Common Defenses to a Maryland DUI Arrest
- Unlawful Stop. A traffic stop is valid if the officer has probable cause to believe that the driver has committed a traffic violation or if the officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that either criminal or traffic laws are being violated. Without a reasonable suspicion on the officer's part, however, the stop is illegal and any arrest following the stop is unlawful. McCain v. State, 194 Md.App. 252 (2010).
- Attack Field Sobriety Tests. You are under no legal obligation to perform field sobriety tests. The information gathered from these tests are marred by many problems. These problems include lack of comparison so sober performance, the subjectivity of assessment procedures, and the influence of environmental conditions. Furthermore, the tests may not have been administered in accordance with the regulations set out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), making the results invalid.
- Attack Breathalyzer Evidence. Attack the accuracy of the device, the proper certification of the breath test operator, the certification of the breath test device.
- Challenge the Testimony of the Arresting Officer. This is done at trial through cross-examination.
- The testimony of a police officer is not always accurate and can be challenged in court. In 2009, a Rockville resident was arrested and charged with a DUI after he had dozed off in his parked car after drinking a few beers. In court, the officer testified that she found the defendant in a parking lot behind the wheel of his vehicle. The officer's testimony was proven to be inaccurate, as a security camera at a local store caught the arrest on tape. The defendant was seen in the recording laying in the back seat of his vehicle, which led the judge to dismiss the charges. State v. Hoffman, District Court, Rockville, Md. (2010).
- Police Fail to Give You Miranda Warnings. Statements you make while in police custody are only admissible in court if you received Miranda warnings prior to the statements.