There are several common strategies for challenging a DUI charge, but perhaps the most common method is to question the traffic stop that led to the arrest. This is because all that happened after the stop is disregarded by the court if the stop itself is thrown out. In general, this means arguing that the officer did not have probable cause to make the stop in the first place.
A recent case illustrates how important probable cause is during a DUI trial. The Commercial Appeal reports that Officer Christian Schaumburg stopped a 21-year-old who was driving slowly down the road early in the morning.
Schaumburg wrote in his report on the events that the driver exhibited a slow reaction time, swayed while standing and had red eyes. During the encounter, the driver admitted to drinking both liquor and beer. He even told the officer that he probably shouldn’t be driving.
The Case Against the Defendant Was Strong Except for One Detail
In response, Schaumburg conducted a breath test that revealed a blood-alcohol content of twice the legal limit. However, when the trial began, the prosecutor noticed that something was wrong with the evidence. Specifically, Schaumburg neglected to specify the reason why he made the traffic stop. As such, there was no listed probable cause.
The attorney approached Schaumburg and asked him to amend an affidavit to provide his reason for making the traffic stop, but the officer refused. There are several reasons why he would decide against amending his affidavit; it could indicate that he didn’t remember the reason or that he didn’t have one. Without that information, the prosecutor was unable to argue against the defense when they asked for a dismissal. The judge complied, setting the driver free.
If you are looking for a DUI lawyer to help you fight the charges against you, call us. At The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A., we are proud to provide our clients with excellent legal advice and assistance throughout their trial. To arrange a free consultation with a defense attorney in Fort Myers, call us at 866-949-0888.
Judges Dismiss Charges for a Variety of Reasons
The Bismarck Tribune reports that a judge recently agreed to dismiss a felony charge against a driver after an officer arrested her for drunk driving with minors in her vehicle. The woman agreed to plead guilty to several lesser charges in exchange for the dropped felony. Her judge explained that she had no previous criminal history, so he was inclined to be lenient on her. This is a common reason for plea deals in DUI cases.
The criminal justice system is often confusing for those facing charges, so it’s wise to select an experienced DUI lawyer who can explain your situation and help you understand what happens next. If you are interested in speaking with a defense attorney about your charges, please call us at 866-949-0888.