Drunk driving charges are not to be taken lightly. Even if it's only your first offense, a conviction could mean losing your driver's license for up to a year, paying hefty fines and taking required driving classes. A second or later offense could mean jail time and more penalties.
Not only is your freedom on the line if you are charged with a DUI in Delaware, but a conviction could impact your future in terms of being able to drive to work or school. Depending on the severity of the charge and the type of work you do, it could also impact your ability to get a new job or attain a professional license.
Getting arrested for a DUI in Delaware
Delaware is also a tricky place to get pulled over for a DUI. Although the legal limit according to the law is 0.08 percent blood-alcohol concentration, you can still be arrested in Delaware for a 0.05 percent blood-alcohol concentration if the police officer can see signs of impairment, such as reckless driving.
For these reasons, it's best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows Delaware's DUI laws if you are charged, whether this is your first offense or not. Taking steps to protect your future is crucial once you are charged.
What defenses can an attorney use for DUI charges?
An attorney can help lessen or dismiss charges using the following defenses:
- Proving the initial traffic stop was not legal: an officer has to have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If there were no signs that you were impaired, or other reasons to pull you over, a judge can take that into consideration.
- Proving your breath test result was inaccurate: breath test machines need to be regularly maintained, and need to be operated correctly to give an accurate result.
- Showing that your blood-alcohol concentration was actually below the legal limit through a blood test. Since it's legal in Delaware to get arrested for a 0.05 BAC, but the legal limit is 0.08, an attorney could argue that you did not break the law if you were below the legal limit.
- Investigating whether the field sobriety test that the officer asked for during the traffic stop was administered correctly. These tests need to be administered according to guidelines by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
An attorney can also help in a situation where you refused to submit a BAC test. Because Delaware has an implied consent law, if you refuse to submit a BAC test when asked by an officer, you could have your license automatically suspended for one year.
An attorney skilled in the laws surrounding DUIs and the laws that protect your rights can help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Although it may seem like you're up against odds that are against you, an attorney can help level the playing field and make sure every legal option is explored.