In California, even a first-time DUI conviction may carry steep penalties, including expensive fines, time in jail and suspension of your license.
Having a DUI on your record may also pose personal and professional obstacles, including higher insurance rates, loss of professional licensure and barriers to employment or educational opportunities.
With such high stakes, it is important that police officers take DUI charges very seriously. Unfortunately, an officer’s failure to perform due diligence may result in an unlawful conviction that could easily upend your life.
1. Lack of reasonable suspicion
An officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are or have committed a crime before pulling you over in the first place. While even a minor traffic infraction may qualify as reasonable cause, if an officer cannot point to a specific reason for initiating a stop, a subsequent DUI charge may not be valid in court.
2. Faulty testing procedures or equipment
While breath testing for blood alcohol content is common during DUI stops, recent investigations have found that these tests are often inaccurate, resulting in an alarming number of potentially unlawful convictions. From faulty calibration or poor equipment maintenance to human error, there are many reasons your BAC test results may prove unreliable.
3. Inaccurate or incomplete report
After your DUI arrest, the police officer must create a report describing relevant details about the incident, including the reason for stopping you, your answers to officer questions and your performance on a breath and/or field test.
Unfortunately, all too often police reports contain biased or exaggerated information while omitting important details. Careful examination of an officer’s report may reveal inconsistencies or inaccuracies that could result in dismissal of the charges against you.