As awareness about the dangers of drunk driving increases, penalties for DUIs and related crimes have become more severe around the country. It is now more important than ever to have a strong defense when charged with this serious offense.
There are a number of ways that defense can attorneys help those charged with driving under the influence. This may include examining the lack of evidence, attacking the credibility of witnesses, and looking at any relevant driving regulations or patterns surrounding the incident. All of these factors may help raise reasonable doubt against the state’s case.
Intoxicated driver from Charleston sentenced for felony DUI charges
The incident in Kanawha County began when the 50 year old male suspect was fleeing from police officers in his Mercedes Benz vehicle to avoid a traffic stop in the Witcher Creek area. During the chase, he struck an ATV that had two passengers. After this crash, the suspect continued to flee on foot until he was eventually discovered by a Kanawha County K-9 unit in a nearby wooded area. The chemical tests after the suspect’s arrest revealed that he had methamphetamine and other substances in his blood at the time of the accident.
A brother and sister who were on the ATV were both seriously injured, and the female victim died nine days later in the hospital.
The suspect will be serving up to fifteen years in prison for the concurrent sentences handed down for his crimes. He was charged with felonies for DUI causing death and DUI causing serious bodily injury.
The possibility of a defense
While cases such as this are very serious both in terms of the damage they cause to the victim and the sentences handed down by the state, defense attorneys know that the police and prosecutors do not handle each case perfectly. In DUI cases there is evidence related to a driving pattern, physical and chemical tests, and general observations around the scene of a traffic stop or accident. Suspects also need to be properly advised of their rights before they make any statements or provide a chemical sample of breath, blood, or urine, which has certain constitutional protections. In situations where police did not have probable cause to make an initial traffic stop or follow proper procedures to obtain a chemical test from the defendant, much of the state’s case may go away which will make it almost impossible to prove the charges.
Any mistakes made by the police during this process can possibly result in all of the improperly collected evidence being excluded at trial. Defense attorneys routinely file motions to suppress which state that any evidence collected in violation of constitutional protections cannot be introduced to prove the defendant’s guilt. Whether these motions are granted or not will depend heavily on the facts surrounding each case, but any experienced DUI lawyer can quickly tell after a reviewing a case what motions should be filed. Many experienced defense attorneys are also skilled at arguing these motions in front of a judge and overcoming the prosecutor’s objections.
Get expert help from a DUI defense attorney
If you have been charged with driving under the influence or other more serious crimes such as DUI manslaughter, it is still possible to make a defense against the state’s charges. There are lawyers who specialize in drunk driving cases in Charleston and nearby parts of West Virginia.