If you’ve been incriminated for a DUI in California, then you’re probably wondering what you should do next. The state of California has specified rules against driving under the influence. If for some reason, you violate these laws, you will have to face several legal consequences.
Intoxicated driving is a heinous crime in California. Conviction means you have to suffer from long years of imprisonment and even hefty penalty fines. You will also have a criminal record for DUI. This would affect your future opportunities in work and college.
If you have a California DUI conviction, you should read further. We compiled a list of possible legal defenses you can use to support your case.
Legal Defenses You Can Use To Get Your DUI Charges In California Dismissed
If you are facing criminal DUI charges in California, you should seek the help of DUI attorneys. At Summit Defense, our California DUI attorney has extensive experience in DUI defense. We were able to help numerous clients dismiss their DUI charges by building a solid legal defense for them.
We can use the following legal defenses for your DUI case. With a solid legal defense, the court can drop your DUI arrest. Keep in mind that some of these legal defenses work only in a particular situation.
The greatest option will always be to consult with a California DUI defense lawyer. They can give you personalized defense based on the situation of your DUI case.
You Were Driving Poorly, But Not Driving Under The Influence
If the arrest was made without probable cause, then this is one of the legal defenses you can use. This could mean that the police officer who made your arrest did not have a legal reason to do so.
The arresting officer could have mistaken your driving for drunk driving because of your bad driving habits. In most cases, an officer cannot provide solid proof of your poor driving skills. If this is the case, the court can drop your DUI charge.
The police also need to follow strict procedures when arresting someone for a DUI. They need to give you ample time and warning before making DUI arrests. But if they fail to do so, this is grounds for dismissal of DUI charges against you.
Field Sobriety Tests Are Sometimes Unreliable
The police officer that arrested you needs to administer a field sobriety test. This is per California’s vehicle law. The officer also needs to report your results on the DUI arrest process sheet accurately. If they failed to do so, this is grounds for dismissal of your DUI charge.
Under California law, the blood alcohol level of .08 percent has been established as legally drunk. But, if your BAC result is less than .08 percent, you are not exempt from DUI prosecution. There are some cases when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than.08 percent and you can still be charged with DUI.
Some states allow their officers to use other ways to determine sobriety levels. But California does not give its officers any leeway in assessing a driver’s alcohol intoxication levels.
If an officer fails to measure a driver’s BAC level correctly, then there is a good chance for a DUI charge to be dismissed by the court.
Mouth Alcohol Can Cause Falsely High Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
We ingest certain substances into our bodies that can leave behind traces in our breath. These substances are called biomarkers, which can happen with alcohol. When you take something containing alcohol, this will remain in your system until it is fully metabolized.
If you took a blood test right after using a mouthwash, the test could produce a falsely high BAC result. This happens when alcohol is still in your body from drinking or eating something with alcoholic content. It gets absorbed into your bloodstream just before taking the test.
It is possible that your blood alcohol level was falsely increased because you used a mouthwash. You can use this as your legal defense for your DUI case on this occasion.
The Arresting Officer Did Not Observe You For 15 Minutes As Required
The responding police officers are legally required to observe you for 15 minutes before a breath test is conducted. After being pulled over, a police officer should check for signs of intoxication before using a breath analyzer.
The arresting officer must also document this on your DUI arrest form appropriately. On some occasions, they may be focused on setting up the equipment instead of observing you.
If the officer fails to follow these steps in doing their job, they may be held liable for abuse under color of authority laws. You can use it as your legal defense against your DUI charges in court.
The Arresting Officer Did Not Comply With Title 17 Regulations On Blood And Breath Tests
The California State Law makes it clear that the results of a blood and breath test cannot be used against you before they are sent to the laboratory for analysis. This is to ensure accuracy in blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. There were instances when officers took your blood without sending it immediately to the lab or taking your BAC level right away.
The arrest report also needs to contain all the legal proof of DUI violations. Title 17 also indicates that the analyzing machine should be calibrated. Furthermore, the officer should also observe the 15-minute rule under this regulation.
If the officer did not follow these regulations, then there is a chance for this as your legal defense. If you think that this is your situation, you should speak with a DUI lawyer right away. They can help you gather evidence to prove your point.
You Can Argue About A Rising Blood Alcohol Content
You can use ‘rising’ blood alcohol level as your legal defense in some cases. This is one of the most commonly used alibis for DUI charges. This happens when a person stopped from drinking, but their alcohol level is consistently rising.
