If you were recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, in Nebraska for the first time you likely know very little about how the prosecution of a criminal case is handled. You may also have been given the impression by the arresting officer as well as the prosecutor if you have had a court appearance already that there is no point in mounting a defense because you are going to be convicted no matter what you do. Of course they would like you to believe this because it makes their jobs much easier. They may have you wondering though if there is any point in fighting a DUI case in Nebraska. The truth is that consulting with an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney is always a good idea. Moreover, there are several commonly used defenses to a DUI charge that the prosecutor and law enforcement would prefer you not know about for obvious reasons. Ultimately you may decide to enter into a plea agreement; however, you should not do so without first exploring the possibility of fighting — and winning – your case.
The prosecuting attorney would like everyone charged with DUI to simply sign a plea agreement and plead guilty. That way the prosecutor doesn’t have to actually prove anyone guilty. Proving a defendant guilty, however, is supposed to be the prosecuting attorney’s job. As an accused you have every right to force the prosecuting attorney to do his or her job instead of just accepting a plea agreement. You may be surprised at the defenses that could be available to you once you decide to fight your case, including, but not limited to:
- Challenging the initial stop – despite popular belief an officer is required to have a reason for stopping you in the first place. If there was none, the entire stop could be questioned.
- Breath test accuracy – breath test machines are not perfect even when they are perfectly maintained and operated. The test results of a machine that was not properly calibrated, however, can be significantly off what the true breath alcohol content of the test subject was at the time of the test.
- Breath test administration – specific procedures must be followed when a suspect is given a breath test, including the timing of the test. If the procedures were not followed, something that occurs far more often than people realize, the test results could be ruled inadmissible and/or inaccurate.
- Rising alcohol defense – if you consumed alcohol just before driving your breath test results could be skewed because of the way alcohol metabolizes in your system. Your BAC at the time you were actually driving may have been significantly lower.
- Officer’s testimony – the average patrol officer stops hundreds of vehicles each month, many of those on suspicion of DUI. The more time that passes the less likely it is that the officer will even remember your stop. That can work in your favor if the officer testifies at your trial.
- Wait it out – deputy prosecuting attorneys have huge caseloads. Law enforcement officers resign, get promoted, or transfer to another department. Sometimes, just waiting it out can result in a much better plea agreement offer or even a full victory and dismissal/acquittal.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Nebraska don’t assume you are already convicted of the charges. Consult with an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney before deciding how to proceed. Contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.