In the past, involuntary intoxication was deemed a valid legal defense. Recently, involuntary intoxication might not be regarded as justification for engagement in certain crimes – particularly drunk driving.
However, generally speaking, if an individual engages in illegal activities without intention, they may be eligible for evading a conviction. If you did not consume alcohol knowingly and now face DUI charges, it is best to speak to a Clemson, South Carolina DUI lawyer from the Bateman Law Firm as soon as possible.
Let’s take a look at whether involuntary intoxication is a solid defense or not, and how else can criminal defense lawyers in Clemson, South Carolina help you avoid a conviction.
Is Involuntary Intoxication A Valid Defense?
Short answer: it was in the past but not anymore.
Involuntary intoxication occurs if a person unknowingly consumes drugs or alcohol.
For example, a driver has a drug placed in their drink without knowing and is involuntarily intoxicated. Involuntary intoxication can also rise in response to an allergy or unintentional influences of prescribed medicine.
Today, involuntary intoxication is not seen as a valid legal defense for someone facing DUI charges.
If involuntary intoxication was still a valid defense (which it is not), it can absolve what would be viewed as a criminal act because:
- The intoxication would have deterred the defendant from understanding what they are doing.
- The defendant wouldn’t have been able to differentiate between wrong and right.
- The defendant would have lacked a normal mental state at the time of the offense, i.e., DUI.
Though the defense does not apply anymore, your lawyer has other options too!
Affirmative Defenses To DUI Charges (Rarely Applicable)
Some affirmative defenses can overthrow or mitigate DUI penalties, but they are hardly applicable in most cases (they become relevant only rarely). Affirmative defenses verify that the defendant is not blamable for perpetrating a criminal act even if they did commit the act. The most common affirmative defenses are:
When the defendant drives to prevent severe injury or death, they are under duress. For instance, someone threatens an intoxicated person to drive by force.
When an officer somehow motivates a motorist to become intoxicated or drive under the influence, it is entrapment. The defendant can also ascertain that they would not have driven drunk if not for the apparent entrapment.
Mistake of Fact
In case a person has a sincere assumption that they are not intoxicated, like having a reasonable reason to understand that the impairing impact of prescription medication has worn off.
But there are more solid and widely applicable defenses too!
Widely Applicable & Strong DUI Defenses In Clemson, South Carolina
DUIs and DWIs are serious charges that can assert lasting outcomes. But there are numerous methods other than involuntary intoxication to defend against them. The most prevalent DUI defense questions include the statements of arresting officers, the legality of the charge, and the integrity of testimonies.
For instance, an attorney can disregard whether testimonials were gathered legally, whether the science behind the evidence is valid, or whether it should be acceptable in court.
If you were charged with a DUI, consult a professional Clemson, South Carolina DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Each case possesses unique circumstances, and court proceedings can be confusing and aggravating. There are several defenses applicable to your charges. An attorney can evaluate your case and specify your best course of action.
Here are some of the most common and successful DUI defenses:
Unlawful Stop by Police
Police need to have an explanation to stop you on the road. They must have a logical impression that a driver is intoxicated or they must observe a substantial traffic violation. They may have reasonable doubts if the driver is:
- Speeding or braking too abruptly or moving too slowly.
- Driving in the dark without headlights.
- Reacting too slowly to traffic signals.
- Failing to turn in a turning lane or contrarily turning illegally.
- Suddenly changing lanes without using a blinker.
- Tailgating, following too nearly behind another car.
Police can also stop a driver for a traffic offense. The typical “broken tail light” case is well-known. During the process of notifying the driver that the car requires possible repairs, the officer can perceive the presence of alcohol or conclude that the driver’s attitude is uncommon.
A defense attorney can protest a police stop in court by verifying it is illegal. It isn’t unusual for police to stop drivers just because they get a “hunch” they are intoxicated.
None of these are valid justifications for stopping a driver. They must identify behavior that provides them suspicion.
Improper Chemical Testing
Breathalyzers are sensitive devices that should be suitably maintained and calibrated to generate immediate results. Inappropriate handling and external factors can also yield incorrect readings.
The dependability of breathalyzers is particularly significant when the driver is above the 0.08% BAC limit. If breathalyzers were improperly handled, a defense attorney eliminates the breathalyzer test evidence.
Miranda Violations and Unlawful Interrogations
Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you have the liberty to remain silent during a police inquiry and hire a professional attorney. The police must offer you Miranda notifications before subjecting you to “custodial interrogation.”
You do not certainly have to be under arrest to be considered in custody for Miranda bases. The criterion is whether a reasonable person would feel if they were not free to leave. Several police procedures can activate the application of Miranda.
Police can ask exploratory questions and perform field sobriety tests before arresting and reading the rights.
You are obliged to cooperate with police when they pull you over, but you can’t be forced to answer self-incriminating questions. It could be used as a DUI defense. Only a professional DUI attorney can use a DUI defense to exclude these testimonials.
Improper Field Sobriety Testing
Police must follow particular procedures when performing a field sobriety test. If police officers fail to follow these protocols, a lawyer can discredit the certainty of these tests. For instance, a driver has a disability or medical issue that would impair their ability to do field sobriety tests. This is another possibility for DUI defenses.
A defense attorney can insist that the tests are not a valid measure of the person’s sobriety. In addition, if the test was done in a severe environment, like snow or heavy rain, an attorney may be able to assert that the tests were not conducted in a fair setting.
Violations of Evidence and Procedure
Certain rules govern how police obtain proofs, how they are handled and reserved, and how the prosecution submits them in court. Many of these questions can arise at the time of trial. If the prosecution brings unrelated character information, the professional Criminal Defense Lawyer in Clemson, South Carolina can defy it.
Recorded evidence, like video or audio, must be verified as being accurate to be incorporated into the trial. The arresting officer must offer a statement that they were at the scene, the recorded data is from the exact date and time, and the proof pointing to the defendant. If any of these problems are doubted, you can prevent this evidence.
Reach Out To A Capable Clemson, South Carolina DUI Lawyer From The Bateman Law Firm Today!
If you or a loved one was involved in a DUI case, a competent Clemson, South Carolina DUI lawyer can help you with a solid legal defense, and even prove your innocence. With years of experience successfully assisting clients charged with driving under the influence in Clemson, our team of criminal defense lawyers in Clemson, South Carolina at Bateman Law Firm are ready to offer the effective defense you require during this difficult time.
Consultation does not cost anything, but delay does – reach out to us now if you’re in trouble!