How to Defend DWI/DUI Charges in New Mexico
If you are reading this article, it is probable that you or a family member are likely facing DWI/DUI charges and want more information regarding how to defend against them. Here is the truth: DWI/DUI charges are defensible depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case. I must emphasize that every case is different and must be assessed on its own merits.
However, it requires an equally substantive strategy that utilizes expert witnesses, investigations, and the experience of a New Mexico DWI/DUI lawyer. As an NHTSA-Certified attorney, I use my knowledge of field sobriety test standardizations, arrest procedures, and toxicology reporting to help my clients fight their DWI/DUI charges.
While the possible defenses outline in this article are valid, they do not apply to all cases. Make sure you contact my firm for a free case strategy session to learn more about your options.
5 Defensive Strategies a New Mexico DWI/DUI Lawyer May Use
DWI/DUI charges are no joke. Maintaining a clean record is critical to keeping your civil liberties and gaining employment. Although facing charges does not mean that you are guilty of the crime. Instead, you need to mount a defensive strategy against the prosecutor’s case theory.
Remember, the state holds the burden of proof, not you. You do not have to prove your innocence the state must prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Carefully obtaining and reviewing all the prosecutor’s discovery is critical. This will allow you to best assess the case against you and determine what, if any, defense strategy is available in your case. Every defensive strategy is unique to the situation. However, here are five (5) defensive strategies that may work for some cases:
1. Violation of Your Constitutional Rights/Bad Stop
The officer must make a lawful stop of your vehicle. Failure of the officer to conduct a lawful stop may be fatal to the prosecution being able to go forward in your case. Carefully scrutinizing the basis of the initial stop may call into question the constitutionality of the stop and could result in all alleged evidence being suppressed and your case being dismissed.
This of course, emphasizes the importance of obtaining ALL discovery in every case, in order to protect your constitutional rights and accurately assess the case. The obtaining and reviewing of ALL DWI discovery are critical to assessing the prosecutor's case against you and determining what defenses are available.
2. Inability to Prove Impairment
The prosecutor must prove that you were impaired. Just because an officer believes that you were operating a vehicle while impaired does not equate to them being able to prove your guilt to a jury. Law enforcement officers are taught to look for many cues or clues during any DWI investigation. From how a vehicle is being operated, how the person reacts to the officer’s lights or sirens, the stopping of the vehicle, the reaction to the officer’s divided attention questioning all these are factors that the officer is trained to look at. Many times, an officer will focus on one or two cues and neglect the forty or so other things which do not indicate impairment.
Many alleged indicators such as red eyes or the inability to maintain balance are in reality allergies or an underlying medical condition.
3. Faulty Breath Testing
A more common DWI/DUI defensive strategy is challenging the results of the breathalyzer test. The process of test administration is standardized, but the results can wildly vary depending upon how deeply you blew or when the sample was given. Even tasting wine without consuming it can trigger a faulty result.
As such, expert witnesses and opinions are called upon to defend you against this situation. Breathalyzer tests are not perfect, and you can challenge them in court.
Another element that can affect breath test results is your body temperature. Higher body temperatures produce higher BAC readings. Plus, the symptoms of a fever can make you appear red-faced and intoxicated. Your symptoms could have triggered the officer to unfairly investigate you for a DWI/DUI when you were, in fact, very sober.
5. Officer Violations
DWI/DUI traffic stops, testing, and arrests are all standardized uniformly throughout the United States. Officers must follow the rules described in the DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing manual.
Deviations away from any of these standards provide you with a defense against the arresting officer. If he or she did not explicitly follow the law, which may include not wearing a body camera, your New Mexico DWI/DUI lawyer has the ability to fight your case to a judge or jury.
Get Help from a New Mexico DWI/DUI Lawyer
As you can see, you may have defensible DWI/DUI charges. Even if it seems like it is a black-and-white case and that the prosecutors are going to get a conviction, no matter what, you still have the chance to fight back.
There is always information that both sides do not know. Leverage this situation with a defensive strategy that aims to protect you from baseless charges.
Free Case Strategy Session with Grano Law Offices, P.C.
Find out what a New Mexico DWI/DUI lawyer will do for your case. Grano Law Offices, P.C. welcomes prospective clients or their family members to contact my office for a Free Case Strategy Session. Request yours by calling (505) 426-8711 or privately messaging me here.
My office is also set up to meet with clients remotely using secure video conferencing, email, or text message.