Halloween offers just as much fun for adults as for children. Adult festivities frequently involve adult beverages. If you enjoyed a few too many and opted to drive home, you may now be facing DWI charges.
Depending on the specifics of your case, there are a number of ways you can fight back to beat the charges against you. Check out these common DWI defense strategies, and how they can be used to fight back against your Halloween DWI charge…
Improper Stop by Minnesota Police
In order to pull you over in a traffic stop, police must actually see you do something wrong. This is known as reasonable suspicion.
If at the time of your stop, you were following the speed limit, not swerving, and your vehicle was not malfunctioning, it may be possible to argue that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over.
When this is the case, any evidence obtained during the traffic stop becomes inadmissible. , This includes blood alcohol content testing, which often leads to the case being thrown out.
Failure to Follow Proper Field Sobriety Testing Protocol
When officers perform field sobriety tests, they are required to follow certain protocols.
If the officers failed to follow these predetermined procedures during field sobriety testing, any evidence of intoxication obtained is considered inadmissible, as well.
This defense applies especially when officers engaged in disrespectful, intimidating or other inappropriate conduct during field sobriety testing.
Further, many forms of field sobriety testing are woefully inaccurate, and even sober subjects fail them routinely. This is another angle often explored by experienced DWI attorneys.
Improper Testing and Issues with Chain of Custody
To prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were over the legal limit at the time of your arrest, police must arrange proper blood alcohol analysis.
This involves consulting a trained and licensed phlebotomist as soon as possible following your arrest. Unreasonable wait time or testing by an untrained individual could make this evidence inadmissible.
Police are also required to ensure that blood alcohol samples are properly maintained and that there is an appropriate paper trail documenting the sample’s chain of custody.
When these protocols are not followed, your blood alcohol results, the primary evidence against you and a requirement for a conviction, are simply inadmissible.
When you are placed under arrest, the police must immediately advise you of your Miranda Rights. This includes your right to remain silent and right to an attorney.
If you were not advised of your rights during the course of your arrest, any evidence gathered afterward (blood alcohol testing, in a DWI case) is generally thrown out.
If the police question you following your arrest and do not follow appropriate protocol, any evidence obtained during interrogation is also considered inadmissible.
The reality is this – a DWI charge does not directly equate to a conviction. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, it may be possible to get your case thrown out entirely or to get your charges reduced.
However, you absolutely should take any DWI charges seriously, as failure to be proactive and fight back can have life-changing consequences.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).