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DUI Defenses: Legal Strategies to Challenge Charges

DUI Defenses

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Facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI) can be an overwhelming and distressing experience. However, individuals have rights and legal options to contest these charges. DUI defenses, skillfully crafted by experienced attorneys such as those at Jeff Marshall Law, encompass a range of legal strategies. These are aimed at questioning the validity of charges, challenging presented evidence, or asserting violations of constitutional rights. In this blog, we delve into various legal strategies DUI defense attorneys employ. We will shed light on how these professionals advocate for individuals facing DUI charges and protect their rights.

Illegal Traffic Stop:

Fourth Amendment Protections: The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement initiates a traffic stop without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the defense may challenge the legality of the stop.

Lack of Probable Cause: DUI defense attorneys may argue that the arresting officer lacked probable cause to stop the driver. This potentially can lead to the dismissal of the charges.

Field Sobriety Tests:

Subjectivity of Tests: DUI defense lawyers often question the reliability and subjectivity of field sobriety tests. These tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, may be influenced by various factors. These can include the individual’s physical condition and environmental conditions.

Improper Administration: Defense attorneys may challenge the administration of field sobriety tests. They can assert that wrong instructions or environmental factors affected the individual’s performance.

Breathalyzer Accuracy:

Calibration and Maintenance: DUI defense attorneys scrutinize the calibration and maintenance records of breathalyzer devices. If the device used to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) was not properly calibrated or maintained, the results may be deemed unreliable.

Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions and medications can influence breathalyzer results. Defense attorneys may present evidence of medical conditions that could have impacted the accuracy of the BAC readings.

Rising Blood Alcohol Defense:

Time Discrepancies: The rising blood alcohol defense asserts that the individual’s BAC was below the legal limit at the time of driving. However, it rose to an illegal level by the time the breathalyzer test was administered.

Scientific Expertise: DUI defense attorneys may enlist the expertise of toxicologists. They can explain the concept of rising blood alcohol levels and support the defense’s position.

Violation of Miranda Rights:

Inadmissible Statements: If law enforcement fails to inform an individual of their Miranda rights during the arrest, any statements made by the accused may be deemed inadmissible in court.

Interrogation Without Counsel: DUI defense attorneys may challenge statements obtained during custodial interrogation. This happens when the accused is not provided the opportunity to consult with an attorney.

Illegal Search and Seizure:

Exclusionary Rule: DUI defense lawyers may assert that evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure. This includes blood or urine test results. The exclusionary rule may be applied to suppress evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Warrant Requirements: Unless there is a valid exception, law enforcement typically requires a warrant to conduct blood tests. Defense attorneys may challenge the lack of a warrant in certain cases.

Challenging BAC Results:

Blood Test Accuracy: DUI defense attorneys may challenge the blood test results’ accuracy by examining the blood sample’s chain of custody. They may also challenge the qualifications of the personnel involved and potential contamination issues.

Independent Blood Testing: Individuals accused of DUI may have the option to request an independent blood test. This helps to verify the accuracy of the results obtained by law enforcement.

Necessity Defense:

Emergency Situations: In rare cases, a DUI defense attorney may assert a necessity defense. He may argue that the driver had no alternative but to drive under the influence due to an emergency.

Balancing Harm: The defense would need to demonstrate that the harm caused by driving under the influence was outweighed by the harm that would have resulted from not driving.

Lack of Probable Cause for Arrest:

Insufficient Evidence: DUI defense attorneys may challenge the arresting officer’s decision to make an arrest. They can assert that there was insufficient evidence to establish probable cause.

Video Evidence: Dashcam or bodycam footage may be scrutinized to assess whether the officer’s observations align with the decision to arrest.

Pretrial Motions:

Motion to Suppress Evidence: DUI defense attorneys often file pretrial motions to suppress evidence obtained in violation of constitutional rights. If successful, this can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.

Motion to Dismiss: Defense lawyers may file a motion to dismiss different factors. These include procedural errors, insufficient evidence, or constitutional violations.


DUI defenses are multifaceted and tailored to the unique circumstances of each case. Skilled DUI defense attorneys play a crucial role in challenging charges and help protect constitutional rights. They advocate for the best possible outcome for individuals accused of driving under the influence. By employing strategic legal defenses, individuals facing DUI charges can minimize the impact on their lives.

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