Receiving a driving under the influence charge in California does not mean you are guilty. You may have the opportunity to combat the charges against you, or at least negotiate for lesser penalties, during the criminal justice process.

Knowing how to defend yourself against DUI charges in California can make an enormous difference to your future. A smart, strong defense using a proven strategy could help you minimize or completely eliminate the charges against you.

Not the driver of the vehicle

California’s DUI law, Vehicle Code 23152, defines this crime as driving a vehicle with 0.08% or more alcohol in the driver’s blood. It is a simple and effective defense, therefore, to prove that you were not in fact driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense. You or your lawyer may also have to demonstrate that you did not have the intent to drive a parked car.

Unlawful traffic stop

Unless the police arrested you during a sobriety checkpoint, they will have needed probable cause to conduct the stop that led to your arrest. The officer must have seen you breaking a roadway rule or exhibiting signs of intoxication, such as swerving in and out of a lane. An officer may only pull you over on suspicion of DUI with probable cause.

Insufficient evidence

It is the prosecution’s burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense of insufficient evidence asserts that the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to fulfill this burden of proof. Your lawyer may be able to convince the courts to dismiss unlawfully obtained evidence, such as drugs found during an illegal search, to strengthen your defense.

Inaccurate sobriety tests

The California courts often agree to throw out evidence obtained during field sobriety tests due to their highly subjective nature. If the prosecution tries to present footage or the results of a field sobriety test, therefore, your lawyer may be able to argue its inadmissibility. Your attorney can choose a defense strategy best suited for your unique situation.