Defending against DUI charges in Maryland

| Sep 17, 2020 | Drunk Driving

Getting arrested on DUI charges can be overwhelming, particularly if you don’t know what’s coming next. An attorney specializing in DUI defense can alleviate your fears and give you a realistic picture of what to expect in the weeks following your arrest. In many cases, your attorney will be able to come up with a defense strategy to have your charges reduced or dropped entirely.

While each case is different depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, there are some common DUI defense strategies that come up time and time again in Maryland DUI cases.

Initial traffic stop was improper

Police officers are not legally permitted to stop your vehicle based on a hunch or personal feelings. Officers must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that you or someone in your vehicle was violating the law before the initial stop. For example, if an officer observes that your brake light is out or that your vehicle is swerving between lanes of traffic, that would be enough reason to pull you over. However, if the officer had no reason to suspect you of anything and stopped your vehicle ‘just because,’ the initial stop may be deemed improper, which automatically means that your arrest was unlawful.

Lack of probable cause for a DUI arrest

Once you have been stopped for a DUI, the officer will need probable cause before they can arrest you on DUI charges. Probable cause generally stems from:

  • Officer observations
  • Field sobriety test results
  • Chemical testing results

While an officer may claim to have enough probable cause to arrest you based one or more of these reasons, you may have good reason to challenge the existence of probable cause based on:

  • Improper administration of field sobriety tests by officer without proper training
  • Improper administration of Breath test or other chemical test by officer without proper training
  • Inaccurate Breathalyzer test results due to improper calibration or poor maintenance of device
  • Failure to administer the test at the time of the stop, resulting in an increase in the driver’s BAC between the time of the stop and the administration of the test

Defending against DUI charges can be challenging but an experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to help you.