Drunk driving cases are often very straightforward. If the driver has a high BAC, they generally cannot deny the fact that they were intoxicated while driving and they will usually have to face the legal penalties of their actions. However, there are certain cases in which defenses can be put forward in order to question the DUI charges being laid on the driver. A DUI lawyer in Clearwater, Florida can educate a person on which defenses are available for them to use in court.
If a person’s lawyer is unable to have the case dismissed, then matters will escalate to a trial and in the trial, the attorney can present various defenses to have a person’s penalties reduced. The defenses can either be an affirmative defense or a defense that negates an element. An affirmative defense is when a person accepts the DUI charge but with additional conditions. A defense that negates an element is basically when your attorney claims that one or part of the allegations made against the person is false and they provide evidence to prove so.
Some common defenses an attorney may use include:
- That there was an immediate necessity
- That a person was forced
- That there was a mistaken fact
- That the actions of the person were involuntary
An example of an immediate necessity would be if a person suddenly has a medical emergency or if a natural disaster strikes which requires them to drive in order to get to immediate safety. Apart from these affirmative defenses which help to prove that a person was not really at fault for DUI, an attorney may also try to negate the following accusations made by the court:
- That the driver was intoxicated while operating the vehicle
- That the driver was not in their proper senses when the arrest occurred
- That the driver was in actual physical control of the vehicle
If a legal representative is able to negate any of the above three points, then they can have the penalties lifted or even have the charge removed entirely. The exact defenses they use depend entirely on a person’s specific case and also on their previous driving record. If a person is being convicted of a first-time DUI offense, then the chances of them being given leniency by the court are significantly increased. However, if a person is guilty of having been convicted of DUI in prior circumstances their case will generally be treated strictly by the law.
Can I defend myself in court?
A person can try to prove themselves innocent in court, but this is not recommended. It requires a lot of paperwork and the correct presentation of evidence to convince the court that a person was not entirely guilty for DUI. A legal professional who has dealt with similar cases multiple times in the past can help a person through their experience, and they can pursue legal avenues in order to convince the court to remove the penalties a person is being subjected to.