Monthly Archives: July 2014

DUI Defense and Evidence

Charged with DUI? Don’t lose hope. No one, not even the most “obvious” and foolhardy drunk drivers are immediately found guilty if someone is arrested for DUI; the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and they have to show conclusive proof during the trial that the driver was indeed driving under the influence.

To support their allegations, the prosecution can present evidence obtained from the police when presenting their case. Thankfully, a Las Vegas DUI / DWI lawyer can dispute many of these claims for their defendant. Here’s what the prosecution usually use as evidence in a DUI case:

Officer statement and reports – After stopping a suspected drunk driver, the police officer will take note of various details of their report, like the state and demeanor of the suspect, and the presence of alcoholic beverages or containers in the vehicle, if any. While this may seem like a point that the prosecution can use, a skilled defense lawyer may be able to find a mistake in their report, or even realize that the reports are faulty or even fake. There have been numerous cases of police officers falsifying reports and arresting people for DUI even if they did not drink any alcohol at the time of the arrest. If the arresting officer has a history for any one of these, it will ruin the credibility of their report.

Witness testimonies – Another weapon in the prosecution’s arsenal are witness testimonies. It’s possible that the defendant was seen leaving the bar by the bartender or other patrons, entering their vehicle, and driving away. Of course, all lawyers know that witness testimonies are imperfect, just as memories are. With this fact in mind, criminal defense lawyers may be able to argue that they are mistaken about the facts of the case.

DUI Tests – Blood, urine, and breath tests may seem next to impossible to prove wrong, but don’t be surprised that they are imperfect as well. While most of these devices can be accurate for most situations, it is a possibility that the device was used by an inexperienced officer, or was not configured or functioning correctly.

Field sobriety tests – Every DUI lawyer will tell you to refuse performing field sobriety tests; these are not mandatory, no matter what the officer tells you. These tests are inherently unfair and do not take into account other factors that can affect the suspect’s performance.

If you found this post useful, please like us on Facebook.

Control your alcohol consumption before driving

Before we continue with the rest of the article, we’ll say this first: not drinking is the best way to avoid DUI, as well as other criminal charges involving vehicles. If you are going out with some friends, assigning a designated driver for the evening is also an excellent idea, otherwise, hailing a cab is the next best choice, particularly if you are planning to drink as well.

If you still want to drink and drive but have no companions to take you home, and you don’t feel like walking or spending money for a cab, then there’s no other way but to drink responsibly by controlling your alcohol consumption. Here’s how to do it while minimizing accidents and unwanted attention from the police:

Know your limits – Everyone has their own level of alcohol tolerance, so you should be aware of your personal limits so you can plan the amount of alcohol that you can consume before becoming intoxicated. Just remember that various factors like your size, weight, food consumed, and gender have an effect on your alcohol tolerance.

Stay below the BAC level – You should not exceed 0.08% BAC, as exceeding this level is illegal in all states. While any amount of alcohol is dangerous, it is commonly believed that this is good enough for most people to drive safely. You may need to purchase a breathalyzer of your own to measure your own BAC.

Eat a lot – Some particular foods like bread and pizza can slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, so try to eat some meals before drinking some alcohol. Take note that it’s not going to prevent anyone from getting drunk, but it may help when you decide to…

Wait it out – A well-known ground rule is to wait for an hour after every drink you’ve consumed. This depends on the drink because each drink may have different amounts of alcohol content.

Even with all these precautions, you may still be arrested for DUI. If this happens, please contact a Las Vegas DUI lawyer to help you.

Missing a DUI Court Date

court case

The simplest answer here is, don’t miss your DUI court date no matter what. It does not matter if you are intentionally trying to avoid the court, forgot about the DUI court date, got lost on the way, or some sort of mishap happened that caused you to be late as the judge handling your case will likely issue a bench warrant.

What’s a bench warrant?

Like in other states, bench warrants in Nevada are issued by the judge, particularly if they find the defendant “in contempt of court”. The bench warrant is basically an order for a suspect to appear in court, and anyone with a bench warrant risks being arrested by the police if they identify the suspect. These bench warrants can be “quashed” or removed with the help of a dui attorney however.

What can cause contempt of court?

  • Not paying the fines
  • Neglecting court orders
  • Missing court dates

If the judge finds the defendant in contempt of court, they may be jailed for up to twenty-five days and/or fined for up to $500. It’s also highly possible that your Nevada driving license will be suspended, although it might be already a given if it involves driving under the influence.

