Maybe you had a couple of drinks with family or friends. Maybe you got behind the wheel afterward. A police officer stopped you and after conducting some tests, he or she suspected you of driving under the influence. Does an arrest equal a conviction?
An arrest does not equal a conviction!
Just because an officer arrested you does not automatically mean a DUI on your record. Before you even think about entering a guilty plea, consider the following issues:
- The traffic stop: Did the officer have probable cause to make the stop? The officer has to justify why he or she pulled you over. Otherwise, it’s a violation of your rights.
- Field sobriety tests: These tests aren’t necessarily reliable. If the officer failed to administer the tests properly, they may be thrown out as evidence. In addition, certain physical conditions such as a prior head injury could cause you to fail such tests even when sober.
- Breath tests: Again, if the officer failed to administer the test properly, the incorrect outcome could result in a mistaken arrest. The equipment used to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) require routine maintenance and calibration, as well. A device hat isn’t working properly does not give accurate results. In addition, other factors could produce a false reading such as indigestion or vomiting.
- Blood test: Improper handling of your blood sample could taint the result of any testing.
- Rising blood alcohol concentration: When you got into your car, your BAC might have been under the legal limit. However, as you drove, more of the alcohol metabolized into your system and raised your BAC between the times when the officer initiated the traffic stop and when he or she administered a breath test.
These and other circumstances require investigation before you take any action regarding the potential charges. At any point during your contact with police, something could go awry. Police officers require a substantial amount of training in order to perform their duties. In addition, they must follow certain policies and procedures in order to protect your rights. Failure to follow those policies and procedures could invalidate your arrest.
Hire A Lawyer Who Understands The Procedures Police Must Follow
A Colorado DUI attorney understands these requirements along with what can go wrong during a DUI traffic stop. You have the right to representation, and you shouldn’t give up that right. Even if it turns out that the arrest was valid, an attorney could review your situation and offer you alternatives. In many cases, negotiating with the prosecutor could result in a reduction of the charges. First-time offenders often have other options available to them that might even keep a DUI conviction off their records after the successful completion of certain court-ordered requirements.
If you are facing DUI charges in Colorado. Don’t panic and don’t give up your rights. Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away.