Getting arrested for a DUI in Louisiana does not automatically result in a conviction. In court, the State of Louisiana must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, all elements of the crime. These elements include proof that you were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and that you were driving or operating the vehicle. Thus, providing a strong defense to one of the elements may be enough to prevent a DWI conviction.
The Goal of a DWI Criminal Defense Attorney
Below are the goals of a competent DWI lawyer in succession.
- To attempt to successfully defend the DWI charge and get a not guilty verdict
- To attempt to avoid a jail sentence which is not suspended
- To avoid a felony conviction
- To minimize other punishments besides jail
- To avoid the record of a DWI or other charge being made public to insurance companies or on a background check
You Were Not Driving the Vehicle
You must actually be driving or operating a vehicle in order to be convicted of a DUI. If you were intoxicated and simply resting, sleeping in the car or waiting for your ride with the key in the ignition, there is no proof that you committed a DWI offense. Let a criminal defense attorney prove that a key element of the DUI crime did not occur and that your case should be dismissed.
Lack of Probable Cause
For a DUI conviction, probable cause must be established to show why the police officer came into contact with you. Merely having a hunch that you were intoxicated is not enough, and the arrest could be considered a violation of your Constitutional rights. The police officer must have witnessed intoxication or evidence that your driving was violating some law in order to have initiated a stop. Our legal team will review the officer reports and obtain witness statements in order to beat your DUI charges when probable cause was lacking.
Police Officer Mistake
Experienced attorneys like James Bates and Robert McMillin are skilled at evaluating cases to map out the best strategy for you to win against the State. They will carefully examine all the events that transpired between you and the law enforcement officer to see if a mistake was made. For example, Louisiana police officers are not allowed to use anonymous tips to pull someone over for a possible DWI. Another potential error would be to see if you were detained too long. A small mistake may be enough to beat your DWI charges or at least get them reduced.
Errors with the Breathalyzer Test
Breathalyzer test results are often key elements to winning your case against the State of Louisiana as many issues can arise that make the test results inadmissible in court. Medications may provide inaccurate results. The machine may malfunction or not be calibrated properly. The Breathalyzer may have been given to you too long after your initial stop by the police. The attorneys at Bates and McMillin will examine your Breathalyzer results and provide the best DUI defense available to you.
Improper Field Sobriety Test Results
Many defendants beat their DUI charges due to errors with the field sobriety tests. A warrant or strong evidence of intoxication is required before the officer can request the test. Similarly, if the officer threatened you to perform the field sobriety test or if any aspect of the test was done incorrectly, your DUI charges can be reduced or dismissed. Lacking justification for the test is also a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.
Though the defenses may seem straightforward, only the best lawyers know what evidence is required to properly defend your case and help you avoid or minimize the harsh penalties of a DUI conviction. Our criminal defense attorneys will carefully review your DWI case and determine the best strategy to fight for your rights.
Don’t risk the severe consequences of a DUI conviction when the State has insufficient evidence against you. Call our office now for a free review of your case.