Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Massachusetts, and a conviction can have severe consequences on your life. However, there are alternative defenses to DUI charges that may not be well-known. In this blog post, we will explore some lesser-known DUI defense strategies in Massachusetts and provide tangible and useful tips to help you navigate the complex legal system. It is essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who can help you explore these alternative defenses and build a strong case on your behalf.
1. Challenging the Legality of the Traffic Stop
One of the first things your attorney can do is to challenge the legality of the traffic stop that led to your DUI arrest. Law enforcement officers must have a reasonable suspicion that a driver is committing a traffic violation or a crime before they can stop a vehicle. If the officer did not have a valid reason for stopping your vehicle, any evidence obtained during the stop, including the results of a breathalyzer test, may be suppressed in court. This can significantly weaken the prosecution's case against you.
2. Questioning the Accuracy of Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are often used by law enforcement officers to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol. However, these tests are not always accurate and can be affected by various factors such as fatigue, medical conditions, or even the officer's interpretation of the results. Your attorney can challenge the accuracy of these tests by presenting evidence that shows these factors may have influenced the test results. This can cast doubt on the prosecution's case and potentially lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges.
3. Challenging the Reliability of Breathalyzer Test Results
Breathalyzer tests are commonly used to measure a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). However, these tests are not foolproof and can produce inaccurate results due to factors such as improper calibration, medical conditions, or even environmental factors. Your attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding your breathalyzer test and present evidence that calls into question the reliability of the results. The Massachusetts DUI laws require strict adherence to proper testing procedures, and any deviation from these procedures can result in the test results being deemed inadmissible in court.
4. Presenting Evidence of a Rising Blood Alcohol Level
It is possible for your BAC to rise between the time you were driving and the time you took the breathalyzer test. This can occur if alcohol is still being absorbed into your bloodstream. Your attorney can present evidence that shows your BAC was below the legal limit while you were driving, but it increased by the time you took the test. This can create reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case and potentially lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges.
5. Exploring Medical Conditions or Other Factors That May Have Affected Your Arrest
There are several medical conditions and other factors that can mimic the symptoms of impairment or affect the results of a breathalyzer test. For example, certain medical conditions like GERD, diabetes, or hypoglycemia can cause symptoms similar to intoxication. Your attorney can explore these possibilities and present evidence that shows these factors may have contributed to your arrest, potentially leading to a dismissal or reduction of charges.
Exploring alternative DUI defenses is a crucial part of building a strong defense strategy in Massachusetts. By working with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Aprodu Conley, you can ensure that all possible defenses are explored and that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you are facing DUI charges in Massachusetts, don't hesitate to contact our team for a consultation and to discuss your options.