How a Criminal Defense Attorney Could Help Fight a DUI Charge

Many drivers wind up on the wrong end of the law if they drink and drive or take intoxicating drugs before getting behind the wheel. Even someone who might take an accidental dosage of prescription drugs could wind up facing a DUI charge in Texas. The penalties for a DUI  conviction can be costly and affect your ability to drive to and from work.

If you are facing a Texas DUI charge, you are accused of a crime. It might be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the potential severity of the offense and any prior convictions, but you have legal rights. Here is a closer look at how a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio could help if you are facing a DUI charge.


Uphold Your Legal Rights

A criminal defense attorney’s first priority is to uphold your legal rights. Your attorney can help you to understand the charges against you and the potential consequences if you are found guilty. Your attorney can help you to obtain and present evidence in your favor while addressing any charges that you might face. Police and prosecutors can make mistakes, and those mistakes might cause you to face charges that are not valid. Your attorney can help you to fight unwarranted charges and get as many as possible dismissed or reduced.

Determine if Probable Cause Existed

One way a criminal defense attorney might help to get charges dismissed or reduced is to determine whether or not a police officer had probable cause to pull you over for a traffic offense and arrest you for suspicion of a DUI offense. Probable causes might include: weaving back and forth, driving too fast or too slowly, or seeing you drinking while you are inside your car.

An officer also might have probable cause when pulling you over for another traffic offense, such as speeding, or by smelling alcohol or drugs on your breath. The officer also might see an open container of alcohol or drug paraphernalia inside your vehicle. Without probable cause, the officer has no right to initiate drug or alcohol testing.

Ensure Evidence Was Collected and Handled Properly

If probable cause does exist, the evidence must be collected and handled in a manner that does not corrupt the process. The officer might start by having you blow into a breathalyzer to get an estimate of your blood-alcohol content. The officer also might suspect you are under the influence of drugs due to your condition or the existence of drugs or drug paraphernalia inside your vehicle.

Evidence must be gathered which is often done via a blood test. It also might be a urine sample. Without evidence, no charges can be brought against you. Your attorney can challenge any evidence that was not collected in a lawful manner or handled in a way that would prevent possible cross-contamination or otherwise cast doubt on its authenticity.

Arrange More Lenient Punishment

Sometimes, the evidence is overwhelming. In such situations, your attorney can give you a realistic assessment of your legal case and possibly help you to either reduce the charges via a plea agreement or convince the court to give you leniency regarding punishment. Your attorney might help you to avoid jail time and possibly even continue to drive to and from work, medical appointments, or tend to other important matters. You likely would have to complete a substance abuse program and maybe a safe driving course to possibly earn a diversion that might negate the charges upon your successful completion.