A Guilty Plea May Not Be Best: 4 Effective DUI Defenses

Many people mistakenly believe that, if they are charged with a DUI, their only option is to plead guilty.

A DUI conviction nearly anywhere carries significant fines and penalties. A South Carolina DUI imposes fines between $400-$1000, jail time of 48 hours to 90 days, and license suspension for up to 6 months. Subsequent convictions carry much more serious penalties, and if there are other aggravating factors like child endangerment, the course of your life could be permanently and negatively altered.

A felony DUI on your record could cause you to lose your job, be unable to get a job in the future, and other negative impacts inherent in having a felony on your record. Hence, it is rarely in your best interests to just lie down and plead guilty to a DUI charge.

There are several defenses that a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer like Greg McCollum can leverage in your favor to either get the charges reduced, or even dropped. We’ve detailed four of them below. Please keep in mind, every case is different and this blog does not constitute legal advice for your specific situation. These defenses may work for some, but not all.

1) Rising BAC

When you drink alcohol, your Blood Alcohol Content rises over time. If your BAC was not tested until you actually got to the police station, your attorney might be able to argue that your BAC was under the legal limit while you were driving and when you were pulled over, but subsequently rose above the limit during your ride to the station. Depending on how high your BAC registers at the police station and the length of time it took from when you were arrested to when you were breathalyzed, this could be an extremely effective defense.

2) Inaccurate test results

It is possible for breathalyzer equipment to produce inaccurate results, and your lawyer may be able to contend that the device was faulty, uncalibrated, or the readings were affected by the presence of something like paint thinner in the air.  

3) Arrest issues

Numerous issues can arise during your DUI arrest that could later result in your charges being dropped. For example, if the arresting officer did not have proper cause to suspect impairment and pull you over, or if the officer neglected to read you your Miranda Rights, the judge might throw your case out. Your lawyer could also conceivably prove that the appearance of impairment was caused by a vehicle that had defects which caused erratic driving, or that you had physical problems that caused you to perform poorly on field sobriety tests. Additionally, witnesses might be able to counter an officer’s testimony of your actions and impairment, or your lawyer could argue that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated by an illegal search.

4) False positives on breathalyzer

There are numerous conditions and circumstances that could cause a false-positive on a breathalyzer test. Some examples include diabetes, an extremely low-carb diet, asthma inhalers, and acid reflux or heartburn. If the officer has significant evidence that you were impaired, these conditions may not matter, but they can certainly have a major impact on your defense.

If you have been charged with a DUI, please contact Greg McCollum’s Complete Legal Defense Team and let us go to work defending you from consequences that could permanently affect your life. Don’t settle for a guilty plea, let us analyze your specific situation and put forth the best defense possible.

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Written by Greg McCollum CLDT

Greg McCollum CLDT

At the Complete Legal Defense Team we represent, assist, and defend people who are accused of crimes. Being accused of a crime is a harrowing experience. You experience public shame and humiliation and do not know where to turn for help. We are experienced and knowledgeable and will take immediate steps to begin repairing your life. We evaluate how the allegation affects your reputation in the community, how it affects your time and your life, and how it will affect you financially. Believe it or not, many people who are arrested and charged with crimes are innocent.