22 Ways to Beat a DUI Under Kansas Law
Kansas DUI Attorney
One of the most important things to do after a DUI arrest is to find a qualified and aggressive DUI defense attorney. Ask prospective attorneys about strategies they have used to beat DUI charges. Because of the scientific nature of the charges, many more defenses may actually exist than in other crimes. This list offers a few winning strategies that may be used at Stolte Law to beat your DUI case. Contact the Nationally Recognized DUI defense lawyers at Stolte Law, LLC for a comprehensive case analysis of your DUI charges today.
1. Illegal Stop of Person or Vehicle
Officers must have a reasonable and articulable basis to believe that a crime has been committed in order to stop a person or a vehicle. If the officer stopped you based on a hunch, that officer violated the United States Constitution and your case should be thrown out.
2. Unlawful Extension of a Stop
Officers cannot begin an investigation for a new crime after a traffic stop unless they have reason to suspect the new crime has been committed. Put simply, an officer cannot stop you for speeding and then begin a DUI investigation unless there are specific facts that justify the new investigation.
3. Bad Weather
There are many conditions that can cause poor driving including high winds, low visibility, snow on the roads, etc. Likewise, these conditions can also cause people to perform poorly on field sobriety tests.
4. Illegal Arrest
An officer must establish probable cause, before an arrest, in order for the evidence obtained after an arrest to be admissible in a trial.
5. Illegal Search
Illegally obtained evidence is not admissible at trial. Officers may not conduct a search without reason to believe that they will find proof that a crime has been committed.
6. Unreliable Officer
If the officer has produced inconsistent police reports, has made inconsistent statements about your case, or has a disciplinary record, the officer may lack credibility. Believe it or not, some attorneys do not thoroughly review reports and videos. Those reports and videos must be critically analyzed to ensure a proper investigation.
7. Conducting Field Sobriety Tests Improperly
Officers are trained that improperly administered field sobriety tests are not valid evidence of intoxication by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Every single officer who graduates from a police academy has been through NHTSA field sobriety test training. This training is done very early in their career and is usually followed up with a “refresher” while on the job. These “refresher” trainings rarely comply with the necessary safeguards found in the NHTSA training.
8. Poor interpretation of Field Sobriety Test Results
Officers may score a field sobriety test improperly if they are not familiar with the definitions of the individual clues. If this happens, the test score could be an artificially high indicator of possible impairment. An attorney who has been through the same NHTSA qualified field sobriety test training for drugs and alcohol knows how the officer should have interpreted the tests.
9. Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Accurate
Field sobriety tests are only accurate for certain people. Being overweight, 65 or over, or having injuries or other medical conditions may have problems completing the test and appear to be under the influence. These parameters are clearly outlined in the field sobriety test manuals.
10. Certain Sobriety Tests Are Not Valid
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has validated only a few tests as reliable indicators of impairment. There are three validated tests commonly given during a DUI stop; Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand. The officer might also ask the driver to do a count down test, alphabet test, and a finger dexterity test. But, those tests have not had any clues validated by any scientific studies.
11. Civilian Witnesses
Evidence of sobriety can be provided by people at the bar or party, medical personnel, and other independent witnesses. Drinking history is an important factor in some cases. If the bartender, for instance, could testify that you were sober when you walked in and only had a couple of drinks, that could point to sobriety where the government needs to prove you were too drunk to safely operate the vehicle. In some cases, an anonymous witness may have reported bad driving to police or 911. If that witness is unavailable to testify, the evidence may be excluded from trial. Further, the officer must actually observe the bad driving. If not, the stop may be illegal.
12. Expert Witnesses
Experts might be called to review complicated issues such as the reliability of breath tests, blood tests, field sobriety tests, or other medical issues that might be mistaken for intoxication.
13. Problems With the Breath Test
Many factors may affect the reliability of the breath test results such as the machine’s own inaccuracies, an uncertified breath test operator, breathalyzer malfunctions, improper testing device, or failure to follow the machine’s operational instructions. If any of these issues happened in your case, the results could be thrown out.
14. Failure to Conduct a 20-Minute Observation Period
Kansas requires officers to continuously monitor every driver for 20 minutes before performing a breath test. An improper observation period could affect the reliability of the preliminary breath test and the evidentiary breath test at the station. If the officer failed to do so, the test results could be invalid and inadmissible.
15. Interfering Substances
Items such as paint, asthma inhalers, cough drops, and fingernail polish may contain alcohol. These can cause breath test results to be artificially raised.
16. Failure to Preserve Evidence
If the officer did not properly package or store blood evidence in a DUI case, the results of the tests could be inaccurate.
Improper procedure during a blood draw, inadequate sanitization of the draw site, or poor lab procedures could cause the blood sample to become contaminated and produce artificially high test results.
18. Misleading Statements by Police Officers
Sometimes officers go too far. Police officers cannot coerce or mislead you into giving a breath sample, consenting to a blood draw, or speaking with them. Thus, any evidence obtained as a result may be suppressed and not used during trial.
19. Statute of Limitations
In Kansas, DUI charges must be filed within 5 years of the offense. If the government fails to do so, the charges could be dismissed.
20. Speedy Trial Violation
The United States Constitution and our Kansas Laws require that cases be completed without undue delay. In Kansas, cases should be brought to trial within 150-180 days of arraignment. If the delays are due to the court or the government, the charges must be dismissed.
21. Cases Where Testing is Refused
In cases where the driver refuses to submit to field sobriety tests, preliminary breath tests, or evidentiary breath tests, the government must prove the driver was intoxicated to a degree that he could not safely operate a vehicle. Without this evidence, the government must rely on the driver’s appearance on the video and the testimony of the officer.
22. Negotiation with the Prosecutor
We ask for a plea offer in every case we take so our clients can make fully informed decisions about whether to take a case to trial. Negotiations begin after a complete review of the officer’s reports and videos. By exposing weaknesses in the case, or even preparing a draft motion to suppress, an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney might convince the government to dismiss the case without the need for an expensive trial.
Call (913) 270-0497 to speak with an experienced Kansas DUI attorney who is passionate about protecting your rights.
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Adam D. Stolte has received honors from the National College for DUI Defense.
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