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What are Some Common Defenses to a DUI Charge?

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Dec 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

The bad news is that you were arrested for DUI in Seattle or surrounding King County..

The good news is just because you might have been arrested for DUI does not automatically mean you are guilty.

As you know, you are innocent of a crime until proven guilty. This means that the government has the burden of proving that you were driving impaired. In fact, many individuals who have been charged with a DUI have been able to successfully maintain their innocence with a good DUI defense strategy. Some common DUI defenses can include (and are not limited to):

  • Probable Cause to Stop/Detention/Arrest. Law enforcement must have a legal basis to make a traffic stop.  They must have a reasonable suspicion to detain you.  And they must have probable cause to arrest you.  If the officer did not have sufficient information to warrant any one of those three, there is a definite challenge to be made
  • Breath/Blood Test Challenge. A device used to measure blood alcohol content in your breath or blood is maintained by strict standards and must be properly calibrated. Even if properly calibrated, challenges can be made in the administration of the test (for example, for a breath test there must be a proper mouth check and a fifteen minute observation period.
  • Field Sobriety Test Challenge. In Washington, law enforcement are required to inform a suspect that the field tests are "voluntary."  In addition, police must follow certain protocols in administering the tests as if they deviate the reliability of the results is undermined.
  • Custodial Statements. An officer is required to advise a person of his or her Miranda warnings as soon as they place a person under arrest.  Failure to advise can lead to a challenge to any custodial statements.
  • Right to Counsel. In Washington, the right to counsel comes from both Miranda and court rule.  Should an officer fail to provide adequate access to a person's attorney of their choosing is grounds for a challenge.

The above list is only the tip of the iceberg.  There are many other potential challenges a skilled DUI lawyer can make.  Please keep in mind that every case is different, and the available DUI defenses vary. If you have been arrested for a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas, you may want to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to learn possible defenses to your specific drunk driving charge.

The DUI attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us directly at 425-284-2000 for a free consultation. Don't fight your DUI charge alone.

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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