense mounted in their favor. Automatically assuming that because someone is charged with a crime, such as driving under the influence, means they are guilty, does the accused a great disservice. It may also not be true.

Witnesses, families, friends and the general public may jump to conclusions about what they determine to be an incident involving someone driving under the influence. They conclude based on what they saw or suspect, that the driver must have been drunk, or under the influence of something, judging from their erratic behavior. Even police personnel have assumed that may be the case, based on an initial assessment of an accident scene.

Accident scenes are rarely what they appear to be, particularly when a suspected drunk driver is involved. Many do not consider the driver may have had a medical emergency, a seizure, blacked out or suffered the unintentional side effects of a prescription drug. Alcohol may be present in the vehicle, but not present in the driver. Too often drivers involved in an accident when erratic driving and/or the presence of booze or drugs are detected, are assumed to be guilty before even being charged.

This is not to say there are not cases where individuals have been drinking and driving and did cause an accident. Nonetheless, they too are entitled to the due process of the law, meted out in a fair manner. The fact is breathalyzers are not always accurate, if they are not meticulously maintained and properly calibrated. The fact is that even blowing soy sauce gives a reading perilously close to .08.

If you are charged with driving under the influence, do not speak to anyone other than your criminal defense lawyer. They will pull your driving record and the police report and start an investigation of your case. They check the breathalyzer for recent calibration, and if it is not properly calibrated, you could have blown too high, thus making the reading inaccurate.

If there are reasons why your case should go to court, your criminal defense lawyers will explain, in great detail, what they are and outline their choice of defense. The defense may involve what the probable cause was for the officer to stop you, the accuracy of the tests administered, and whether taped/recorded evidence has been tampered with. In most cases, if the evidence was taped, the audio portion will allow the attorney to ascertain whether the police had probable cause for a traffic stop and further DUI tests. Traffic stops have been done without probable cause.

Were you stopped at a DUI checkpoint? Was it clearly marked? If not, the defense may be the stop was illegal, and thus the charges need to be dropped. If you have been charged with DUI, do not attempt to represent yourself. Call an experienced Lakeland criminal defense lawyer. He has the education and experience handling cases like this.

To learn more about Polk County criminal defense lawyer or Polk County DUI lawyer Thomas Grajek, go to http://www.flcrimedefense.com/ or call 863-688-4606.

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