DUI Defenses

California DUI Defenses

There are a number of strategies to fight a charge of Driving Under the Influence pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b). Every case has its own distinct set of facts and therefore every case requires a unique plan of attack. There are a number of avenues that must be investigated and explored when mounting an effective defense to a charge of Driving Under the Influence in California. The following is a partial list of various ways to fight California DUI charges.

Lack of Probable Cause to Stop or Arrest

Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a person is free from unlawful searches and seizures. For the purposes of DUI cases, this means that the arresting officer needs to have clear, articulable reasons for stopping a vehicle, for investigating someone for DUI and for ultimately arresting and detaining the suspect.

The method of challenging probable cause to stop or arrest a defendant is through a suppression hearing pursuant to California Penal Code 1538.5. If the stop or arrest is viewed to be flawed, the evidence produced by this faulty arrest will be suppressed and the case will be dismissed.

In many cases, police officers may exaggerate or outright fabricate reasons to justify stopping a vehicle. Officers must have a probable cause to justify a vehicle stop. This justification is usually a traffic violation of the California Vehicle Code such as speeding, unlawful lane changes, or running traffic lights. In today's modern society, video cameras and recording devices may prove that the officer did not have probable cause to pull a person over. With the use of this evidence, a person can be cleared of the probable cause for the stop, and then the breathe or blood results, no matter how high, are inadmissible.

Additionally, an officer must be able to articulate the various factors that led him or her to suspect a driver of being under the influence of alcohol in order to justify their arrest. This is usually takes the form of officer observations, field sobriety testing and breath alcohol testing using a Preliminary Alcohol Screening ("PAS") device. There are flaws inherent to each of these methods of testing and such flaws may prove fatal to the prosecution's case.

Rising Blood Alcohol

If you are over the age of 21, you are allowed to drive a vehicle with alcohol in your system, as long are you are not "driving under the influence" or "driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher." Because it takes time for alcohol to enter the bloodstream and affect the brain and body, one can drive a vehicle while under the limit but later have a reading of .08 or higher due to a rising blood alcohol. A good argument for a rising blood alcohol may be made in instances where the blood alcohol content reading on the Breathalzyer is significantly higher than the earlier reading taken during the investigatory phase using a PAS device. In such instances, a prosecutor may be willing to reduce charges or even dismiss a case outright, if they are unable to prove the elements of the case.

Mouth Alcohol

DUI defense

The PAS device and other measuring tools of blood alcohol content in the breath are intended to measure alcohol content in air collected from the deep lungs. However, in certain situations "mouth alcohol" can interfere with testing and lead to inaccurate reads. This is common in individuals who suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease ("GERD"), acid reflux and heartburn. Additionally, the use of mouthwashes or medicines containing alcohol may interfere and provide faulty results on a PAS test. In such cases, it can be argued that the defendant did not have an elevated blood alcohol content and any reading was corrupted by the presence of mouth alcohol.

Inaccurate Testing

When determining a suspect's blood alcohol content, law enforcement agencies rely on various tools that can detect levels of alcohol in a person's blood or breath. As anyone who has every owned an appliance or computer can attest to, such machines are not flawless and can malfunction. Furthermore, human error may render the results of alcohol testing null and void.

All PAS and Breathalyzer devices must be calibrated and verified for accuracy regularly and those records can be made available for inspection. PAS devices are notoriously inaccurate and the results on one can vary with the weather and even with how the device is held by the operator. If one of these devices did not function properly, a prosecutor may consider a reduction in charges or outright dismissal.

If a blood test is taken, there are many ways to contest the results. The chain of evidence is important to show that the blood tested came from the right person and was not tainted. Additionally, a defendant can request a blood split of the retained sample and have their own expert conduct testing.

Because of the varied and often complex defenses available to people charged with DUI, it is crucial that you have an effective and knowledgeable California DUI attorney representing you. Attorney Michael Kraut is a former deputy district attorney who will is skilled at mounting effective defenses to DUI cases. His hard work on behalf of his clients has led to cases being thrown or charges being significantly reduced.

For more information about California DUI defenses, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Client Reviews
★★★★★
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan Thomas
★★★★★
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
★★★★★
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
★★★★★
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel Lepervanche
★★★★★
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.