If you’ve been charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, you likely have a lot on your mind. Punishments for this offense can often be severe, as license suspensions, hefty fines, and possible jail time are all on the table, even for first-time offenders. While it is a serious crime, charges can be filed unjustly or due to police misconduct. There is some precedent for challenging police procedures or evidence during the arrest, and knowing what these points are can help you protect you from these serious charges:
Illegal Arrest or Traffic Stop
To legally pull someone over for a DUI stop, the officer doing so needs to have reasonable suspicion for the pullover and probable cause for the arrest. The officer must be able to defend both their suspicion and probable cause in court. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for police to arrest civilians for driving under the influence without true suspicion or probable cause that meets the legal definition.
Some of the most common examples of lack of probable cause in Pennsylvania include:
- Racial profiling
- Being stopped out of turn at a DUI checkpoint
- An officer charging you based solely on the sight of you leaving a bar
- Being pulled over simply because it’s late at night
All of these reasons and more have been cited for DUI charges that were later dropped. If any of these circumstances apply to you, an experienced DUI lawyer could be able to clear your name.
Improper Administration of a Field Sobriety Test
For police officers, field sobriety tests are a crucial part of determining whether to charge someone with a DUI. These tests must be done according to particular protocols laid out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Any failure by the arresting officer(s) to follow these procedures can result in the unfair arrest of an innocent person. If the officers in question failed to provide a straight line or adequately explain the instructions to you, an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to have the charges dismissed.
Interference From Medication or Health Problems
It is not uncommon for pre-existing health problems or medication to impact the results of a field sobriety test and lead to an unjust charge. Police evidence can be suppressed if you were prescribed certain medication and were taking it at the time of your arrest. Other common medical symptoms, such as a fever, can also lead to inaccurate results and can invalidate evidence retroactively.
If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, the help of an experienced lawyer can help make sure you get treated fairly. Contact Kalikhman & Rayz today to get the legal representation you need to fight unjust DUI charges.