Any Southern California DUI conviction must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect was in fact drinking and driving. Perhaps more importantly, however, the state must prove that every aspect of the DUI arrest was done in a legal manner. This area is one of the most common areas that are found to have faults in them and have meant that many California DUI cases are thrown out of court before they even begin. Because the punishments for a DUI in California are so severe you want to have the most thorough investigation of any police errors in your case by an experienced DUI attorney.
Because a police officer must only initiate a stop based on an actual traffic violation this is where many DUI cases are found to contain holes. The police officer must only pull someone over for allegedly committing a traffic violation. This means that someone cannot be pulled over for weaving within the lines, appearing to be intoxicated, leaving a party or bar, or any other legal reason for driving. The police officer must inform the driver of why they have been stopped and outline the laws that were broken that initiated the stop.
Another common police error made during a DUI stop is mistaking either the odor of alcohol or the behavior of the suspect for drinking and being under the influence. While both elements may raise suspicion they are by no means indicative of the driver being intoxicated and should not be the reason the police officer makes an arrest. Police will usually not take into account a person's mental state, nervousness at being pulled over, their medical history, or any other element that may be the underlying reason for the suspicious smells or behaviors.
Perhaps one of the most common mistakes made during a California DUI stop is during the testing phase of the stop. Police must perform field sobriety tests according to a series of very strict guidelines. If any of these elements is not done legally or done in unsafe or unreasonable conditions then the test results may get thrown out. Because Southern California has so many highways and roadways the officer must ensure that the tests are being performed in a safe, well-lit area and out of any conditions that may affect the test such as inclement weather or unsafe neighborhoods.
Other police mistakes often include not reading a suspect their rights when they should have, not properly giving any other tests (such as blood or breath tests) or informing the suspect of their right to refuse to take the tests, misleading suspects about their rights or many others. Because every step of a California DUI must be done to the letter of the law to protect the suspect your legal defense should thoroughly and aggressively go over each step to look for flaws.
Shouse Law Group are a professional and experienced DUI Defense team with significant experience in handling DUI cases throughout the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties. We are one of the few law offices offering a free consultation on any California DUI case. We are always upfront about our fees and your potential outcome on your case.
If you or someone you love is facing a DUI charge anywhere in Southern California, contact our law office immediately.