According to the Oregon Department of Transportation and Safety Division there are more than 18,000 DUI arrests made in Oregon every year. Just because someone is charged and arrested does not mean that they are guilty. Therefore, it’s important to mount a credible DUI defense strategy that has the best chance of getting your charge dismissed.
The Importance of having a Skilled DUI Defense Attorney
This is by far the most important decision you can make after being arrested for a DUI in Oregon. Having a specialized defense attorney that understands law enforcement’s DUI investigation strategies is paramount. It is equally important that the DUI attorney has experience in DUI-specific trial techniques in order to assert the trial defenses in the courtroom.
No matter the situations surrounding the DUI arrest, the right defense strategy can be found for the defendant. Portland DUI Defense Attorney Andy Green has used some of the following to formulate the right defense.
Was the traffic stop legal?
The arresting officer must have probable cause of a traffic violation to pull a vehicle over. That means that basically the officer must observe you commit a traffic violation first in order to pull you over. An officer may also pull you over if they have reasonable suspicion you have committed a crime, like DUI. Absent these things, the traffic stop would not be legal.
Administration / Accuracy of Field Sobriety Test
Oregon law illustrates that field sobriety tests and the way that they are administered are only admissible in court if they are performed according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards. Breathalyzer instruments often pose limitations which include the device and how the law enforcement officer administers it. If the breathalyzer device has not been recently calibrated or the police officer did not properly administer the test the reliability and accuracy are compromised and can result in a dismissal of the DUI.
Blood Test Specimen Collection
Under Oregon’s Implied Consent Law any person that is pulled over gives consent to a chemical test such as blood test to determine the amount of drugs or alcohol in someone’s system. However, proving a DUI conviction by the prosecution solely on the basis of the results can be difficult with a skilled attorney. A skilled lawyer can question the validity of the blood test handling/mishandling during lab testing to see if any contaminants or testing errors have occurred. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for a BAC level to increase due to fermentation after the blood test was taken. This is possible because the recently consumed alcohol has yet to fully absorb into the system but does with the BAC lab test.
Violation of Procedures
In some instances, the police officer violated the defendant’s civil rights or acted in a way which was improper. For example, when a suspect is placed under arrest, it is the police officer’s responsibility to advise the defendant of their Miranda Rights, including the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent and a court-appointed attorney if the person cannot afford one.
Rules of Evidence
To successfully prosecute a DUI charge it is the officer’s ability to organize and present all evidence in three phases of detection – the vehicle in motion, the personal contact with the defendant, and the pre-arrest screening. If the evidence is not presented clearly and the police officer has missed a specific detail in the report which is clear and concise the defense may be able to expose the weakness in the prosecution’s case.
If you have been arrested and charged for a DUI in Oregon it is important that you have an experienced DUI attorney that is able to analyze all of the details surrounding the arrest and to formulate the best defense strategy for your particular case. Contact our law offices at 503.453.4674 for a free consultation today.