Driving under the influence is something that Virginia law takes very seriously. However, the burden of proof resides with the prosecutor. That means they must be able to prove you were guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you were arrested for DUI, you might be able to have your case dismissed. Having the right defense can help set you free. You should consult with a Manassas DUI attorney to review your case’s circumstances and pursue a dismissal.
Common Defenses for DUI Dismissal
According to Virginia law, all drivers that have a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher are driving under the influence. However, despite this, you may be able to have your DUI dismissed, especially if you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
Illegal Search and Seizure
The law protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Police can’t just pull you over without reason. They need to explain why they stopped you. If they didn’t see you commit any illegal acts or a traffic violation, or they have no witnesses that saw these things, then your case could get dismissed.
Challenging Police Procedures
If you are placed under arrest, the officer must read you your Miranda rights. While this isn’t enough to dismiss a DUI, it may be enough to exclude other incriminating statements against you. You need to be advised of your rights and consequences for refusing a breath or chemical test, and these results can be excluded if the police did not follow the procedures properly.
Test Result Accuracy
An officer must maintain the devices they use, so they function properly. If they do not, the results could be inaccurate. Law enforcement must properly collect, analyze, and store any samples they take from a blood test.
If the sample gets contaminated or mislabeled, it might show positive results even if you weren’t under the influence. Breath tests can show a higher blood alcohol level if the device malfunctions. Even 0.01% of an increase could cause you to fail the test.
Validity of Field Sobriety Tests
Police officers can conduct standardized field sobriety tests to see if you’re under the influence, but these are often considered subjective at best. The officer on the scene uses their judgment, which might be incorrect, leading to an unfair arrest. There may be other factors that could lead them to incorrectly assume that you’re intoxicated.
For example, some medical conditions have symptoms similar to those of intoxication. Bloodshot eyes, difficulty concentrating, and poor balance are just a few symptoms that may lead an officer to think you’re under the influence. With the right criminal defense attorney though, you could get your DUI dismissed.
Challenging the Prosecution
Another way your attorney can have your DUI case dismissed is by challenging the DA. The prosecutor must follow all the rules of evidence for admissibility. Furthermore, they must notify the defense of all the evidence they intend to present at the trial. If they neglect to do so, this evidence must be excluded. Be sure you discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney to keep a DUI from tarnishing your record.