Many people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Anaheim assume their case is hopeless because the evidence against them is solid. However, most of the time, they’re misguided into believing so. Police officers can create errors, administer tests incorrectly, or mess up investigations.
A good DUI lawyer in Anaheim will know how to identify and utilize these issues to win cases for their clients. If you were arrested for a DUI, the time is now to get help. You need an Anaheim DUI attorney to look into the details of your case so that you don’t have a charge ruin your life.
Risks of a DUI in Anaheim
Your Anaheim DUI lawyer will be able to prepare you for the potential risks you are facing if you are found guilty of drunk driving or a related offense. The extent of the penalties you are facing will depend on several factors, including:
- Whether you have previously been charged with or convicted of drunk driving or a DUI-related offense
- Whether a child was involved
- The location you were stopped for drunk driving
- Whether there was a firearm or other weapons in the vehicle
- Whether there were drugs in the vehicle
These aggravating factors can determine not only the extent of the charges against you and the penalties you are facing but also your opportunities to enter a pretrial diversion program or work out a plea agreement with the state’s prosecuting attorney. If you are found guilty of a DUI in Anaheim, you are likely to be ordered to spend time incarcerated in either an Orange County county jail or a state prison facility. You may also be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines, complete a set number of community service hours, and complete a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program as part of your conviction.
Furthermore, your reputation will be tarnished, and your criminal record will continue to follow you throughout your life unless you can eventually get your criminal record expunged. If you hope to clear your name of the allegations against you and avoid the severe penalties of a conviction, having a DUI attorney in Anaheim, CA working for you may be in your best interests.
Evidence that Can Be Used Against You in an Anaheim DUI Case
To understand how an attorney will defend you and what you’re facing, it’s vital to know the evidence that will be used against you. DUI attorneys are experts at using this evidence to seek weak spots. Law enforcement will make DUI evidence seem impenetrable and unquestionable, but this is rarely the full truth.
Some of the main types of evidence used against you in DUI cases will be:
How You Were Driving
A DUI that results from being pulled over usually starts with a police officer noticing unusual or unstable driving, such as drifting into other lanes or off the road or weaving back and forth. The officer will decide to perform a traffic stop at this point.
There are more than 20 different driving patterns, as listed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that could be seen as drunk driving. The NHTSA notes these cues “predict that a driver is DWI at least 35% of the time.”
Erratic or unusual driving will be one of the first factors mentioned by prosecutors in court.
Police officers are trained to look for indications that a driver is intoxicated, and your case will be no exception. Once they pull you over, they’ll look for signs like:
- Watery or bloodshot eyes
- Smelling like alcohol
- Falling over
- Slurred speech
- Trembling hands
- Fumbling with your keys
- Slow verbal responses to questions
While some of these can be clearer signs of intoxication, others could result from innocent factors like nervousness at simply being pulled over.
Results of Field Sobriety Tests
There are a number of standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) an officer may ask you to perform after being pulled over. These tests are meant to evaluate if you’re acting intoxicated or not.
Examples of SFSTs could be walking along a line, standing on one leg, or saying the alphabet backward. You should know that you can legally refuse to perform a field sobriety test.
Blood or Breath Test Results
Many authorities treat these tests as key DUI evidence, but it’s not. These roadside tests can often be unreliable, especially the breathalyzer tests, compared with post-arrest tests that happen at a police station or hospital. Scientific studies have challenged the accuracy of field sobriety tests many times.
In the state of California, a police officer will usually administer a breath or blood test. Urine tests are only utilized if the first two aren’t available.
Anything you say after being pulled over for a DUI can be used against you. Police officers will try to get you to admit to drinking and may ask questions like, “How many drinks have you had?”
It’s always best to be polite to police officers, but without offering any information that could incriminate you. Officers don’t have to read your rights until you’ve been arrested, but they can still use anything you said, even before they told you those rights, against you.
Charges for a DUI Involving Drugs in Anaheim
DUI laws for Anaheim apply to driving while under the influence of drugs, both legal and illegal, and alcohol. Even recreational drugs that are legal in California, such as marijuana, count if they’re considered as impairments to driving ability. However, the evaluation of drug DUIs is different from alcohol.
There is a legal threshold for alcohol DUI. If you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher, you’re considered to be impaired. With drugs, however, the research isn’t solid enough to have a clear threshold, and different drugs can vary in their strengths.
Some details to know about the drug DUI charges you may be facing:
- Since there is no set number yet, any amount of drugs in your system while driving can count as a DUI.
- The consequences for a DUI arrest involving drugs are the same as a regular DUI in California, except there is no license suspension right away. If convicted, you will be facing a license suspension.
- You might be charged with additional drug possession along with the other DUI charges. This is only if the police actually find drugs on you or see you throwing away drugs. Even a blood or urine test doesn’t determine possession.
- Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs may lead to a drug DUI. It comes down to whether you were impaired. Drugs like Benadryl or prescription pain relievers that cause drowsiness can count as impairment.
What Your Anaheim DUI Lawyer Can Do for You
Anaheim DUI attorneys can research the facts and investigate the circumstances surrounding your charges. A lawyer can:
- Gathering evidence
- Examine witnesses testimonies
- Assess the potential sentences
- Analyze the prosecutor’s case against their client
- Review search and seizure and drug testing procedures
- Assess audio and video evidence and look for discrepancies
- If your rights were violated in the process, they’ll also try to have related evidence thrown out
With a legal team on your side, you can attempt to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. As a result, your bail, charges, or sentences can be reduced. If an agreement is not made, your lawyer will take your case to trial and represent you there.
Defenses Your Anaheim DUI Lawyer Can Make in Your Favor
There are some loopholes within the prosecutor’s case. Your DUI attorney in Anaheim can make any of the following defenses to prove your innocence or lessen your charges:
- The arrest occurred during an unlawful police stop.
- Outside factors affected your field sobriety test.
- The chemical test was administered incorrectly.
- The chemical test was inaccurate.
- The law enforcement officer did not inform you of your rights.
- The tests performed by police officers, such as driving patterns, don’t truly prove drunkenness.
- Officers aren’t always reliable when reporting behavior.
Get Connected with an Anaheim DUI Lawyer Today
An experienced Anaheim DUI lawyer can assess your case and look for details to help reduce your outcome. Don’t give up hope until you’ve spoken with a legal professional who knows how DUI cases work and how to fight for you.
To get connected with one of our DUI attorneys, give us a call today or fill out our online contact form. We can start helping right away by offering you a FREE consultation.