The consequences of being charged with a DUI can be debilitating. From fines to jail time, having any kind of criminal record can haunt you long after the incident has passed.
But what if you were wrongly accused? Is there still hope for getting justice and avoiding punishment?
Fortunately, there are steps that can help you prove your innocence and beat those unjustified charges.
In this article, we’ll explore how to fight against a DUI charge when you’ve been wrongfully accused. We’ll discuss what evidence to look for and how to build a strong defense strategy so that even if all odds seem stacked against you, there may still be some way out.
What Is Considered a False DUI Under the Law?
A false DUI (Driving Under the Influence) refers to an individual being wrongly accused or charged with a DUI offense, despite not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. These types of arrests and charges are more common than you may think, and they can happen for many reasons.
Common Scenarios for a Wrongful DUI Arrest
There are several ways in which a DUI charge could be false or unjustified under the law, including:
- Lack of probable cause — If there was no probable cause for the traffic stop or arrest, any resulting DUI charges could be considered false.
- Inaccurate breathalyzer or blood test results — If these tests were not administered properly or calibrated correctly, or other factors could affect the accuracy of the results, the DUI charges could be false.
- Medical conditions or medications — Certain medical conditions or medications can mimic the effects of alcohol or drugs, leading to false DUI charges.
- False accusations or mistaken identity — Sometimes, a person may be wrongly accused of DUI due to mistaken identity, malicious intent, or misunderstanding.
How to Fight a False Arrest DUI
Here are four steps to fight a false DUI arrest in Colorado.
1. Know Your Rights
When falsely accused of a DUI, knowing your rights is essential.
Here are some key points to remember:
- You have the right to remain silent
- You have the right to an attorney
- You have the right to refuse field sobriety tests
- You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test; although this comes with its own penalties
- You have the right to a fair trial
2. Understand Colorado DUI Laws
If you’ve been accused of DUI in Colorado, it’s important to understand the state’s laws and penalties.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits — In Colorado, driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is illegal if you’re over 21. If you’re under 21, the limit is 0.02%. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%.
- Implied consent — By driving in Colorado, you’ve already given implied consent to a chemical test if you’re pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Refusing a chemical test can result in an automatic license suspension.
- Penalties — Penalties for DUI in Colorado can vary based on the circumstances of the offense, but they can include fines, license suspension, community service, and even jail time. Repeated offenses can result in harsher penalties.
- Marijuana DUI — Driving high is illegal in Colorado, and the state has set a legal limit for THC in the bloodstream. However, proving impairment due to marijuana can be more challenging than proving impairment due to alcohol.
3. Retain a DUI Defense Attorney
If you’ve been wrongly accused of DUI in Colorado, it’s crucial to retain a DUI defense attorney who can help protect your rights and defend you against the charges.
A DUI defense attorney has specialized knowledge and experience defending clients against DUI charges. They can analyze the evidence against you, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and help you build a strong defense strategy.
Criminal defense attorneys can protect your constitutional rights throughout the legal process. They can advise you on when to speak and what to say, help you understand your legal options, and work to mitigate the potential consequences of a DUI conviction.
4. Prepare for Court
If you’ve been accused of DUI and your case is going to trial, it’s important to prepare for court to give yourself the best chance of success.
Here are some things you can do to prepare:
- Review the evidence. Work with your DUI defense attorney to review all of the evidence against you.
- Develop a defense strategy. Based on the evidence, work with your attorney to develop a defense strategy highlighting any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
- Practice your testimony. If you plan to testify on your own behalf, practice your testimony with your attorney.
- Stay composed. Avoid reacting emotionally to any testimony or evidence presented, and remain respectful to everyone in the courtroom.
Defense Strategies for False DUI Arrest
If you have been falsely accused of DUI, taking the necessary steps to protect your rights and freedoms is important.
Here’s an overview of defense strategies that can be used to fight a false DUI arrest.
Challenging Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are highly subjective assessments conducted by police officers and can be challenged on various grounds.
There are also several other issues to consider:
- Accuracy — Was the test administered properly? Were all instructions followed correctly?
- Environment — Was there poor lighting or uneven pavement which could affect performance?
- Subjectivity — Can the officer’s opinion about your intoxication level be objectively disputed?
Disputing Breathalyzer Test Results
It’s important to remember that these tests don’t always provide an accurate representation of your BAC level at the time of driving.
Here are some elements worth considering when contesting a breathalyzer result:
- Calibration — Was the device properly calibrated? If not, it could lead to false readings.
- Operator error — Did the operator follow all instructions correctly? A mistake with the procedure can negatively impact accuracy.
- Interference — Would external factors like radio frequency interference have affected the results?
Challenging the Arresting Officer’s Conduct
If the arresting officer did not follow proper procedures during the arrest or failed to follow your constitutional rights, your attorney may be able to argue that the evidence obtained after the arrest should be suppressed.
Presenting Evidence of Alternative Explanations
If there are alternative explanations for your behavior or physical symptoms that may have led the police to believe you were impaired, your attorney may be able to present this evidence to challenge the prosecution’s case.
Don’t Delay Hiring a Colorado DUI Defense Lawyer for Your Case
If you have been arrested for a false DUI in Colorado, it is important to take action now to protect your rights and your future.
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe and may include hefty fines, jail time, and a criminal record.
A Colorado DUI defense lawyer can review the evidence against you and help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. With their help, you can challenge the charges against you and protect your rights and future.
Don’t wait — contact Chaput Law now for a FREE consultation.