March 10, 2020
No Pot of Gold If You Get a DUI This St. Patrick’s Day
This St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you may be consuming a drink, or a few, or many, which may leave you tempted to drive home at the end of the night. If you do and you are caught by the police, you’ll need the representation of a DUI and the criminal defense law firm with a proven history of success. And trust us, the leprechaun at the bar is not your best source of legal advice.
If you are charged with a DUI this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, take a look at the possible defenses which we may be able to help you with.
- No probable cause. Unless you drive through a DUI checkpoint, a police officer needs probable cause in order to pull you over and perform a field sobriety test. So if you commit any traffic violation, the officer is in the right but if no evidence exists, a court is likely to state that all information obtained is inadmissible in court.
- Lack of Miranda warning. Typically, a police officer is required to give the Miranda warning prior to questioning a suspect in police custody. If a suspect gives an incriminating statement in response to police questioning without being told his or her rights, the statement may not be used in court.
- Officer’s observations. If much of the evidence the officer reports is based on a poor field sobriety test, the odor of alcohol, bad driving, bizarre behavior, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes, you may be able to refute it. However, if there are witnesses available, they can help strengthen your case.
- Challenge the accuracy of the test results. Sometimes eating food or taking drugs within certain periods prior to the test may result in a false reading. In those cases, you may be able to challenge the results of your test.
Remember, if you decide to sleep off your day of drinking in your car, you can still get charged with a DUI. A person may be found guilty of DUI if he or she is “in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle” while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
I have a DUI charge, what can I do?
We may also be able to help you resolve your DUI charge with the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. The ARD program allows those with a short or nonexistent criminal record an opportunity to keep their record clear after completing various court-ordered requirements. Typical requirements include:
- Completion of counseling
- Community service
- Pay penalties
- Abstain from drugs and alcohol
- Staying clear of other charges
This is especially helpful if you are a college-aged adult charged with a DUI. Because, if you are a college student celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, there may be more than just a DUI charge on your record to contend with. Your future is greatly at stake not just on campus, but having a criminal record can make getting a job or loan much more difficult.
If you have been pulled over by the police under suspicion of drunk driving, we strongly recommend taking precautions before overreacting. Check out our DUI checklist, here.
How can Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano help my St. Patrick’s Day DUI case?
Not all drunk driving cases are the same regardless if it happens in Scranton, Kingston, or Carbondale. After you call us, we’ll meet to learn the specifics of the case, and help reach a positive result.
Don’t wait another minute if you were arrested on a DUI charge. Remember if this is your first offense, there may be ways to prevent you from having a criminal record. Contact our law firm right now for more information. We want to help you.