After alcohol consumption, your blood alcohol level will rise rapidly. This increase will continue until it reaches its maximum or peak level. Once it attains this point, your blood alcohol concentration will decline.
In most cases, the steady rise will occur in an average of 20-45 minutes. This will depend on how your body naturally processes alcohol. In some cases, your blood alcohol level will continue to rise for 2 to 3 hours.
Suppose you were pulled over when experiencing a ‘rising’ blood alcohol level. Then your breath result will be falsely increased. There’s a chance that your BAC will rise during the investigation process.
There Was No Mental Impairment, So No DUI Offense
It is also possible for you to use mental alertness as your defense against DUI charges in court. This applies when you are physically intoxicated but not mentally impaired. The law also clarifies that impairment in physical actions is different from mental awareness.
Mental alertness will depend on the information given to you by your arresting officer. They could also make assumptions based on how they found you when they approached your car. Suppose it appeared that your reactions were normal. Then this can be used as a defense against DUI charges.
You Had Ketosis Due To Diabetes Or Low-Carb Diets
If you had ketosis, this might work as your legal defense. A person who goes on a low-carb diet can experience a false reading on the breath test. This is for people with diabetes and other conditions.
These medical conditions make it harder for your body to process glucose. The energy needs of cells will be met by burning fat instead of glucose from carbs or sugars. In turn, your blood sugar level will drop alarmingly fast.
This change in metabolism is known as ketosis. The process can make the breath test inconclusive if tested right away. For instance, if you are not allowed to eat at least two hours before the test, then there’s a chance that it will be inaccurate.
For this reason, you should have a medical certificate ready in case the officer asks for legitimate documentation. A proof of doctor’s visit notes or medication prescription will suffice as a legal document to prove that you have medical problems.
You Have Medical Conditions Such As GERD, Acid Reflux, Hiatal Hernia, & Heartburn
If you have heartburn or acid reflux, then your breath test will show a high concentration of Acetone due to the production of ketones in the body. In some cases, you may need a medical check-up before using this alibi.
A person with GERD, hiatal hernia, and heartburn will have the same legal defense. This is due to excess stomach acids that accumulate in your body.
The symptoms of these medical conditions include burping, gurgling, or belching. Furthermore, they can cause hoarseness and a sour taste in the mouth.
If you were arrested, and all the above symptoms were present, this should be your legal defense against DUI charges. This usually happens when you have an empty stomach at the time of the investigation.
There Was No Probable Cause For A DUI Stop
A DUI offense may also be dismissed due to a lack of probable cause. This type of defense is commonly used in cases where the officer did not have enough reason to pull you over.
For instance, the police cannot just assume that your driving performance was impaired by alcohol ingestion. An officer cannot conclude because they saw you come out of a bar and get into your car if there were no other signs, such as weaving from lane to lane or acting erratic. Then this should be your legal defense against DUI charges because you were not DUI.
A police officer should abide by the California Vehicle Code before making a DUI arrest. If this happened to you, make sure to take pictures as evidence. You could have CCTV footage showing how you behaved after leaving the bar. You can also record conversations with officers on the scene who tried to incriminate you.
The Arresting Officer Took Blood In A Way That Hurt You
The officer can take a blood sample from you if they have DUI suspicion. However, If you felt abused during the procedure, it should be a valid reason for a legal defense. For instance, if they used excessive force when taking your blood, the trial judge should consider this in court.
In case there is apparent bruising on your arms and hands after the examination, then it’s clear evidence of abuse. In some cases, a DUI defense attorney may join you at the hospital when they take your blood sample as evidence against the officers.
Are You Facing A DUI Charge In California? Hire A DUI Defense Lawyer To Protect Your Rights And Have Your DUI Dismissed!
It’s hard to fight DUI charges alone. Having an experienced DUI defense attorney to handle your California DUI case is highly beneficial. At Summit Defense, our DUI defense lawyers have extensive knowledge of the local laws surrounding drunk driving, and they can help you navigate your way around your case.
They can conduct a DUI investigation to gather necessary shreds of evidence. If you incur a DUI conviction, it could jeopardize your opportunities with a prospective employer. It would be best if you acted promptly after receiving a DUI conviction.
Call our experienced DUI lawyers at Summit Defense now! Our law firm is open to taking your call 24 hours and seven days. You may reach us at 1-866-847-7613 or by filling out our online form here.