If your child recently received drunk driving charges based on breathalyzer test results, you probably experienced a moment of panic, convinced that there is nothing to do but accept the charges and hope for the best.
In reality, it is always wise to build a strong legal defense and fight any charges, no matter how strong you believe the evidence is against you or your child. By failing to create a strong legal defense, you only hand the prosecution an easy win on a silver platter. Once you begin building the defense, you may find that you have more options than you anticipated.
Even in cases of DUI charges based on breathalyzer results, an attorney can challenge the results and sometimes see the charges dismissed entirely. Professional guidance ensures that you don't miss important defense opportunities while keeping your rights and the rights of your child secure.
Was the breathalyzer reliable?
If a breathalyzer does not receive proper upkeep and regular calibration, then its results are automatically suspect. Just like any scale or other measuring device, breathalyzers can only produce accurate measurements if they function properly, with correct calibration. Should you find any reason to believe that the breathalyzer your child's arresting officer used was not properly maintained or calibrated, you may argue that the results are not reliable in court.
In some instances, individuals have used existing data on the overall reliability of breathalyzers to dismiss charges. While breathalyzers are very impressive technology, they are not foolproof, even with proper maintenance and calibration.
Furthermore, if an officer simply does not operate the device properly, this can easily compromise the validity of the test results.
Did the officer perform his or her duties correctly?
Even if the breathalyzer results are valid as far as you can tell, the officer who performs the test and the arrest must follow specific behavior guidelines to ensure that your child's civil rights remain secure.
If an officer violates your child's civil rights in the course of the arrest, then a court may entirely dismiss the charges. While many police understand that they must uphold the law in order to enforce the law, some officers either make foolish mistakes in the course of an interaction or consciously violate a suspect's rights because they believe they can get away with it.
However, justice at the expense of fairness is not justice. If an arresting officer breaks the laws governing civil rights, a court is likely to take issue with his or her methods.
Your child's entire future may depend on the defense you build to fit these charges. Be sure to use all the tools at your disposal to keep your child's rights and future protected.