Beating a Mississippi DUI is not easy, and there no “one size fits all” way to do it.  It’s all going to depend on the facts of your case.  Once you’ve been charged you can’t go back and change the facts, but when you go to court you may be able to increase your chances of a successful outcome.  The best thing you can do is to hire an experienced Southaven DUI lawyer.  The following are issues that could help you win your DUI case:

Did the police have reasonable suspicion to pull you over? Reasonable suspicion is a legal term developed by the courts to analyze a police-citizen encounter.  It’s where almost all DUI cases begin.  While the police are free to go up to any citizen and ask questions, if they don’t have reasonable suspicion that some type of criminal activity is going on then that citizen is free to ignore them or leave.  If the police are going to actually detain you, that is prevent you from leaving, there needs to be a belief, based on specific, objective facts, that you might be committing a crime.  This applies also to being pulled over.  If at the moment they turn on the blue lights, they can’t articulate what legal reason they had for pulling you over, that could be grounds to have the case thrown out.  So your first step is to always look at the initial stop.

Was there probable cause to arrest you for DUI? Just because there is reasonable suspicion to pull you over doesn’t mean there is probable cause to arrest for DUI.  At the time you are arrested, there must be facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge which would lead them to believe that you were driving under the influence.  Without those facts, the arrest may get thrown out.  Simply putting on the police report that there was an odor of alcohol and bloodshot, watery eyes may not be enough.  If you perform well enough on the field sobriety tests, that could also refute the officer’s allegation that you were under the influence.

Looking at the initial stop and whether the police had grounds to even arrest you are going to be crucial in beating your DUI.  In Part 2 I’ll examine more scientific issues like the field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer.

Patrick Stegall is a Southaven DUI lawyer.  He defends people accused of drinking and driving in Southaven, Horn Lake, Olive Branch, and throughout North Mississippi.  If you’d like to fight your DUI arrest, contact him at (901) 205-9894 or by email at pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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