Defending against a DUI charge can be challenging, especially if the prosecuting attorney has evidence that appears to support his or her case (e.g. breathalyzer readings). However, there are a number of defenses that can be employed to help you avoid being convicted of the crime or that may result in you being convicted of a lesser charge. Here are two DUI defenses that could possibly help your case.
One defense that could help you avoid a DUI conviction is showing you have a medical condition that either only made it appear you were intoxicated or significantly skewed the results of any tests you were required to take to show how intoxicated you were. For instance, diabetes can cause a person to appear to be drunk due to the effects of low blood sugar levels and has been known to negatively influence breathalyzer readings because the person's body produces acetone, which the breathalyzer records as alcohol.
Using this defense effectively involves producing medical records showing you were diagnosed with the condition and how it impacts your body. For instance, it can be difficult for people with COPD to blow into the breathalyzer machine properly due to reduced lung function. This can lead to a false reading. Producing a note from your doctor discussing your diagnosis may be enough to get the reading thrown out and the case dismissed, if that was the prosecutor's strongest piece of evidence.
Another possible defense to the DUI charge is to show there were extenuating circumstances in your case that essentially required you to drive while intoxicated. For instance, if you were about to be a victim of a crime and the only way to get out of the situation was to drive a vehicle, then the court may take that into consideration when determining whether to continue with the case or not.
With this type of defense, the circumstances would have to be pretty compelling. Additionally, you may be required to show proof of what occurred that led to you driving intoxicated even though you knew it was illegal. For example, regarding the previous example, you would need to produce a police report supporting your story. Even if you're not able to avoid a conviction, the court may opt to reduce your sentence based on the nature of the extenuating circumstances.
For more information about possible DUI defenses or assistance with handling a case, contact a criminal law attorney.