Charged with a DWI in Springfield? Not sure what to do? We can help.
As experienced DWI defense attorneys in Springfield, we have been defending people over the years and helping them to win their cases. As such, we have found over the years that there are a few “tried and true” defense strategies that help most people win their case. It is important to note, that every case that comes through our doors is unique, just like our clients. There is no one size fits all formula to win a DWI case.
No matter if this is your first, second or fifth DWI, we can help. Below you’ll find out which strategies we’ve used in the past to give each of our clients the best Springfield DWI defense available.
Springfield DWI Defense Strategies
Once you’ve charged with a DWI/DUI charge in Missouri, you have a few different options for how to defend yourself. The most common defense against a DWI in Springfield is challenging the events that lead up to the arrest. Usually this means that, with the help of your attorney, you will challenge the arresting officers probable cause for arrest or how they handle it, i.e., if they followed protocol. Let’s break this down even more. Here are some of the most common defenses against a Springfield DWI:
Improper Stop/ No Probable Cause
This is one of the most common defense strategies for many DWI cases. As stated by the United States Constitution, a police officer must have “reasonable suspicion” in order to pull you over. This basically means that the arresting officer must have actually seen you violate a traffic law before they can pull you over- they can’t just go off of a feeling or “think” that you must be drinking and driving based on their own personal assumptions.
The only exception to this rule are roadblocks and/or DUI checkpoints.
For there to be probable cause to pull you over in the first place you need to have been violating a traffic law, such as swerving, failing to yield or follow traffic signs or lights, driving faster than posted speed limits or even driving too slow can all be sufficient reason to pull you over. However, even if you violated the traffic laws, the officer still needs probable cause to require you to perform a sobriety test.
Improper protocol and procedure during a DWI arrest is another defense strategies that can help with Springfield DWIs.
Failure To Comply With Proper DWI Procedures
When a police officer arrests a person there are certain procedures that must be followed. If these are not followed the evidence that was gained from the arrest can be determined inadmissible to the court, thus removing your case all together. In order for this defense to work the police officer needs to have made some serious mistakes, these include but are not limited to:
- Failure to give Miranda Warnings – Before questioning a suspect in a DWI case, law enforcement is required to give Miranda warnings. Meaning that if the person charged with the DWI in question wasn’t given their Miranda rights, the information most likely can’t and won’t be used in a court of law.
- Improper Field Sobriety Test (FST) Procedure – Police officers are trained to handle field sobriety tests in a set order. Protocols are put into place to keep both the suspect and officer safe. If the officer fails to follow the procedures of a FST, the evidence gained from this event can be revoked. Additionally, evidence gathered from the observations of the FST are only one part of the evidence against the defendant and cannot stand alone as “proof of intoxication”. Avvo.com gives a prime explanation of this in the following example, the significance of a heel-toe test may be diminished if the suspect was required to take the test while wearing unreasonable footwear, or if the FST was conducted in inclement weather.”
- Improper Testing of Evidence – In the event that you are arrested for a DWI charge in Springfield, the arresting officer is required to arrange a blood-alcohol analysis performed by a licenced phlebotomist as soon as possible. Testing completed by an unlicensed phlebotomist or too long of wait times between the arrest and the blood alcohol test can dismiss this evidence from your case and is a great way to defend against Springfield DWI charges.
Occasionally, medical conditions in some people can create the illusion of drunkenness and may even alter the results of a breathalyzer test. Neurological diseases or even fatigue can cause such symptoms like slurred speech. People with allergies may show signs of sinus issues and/or red and watery eyes.
In addition to neurological illnesses and allergies, a diabetic side effect referred to as ketosis can cause an “alcohol smell”. Similarly, ketosis can also be the cause for alcohol to register on a breathalyzer test. Obviously to use this as your defense against a Springfield DWI you would need to have proof that you do in fact suffer from any of the above maladies.
Most of us know that we have the right to counsel if we arrested. However, we may be unaware that we cannot be so much as spoken to without the consent and/or presence of our own appointed counsel.
Despite these laws being put in place to protect our rights, law enforcement and even prosecuting attorneys have been known to attempt to persuade defendants with plea bargains that would not be in the best interests of the defendant in the long run.
Any pleas that do not follow protocol will be overturned and nullified.
If at the time of your arrest, there were people around to witness your actions, the actions of the officers and any other relevant information pertaining to your case that could help in your DWI defense- call on them! However, according to NOLO.com, “in many cases, there aren’t any witnesses. Or, if your witness was a passenger in your car, the prosecution might argue that your witness is biased.”
If you do find yourself in a precarious situation and are facing DWI charges in Springfield, it is in your best interest to speak with a DWI attorney as soon as possible. At DWI Springfield, we provide free consultations to assist in choosing the best strategy to help win your case. The best defense against a DWI is having a DWI attorney on your side who’s willing to defend your case till the end.
To schedule your free consultation, contact our DWI office in Springfield today.