Bench warrants vs. Arrest warrants

Some people can’t tell the difference between a bench and arrest warrants. Here’s how they differ from each other:

  • Bench warrants are issued by the judges themselves (or “the bench”). They are only issued if a case is already in progress.
  • Arrest warrants are also issued by judges, although they can only be issued when formally requested by the police. These warrants signal the start of a criminal case and allows the police to arrest the suspect.

Recalling or quashing a bench warrant

To quash or recall a bench warrant, the defendant must make a court appearance by turning themselves in, or if the court allows, have a dui attorney make an appearance on their behalf. This also allows the defendant to pay the bail or have a bail bonds firm to handle it; in some cases, the bail can be eliminated even without the presence of the defendant.

Advice for DUI Checkpoints

DUI roadblocks or checkpoints can be a source of annoyance for everyone, and a cause of concern for those who have been drinking, even if their alcohol consumption was minimal. This article was written to help drivers prepare in advance so they know what to do if they encounter them during their travels.

If you encounter problems, especially if you believe that you were not driving under the influence or well below the limit, a  DUI lawyer can help you defend your rights.

DUI checkpoints are frequent during events, the holidays, weekends, and late evenings

It’s a given that police will set up these DUI roadblocks whenever large groups of people will be involved. Otherwise, they’ll be setting their trap in locations with heavy vehicle traffic, or places where bars, or restaurants are frequent. Avoid going to these locations if you don’t want to run into these roadblocks.

The police usually announce when and where they’re planning to put up roadblocks

The police are not required, but they usually notify the public if they’re setting up checkpoints in the future. People have used this fact to inform other drivers about the locations of these checkpoints using social media or applications. If you encounter a checkpoint that’s random or unannounced, or have failed to follow the strict rules and guidelines for a stop, it may be illegal.

Turning away from DUI checkpoints, not illegal, but not a good idea either

While there’s nothing illegal if drivers turn away from checkpoints, it only gives the police a reason to chase them anyway. Most likely, police officers will stop these drivers using other reasons (i.e. traffic violations), so it’s often wiser to pass through the stop even though it’s a hassle.

Changing drivers before DUI stops

Changing drivers is ill-advised because the police will likely notice the change, and other drivers may also mention this fact to the police.

Driving through DUI roadblocks is illegal

Of course, driving through a DUI roadblock without stopping is illegal, and the driver may face legal penalties and jail time.

Knows your right! – Here is a Viral Video of a DUI checkpoint.

Avoiding the Most Common DUI Mistakes in Nevada

Being charged with driving under the influence or DUI in Nevada might cost you your driving license and incur fines. Worse, a DUI charge might leave you in jail. Just like any other case, people usually make mistakes when they are arrested because of a DUI charge. In that case, it is imperative that you know the most common mistakes during a DUI arrest and how to avoid it best.

You didn’t take the DUI charge against you seriously. DUI charges are serious criminal offenses. If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, the charge will forever be in your criminal record. Also, you should take in mind that insurance charges and fines alone might cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

You didn’t ask the help of a DUI lawyer. Governing laws are complex to understand and you need someone competent to represent your case in court. When it comes to needing help, a DUI defense Attorney can defend you and raise the right defenses in your case. Not hiring a DUI lawyer makes you lose your chance of being acquitted. Even if you are guilty, an expert Las Vegas defense lawyer can still defend you and make the penalties laid against you be lessened.

You didn’t comply with driver’s license laws. It’s bad enough that you were charged with DUI. It’s even worse when you aggravate the case against you by not complying with driver’s license laws or that you still drive even after your driver’s license has been revoked. Doing so might make you lose your license to drive altogether.

You don’t know your constitutional rights. If you are charged with DUI and you don’t know your constitutional rights, you might indict yourself more from incessantly talking or lose the chance of winning the case upon taking the first offer given to you by the District Attorney. Keep in mind that everything and anything you say to anyone else except your lawyer can be used as evidence against you. It is your constitutional right for your case to be heard and also your right to choose your own defense lawyer.

You fail to appear in court proceedings. Failing to appear in court can be a serious offense indeed. A judge might issue a bench warrant for your arrest and might even request to post a bond for future appearances. Make sure that you appear in court with a Las Vegas DUI Attorney to defend you.

Guilty or not, committing these common mistakes during a DUI charge arrest can make matters worse for you. Make sure that your constitutional rights are protected by consulting and hiring an expert Las Vegas criminal defense attorney in your case.

Connect and ask Ross Goodman as he discusses DUI laws in Las Vegas, Nevada here.