To Plead or Not To Plead: 3 Common Illinois DUI Defenses
By Dan Noll on March 30th, 2016 in Articles, DUI Law
Generally speaking, when a person is accused of DUI in Illinois, he or she automatically thinks the case is over and a guilty plea is the only option. This conclusion isn’t hard to understand, as many cases involve a person who didn’t do well on a field sobriety test, a person who agreed to take chemical tests and failed them, or a person who in some way gave the police evidence that may indicate he or she was under the influence at the time of the arrest.
For the state to get a DUI conviction, they have to prove every element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, any errors in procedure made by law enforcement in a DUI investigation can result in the exclusion of evidence that is incredibly important to the state’s case. Because of all these factors, there are defenses an experienced DUI lawyer in Springfield Illinois can use in a DUI case. Here is a look at some of the most common defenses.
Breathalyzer Test Reliability
Law enforcement uses a breathalyzer device to measure the alcohol amount in your bloodstream. These devices actually do this by analyzing your breath sample, and the results of such as test can be challenged in court. For example, a defense attorney can use evidence that shows the device wasn’t properly set before use or that the officer who did the test wasn’t properly trained on the device’s use.
The Reason You Were Stopped
The US Constitution’s 4th Amendment says a law enforcement officer must have a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is happening when he or she pulls a person over. Generally, this isn’t the highest standard, but law enforcement still has to give a defined reason for pulling you over. If there wasn’t any reasonable suspicion for the law enforcement officer to stop you, evidence gathered after you were stopped could be inadmissible in your case, which may force the state to drop your DUI case.
A Different Explanation for Intoxication Signs
A DUI police report will likely list some physical signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, an unsteady walk, red or flushed skin and bloodshot or watery eyes. While these are all possible signs of being under the influence of alcohol, they can also be caused by other things, such as physical illness, eye irritation, allergies and exhaustion.
Seek Legal Help
If you believe any of the defenses outlined above may relate to your case or that you have other possible defenses, speak to a seasoned DUI lawyer in Springfield Illinois today. Being charged with DUI is a serious matter. Your first offense carries a possible jail sentence of up to a year and a fine as high as $2,500. Having your case reviewed by an attorney before you make any sort of plea can help ensure all your rights are protected and that you can get the best possible outcome for your particular case.