Fresno DUI Lawyer
DUI Defense Strategies
If you have failed a breath or blood test or any one of the SFSTs and were arrested as a result, you may still have a means of defense so contact Sawl Law Group and speak to a Fresno DUI attorney. When a police officer administers field sobriety tests, there are specific procedures that they must follow. Should they provide false information, skip a step, or abuse you in any way during the investigation or arrest process, you may be able to fight your charges on the grounds of police misconduct.
As for breath and blood tests, your test results could be faulty. Breathalyzer machines are very delicate and must be properly calibrated before every use. Otherwise, the results could be false and a wrongful arrest could be made. Be sure to provide all information about your breath test to your Fresno defense lawyer to find out if you could dispute the results, as well as your arrest.
Often an arresting officer will observe your outward opinion when they are making their decision. Did they take enough time to truly assess you? This should be brought up to make sure that they did not make a brash decision. They may also have mistaken signs for you being under the influence when there were other reasons. One of the main reasons that suspects can look guilty has to do with nerves. When you are worried that you will make a mistake it can be easier to do so. You may have trouble balancing, can stumble over our words or you could fail to follow all of the directions, and while an officer may expect that this is because you have been drinking you may actually be innocent.
You could have also been drinking but an officer may confuse you having alcohol on your breath from one drink with being intoxicated. Allergies are another factor for some individuals and it can cause your eyes to be red and watery, which may also be confused with drunkenness. A driver may have pulled you over because you made a poor lane change or were allegedly speeding.
Another thing to consider is that just because someone makes a mistake on the road does not mean they did so as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It could just be a mistake that many other sober drivers make on a daily basis. When an officer pulls you over there are certain protocols that they may follow. Your case should be evaluated to make sure that they followed this and that your rights were not violated.
Did they have reason to pull you over? They cannot randomly pull you over without reason to do so or if you are not at a DUI checkpoint where other drivers are being inspected. Many DUI charges are effectively fought because the fact of the matter is that many innocent individuals are accused or they are penalized too harshly.
California DUI Penalties
If you are charged for a first time DUI offense the penalties may include:
- Fines up to $1,000,
- Six months in jail
- Immediate license suspension, the need to
- Complete a DUI program,
- Installation of an ignition interlock device and an SR-22 filing
A first offense will typically be a misdemeanor unless there are other factors present in the case. For each additional conviction the penalties will continue to increase. A conviction will also leave a mark on your criminal record. For a commercial driver the penalties can differ. Refusing a chemical test can also leave you with additional penalties that will be automatic even if you are found innocent.
When Can a Legal DUI Arrest Be Made?
If you’ve been In the state of California, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. However, an arrest can only be made if there is sufficient evidence to prove that the suspect was legally intoxicated at the time of the arrest. One way in which a police officer may determine this is by using the Standard Fields Sobriety Tests (SFST), which meant to judge the person’s motor skills and concentration abilities to see if they are intoxicated. Another means is to have the suspect take a breathalyzer test to determine their blood alcohol content (BAC). If the test result is .08% BAC or higher, a legal arrest can be made.
Field Sobriety Tests
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - For this, the officer will observe the eyes of the person in question as they slowly move a pen or small object back and forth to look for indicators in each eye that the person is impaired.
- Walk-and-turn test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to take nine steps, touching heel-to-toe in a straight line and the return back. The officer is looking for signs that the person is impaired such as not being able to keep their balance or not following the instructions properly.
- One-leg stand test - For this, the officer instructs the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for about 30 seconds or until told to put it down. The officer looks for signs of impairment such as swaying, hoping or using their arms to balance.