Getting arrested for drunk driving is a terrible experience. In addition to being put in jail or taken to detox, you now face the unknown of what happens next.
Many people wonder if they need to talk to a lawyer or if they should just plead guilty and get it over with. However, most people don’t know that they have certain rights and defenses when it comes to DUI charges.
That’s why we have compiled a list of 15 possible DUI defenses in Nebraska. We are not saying that all or any of these apply to your case. This is a list for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.
It does show some of what the law requires and what rights you may have depending on your situation. If you have been arrested, we suggest you talk to a defense attorney. You can schedule a free consultation here.
Check out these 15 possible DUI defenses in Nebraska
In most circumstances, police officers cannot pull you over without a legal reason to do so. A legal reason can be anything as minor as failing to use a turn signal or have a taillight out. Leaving a bar at 1:00, absent some other traffic violation or additional information is not a legal reason.
If your traffic stop was not legal, there is the chance that the case would be thrown out by the court.
You may have seen sobriety checkpoints set up by law enforcement before. This is where the police stop everyone who is driving on the road. If you have been arrested as a result of one of these steps, you need to make sure the road block was legal.
When police decide to stop everyone on a road block, they must follow certain procedures in order for the checkpoint to be legal. If they did not follow the proper protocol, the stop of your vehicle could be deemed illegal and your case could be dismissed.
When you are arrested for DUI, the police test your breath or blodd to determine the amount of alcohol that is in your bloodstream at the time. The legal limit in Nebraska is .08.
There is a complicated series of steps that police officers and other technicians must follow when they are testing your breath or blood. Like all machines, breath testing machines can be inaccurate if not used correctly. A test result can be thrown out if it was not properly done.
A breath test can be inaccurate if it is not given properly. It can also be wrong if the breath testing machine is not working.
If the machine is not functioning properly and you can prove that to the court, you can have the test results from your DUI thrown out.
Under the protection of our Constitution, police can not arrest citizens without probably cause. This applies to DUI arrests as well.
If a police officer does not properly investigate a DUI, the result could be that an arrest is made too soon or without enough of a reason. In this case, you could argue that your case should be dismissed.
There is another explanation for the officer’s claimed observations of intoxication.
If you were not in a vehicle when you were arrested for DUI, the State would have the burden of proving that you were in actual, physical control of the vehicle. In other words, they have to prove you were driving.
If the police officer did not see you driving, the State would need to prove this through some other witnesses or evidence. If there is no one who can testify to that effect, it would be a defense.
If the police tested your blood instead of your breath, there are still procedures that need to be followed by the police. These are in place to make sure the test results are accurate.
If you can show that the blood test was mishandled, it would cast doubt on the accuracy of the test results and could be a defense to the charge.
In Nebraska, when you drive a vehicle you have consented to be tested for alcohol. If you refuse a test by law enforcement, you can be charged for that crime as well.
However, if the officer never asked or you did not reasonably understand the request, you may have a defense to the charge of refusal.
Another issue that could effect the accuracy of any blood or breath testing would be medication or a physical condition.
These can also effect a person’s ability to perform standard field sobriety tests and could lead to other things like slurring or seeming intoxicated. If any of these are present, it would change the accuracy of the investigation.
Breath and blood testing machines are not perfect. They can be inaccurate when not used correctly. However, they can also be inaccurate even when they are working well.
Breath testing machines have a margin of error, which means they will be accurate, give or take a certain amount. If that margin of error drops your test results under the legal limit, you would have a possible defense.
As you can see, not all drunk driving cases are clear cut. The best way to know if you have any of these issues in your case is to contact a lawyer. An experience lawyer will be able to review the investigation and spot any potential issues.
At Sopinski Law Office, we offer a free initial case review. Contact us now to set one up, as the sooner you get a lawyer involved the better.
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