In Defense of a DUI—Mistake of Fact
Having a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge is always a harrowing experience, especially for those in certain occupations such as the medical field, but it can be especially distressing for someone who honestly did not believe he or she was intoxicated.
Mistake of fact is a defense that makes the claim that the driver charged with a DUI had no reason to think that they were driving under the influence. That could mean underestimating the effects of cold medicine or believing that any intoxicating effects of a prescription medication had worn off before getting behind the wheel.
Other DUI Defense Options
If you were arrested on DUI charges, the most important thing to do is to make a call to an experienced DUI defense attorney. There are several options your attorney might have to help reduce your charges, or offer a defense to help bolster your case.
Some DUI defense options include:
- In some cases, such as when a driver falls asleep in his or her car and officers force them to leave, a DUI defense attorney could suggest that the driver was a victim of entrapment.
- There are situations where a person might be forced to drive under the influence in order to prevent a greater evil. The driver must be able to prove that he or she had no choice, and drove under the influence to prevent a greater harm.
- A defendant could find themselves forced to drive under the influence in order to avoid serious injury. An example might be driving to escape a potential domestic assault.
- Involuntary intoxication. When a person drives after ingesting alcohol without knowing it, such as consuming spiked punch at a party, it could serve as a reasonable defense in court.
- Lack of probable cause. If an officer stops a driver who has not made any driving errors, and then determines that he or she is driving under the influence, an improper stop defense could be used to get the charges dropped.
- Improperly administered field sobriety test. One of the most common challenges includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which detects eye movements that can be associated with intoxication.
- Improperly administered breathalyzer test. A DUI defense attorney could challenge the results of a breathalyzer test – either a portable test used at the scene or a standard test used at the police station – if an officer was not properly trained on how to use the test.
A good DUI defense attorney will be able to interpret the facts in your case, determining whether or not there are options that could help you get your case dropped.
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Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Rowena N. Nelson’s offices serve the entire state of Maryland.