To many prosecutors, drunk driving cases seem pretty open and shut. As a result, they are often able to pressure accused individuals into plea bargains that force some of the harshest penalties onto those defendants. This can leave those individuals with prison or jail time, enormous fines, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, and irreparable harm to their reputation.
You might have criminal defense options
Even if the evidence seems stacked against you, you might have some strong DUI defense options at your fingertips, which means that you shouldn’t be so quick to accept a prosecutor’s plea deal. Instead, you need to consider the facts of your case to determine how best to proceed. One way to do that is to attack the validity of field sobriety test results.
Challenging a field sobriety test result
When pulled over, the police might ask you to conduct a number of field sobriety tests, such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Each of these has standard acceptable protocols that must be followed. Instructions must be clearly given to motorists who are being subjected to the tests, and officers need to make sure that they are attentive and accurately record their observations.
Yet, far too often officers fail in these duties. They give poor instructions, misread test results, don’t take into account other factors that contribute to the test results, or sometimes flat out lie about what they observe. These are all unacceptable practices that can put your freedom and your future on the line.
Don’t be afraid to fight
Therefore, if you’re accused of failing a field sobriety test and refused additional testing for signs of intoxication, then you need to be aggressive in attacking the credibility of the field sobriety tests administered to you. This is especially important considering that the test results are probably the strongest part of the prosecution’s case.
You can depose officers to lock in their testimony, then attack them when they are on the stand. Even before you get to that point you might be able to utilize your legal strategy to negotiate a more favorable plea deal or even get charges dismissed.
There’s no one-size fits-all approach to these cases. You need a legal advocate who will give you the attention your case deserves. Perhaps then you’ll be able to put this chapter of your life behind you.