The vast majority of driving under the influence, or DUI, prosecutions are resolved by a guilty plea agreement entered into by the defendant. If you were recently arrested for DUI in the State of Nebraska, however, you may decide that you want to fight the charges against you and take your case to trial. You certainly have a constitutional right to do just that. If you are plea offer and taking your case to trial, one thing you may be wondering is how a DUI attorney decides on a defense strategy? After all, it certainly doesn’t make sense to take your case to trial unless you have a defense strategy that at least has a chance of succeeding!
All DUI Cases Are Not Slam Dunks for the State
From the moment you were stopped, you were likely given the impression that a conviction is a foregone conclusion. From the law enforcement officer who conducted the stop to the prosecuting attorney who represented the State of Nebraska at your initial hearing, you were likely made to feel as though your case (along with every other DUI arrest) is a slam dunk for the State. This is one reason why so many DUI cases result in guilty pleas – the defendants don’t believe they have any chance of winning if they go to trial. The primary reason most defendants believe they cannot win centers around the results of the chemical test they took. Most people are led to believe that the results of a chemical test are completely accurate and cannot be challenged. The truth, however, is that many DUI arrests are far from a slam dunk for the State. Moreover, it is definitely possible to challenge the results of a chemical test – and even win the challenge!
Deciding on a Defense – How Your DUI Attorney Analyzes Your Case
Although no two DUI stops are exactly the same, they do tend to follow the same basic pattern and include many of the same steps. As a result, the way in which most DUI attorneys analyze a DUI case will be similar. The first thing your DUI attorney will likely consider is whether or not the stop itself was legal. Despite what people are led to believe, a law enforcement officer does need a valid reason to pull someone over and conduct a stop. Your attorney will consider the report submitted by the arresting officer and evaluate whether or not the stop appears to have been legal or not. If the stop was questionable, your DUI attorney may challenge the stop as part of your defense strategy. If the stop turns out to be an illegal stop, meaning the officer lacked a sufficient legal basis on which to pull you over, any evidence obtained as a result of the stop becomes inadmissible at trial. Your attorney will also likely consider everything that occurred during the stop itself to determine if the officer followed proper police procedures and whether any of your constitutional rights were violated. The next consideration will be the chemical test. If you submitted to the chemical test voluntarily, it was likely a breath test. Your DUI attorney may be able to challenge the results of that test in a number of ways. For example, the machine may not have been properly calibrated recently, the operator may not have been properly trained, or you may have a condition that would skew the results. All of these things, along with other factors, will be taken into consideration by your DUI attorney when deciding on a defense strategy. Your attorney may also consider using the “Rising BAC” defense if your test results were not too far above the legal limit and the facts support using the defense. Essentially, the Rising BAC defense argues that although you tested above the legal limit at the time you took the test, your BAC level was below the limit when you were actually operating a motor vehicle. As you can see, there are often a number of possible avenues for a defense in a DUI case. Be sure to discuss your defense options with your Nebraska DUI attorney
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, in Nebraska contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.