DWI Defense Strategies: Fighting a DWI Charge in Syracuse
Charged with a DWI in Syracuse?
Anyone who has been charged with driving while intoxicated is staring down some severe penalties. These penalties can include loss of freedom, loss of driving privileges, and a loss of reputation that is documented in a criminal record. These serious charges require a tenacious defense, and the good news is, there often is a way to reduce your charges or to defend against them entirely. You can get a free case evaluation from our Syracuse DWI lawyer to learn what could be done in your case. In the meantime, here is an overview of the potential defenses that could be available in your DWI case.
Unlawful Police Stops and Mistaken Arrests
Your defense can start where your case began. Looking over the evidence of your arrest, whether from the police report or even the footage captured by the squad car camera, it is possible that an officer had no valid reason to stop you. A police officer has to have probable cause. Now this could mean that they saw you swerving across lanes or running through a stop sign, for instance, and the stop would be lawful. But if an officer says in the report that you were pulled over because you were driving recklessly, and the video footage shows otherwise, you may be able to prove that the stop was unlawful. Any evidence recovered during an illegal stop could be thrown out of your case. This could take all the ammunition out of a prosecutor's hands.
Even if a stop was legal, it is still possible that the arrest was unlawful. Even if an officer had a reason to stop you, this does not automatically mean that they had a valid reason to stop you. They need further probable cause to arrest you for a DWI. For example, the officer might have said that you had bloodshot eyes and were severely imbalanced, making the officer suspect that you were drunk. In that case, you might be able to find witnesses who can testify to the real reasons for your appearance, such as sleep deprivation or allergies. If the arrest was done incorrectly, such as by omitting Miranda warnings, then this too could get certain evidence removed from the case.
Field Sobriety Tests
While a failed sobriety test can be enough to justify an arrest and DWI charge, the reality is that such tests are considered around 65 percent accurate. That is quite a substantial margin for error, and it is all too easy for someone who is not actually intoxicated to fail these tests. This could be because of a medical condition or handicap, vertigo, or simply being uncoordinated, etc. The weather and/or distracting conditions can make it difficult to understand and follow test instructions as well.
Breath and Blood Tests
Because of implied consent law in New York, refusing a DWI test could automatically mean the loss of your driver's license for one year and a fine of $500. That is just for a first refusal, and you can still be convicted of a DWI without chemical tests as evidence. Even though someone may want to avoid the possibility of giving evidence of intoxication to an officer, a refusal can used as evidence of guilt anyway. And if you can beat your DWI charge, you can still suffer the penalties for test refusal.
If you did take a breath or blood test and failed, however, it is possible to fight against this evidence. For one thing, human error could have been behind your test results. The test could have been improperly administered, or the equipment may not have been recently cleaned or calibrated. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, and certain diets can also skew the results of a breath test. Even with the more accurate blood test, samples may have been improperly taken, sealed, labeled, or tested, etc. There is room for a slipup at every stage of testing.
Skilled DWI Defense from a Syracuse Criminal Attorney
When your freedom and your future prospects are all at stake, you cannot afford to delay. Call our firm immediately to schedule your in-person consultation with our Syracuse DWI attorney. At the Law Office of Steven C. Buitron, we have the experience and dedication to scrutinize your case and find the defense that may be able to get your charges reduced or to enable you to avoid conviction altogether. Learn how we can fight for your rights and an optimal result in your case when you
contact us today.