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How a defense attorney can assist in your DUI case

Many people wrongly believe that every drunk-driving related arrest automatically results in a DUI conviction. In truth, there are many legitimate and effective defenses to drunk driving charges that may apply to an individual's case and result in DUI charges being dismissed.

As with all criminal law matters, Rhode Island residents who are face DUI charges would be wise to seek the advice and assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Most prosecutors aggressively pursue drunk and drugged driving cases and, without a legal advocate, an individual is likely to face charges and harsh penalties regardless of the specific circumstances of his or her case.

Upon meeting with an attorney, he or she will seek to understand and investigate those factors that lead up to and may have contributed to a driver being pulled over and charged with a DUI. Many cases involving drivers who are alleged to have operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are complex and require extensive legal knowledge.

While the circumstances and facts of every DUI case are unique, the following are some common defenses that an attorney may pursue when defending against criminal charges.

  • Lack of probable cause - Did an arresting police office have a legally legitimate reason to stop a driver? In cases where a defense attorney can prove that the answer is no, criminal charges will likely be dismissed.
  • Accuracy of field sobriety tests - There are a number of factors that may impact the outcome of a field sobriety test including human error and a driver's physical or cognitive limitations or disabilities.
  • Accuracy of Breathalyzer test - In cases where a police officer believes that a driver has failed a field sobriety test, he or she may rely upon the results of a Breathalyzer test prior to making an arrest. However, the results of a Breathalyzer are vulnerable to human errors.
  • Evidence tampering - In cases where an individual submitted to a urine or blood test, an attorney will request that such samples be submitted as evidence in court. If the prosecution is not able to locate or produce the evidence, charges may be dismissed.

Source:, "Defenses to Drunk Driving," June 23, 2015

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