DUI convictions are very serious and could leave the alleged wrongdoer having to pay hefty fines, attend expensive classes or even put the accused behind bars. It is extremely important for the accused to put forth a strong defense in court. A strong defense could prevent the accused from having to endure any of the abovementioned penalties.
Putting forth a strong defense helped one former elementary school principal near Portsmouth who was accused of driving under the influence get charges dropped even after he was already convicted. The principal was recently pulled over for making an illegal U-turn. When the police pulled the man over they asked him to take a breathalyzer or blood test. The man refused to take the test. In Virginia it is illegal to refuse a blood or breath test if the police officer has probable cause to believe the accused was driving under the influence.
The judge convicted the defendant for refusing to take a blood or breath test but the man’s defense kept fighting. The man’s defense argued that the police did not have probable cause to arrest the man for a DUI and therefore could not require the man to take a breath or blood test. Knowing this, the defense filed a motion asking the judge to revisit the refusal conviction. The judge did so, and finally dismissed the charge and reversed the conviction.
The justice system is not a perfect system and sometimes police officers and judges do make mistakes. However, without pointing out the mistakes, people in similar circumstances who are facing drunk driving charges or breath test refusal charges could be convicted and face harsh penalties. A legal professional can help defendants facing charges like this ensure that their rights are protected.
Source: PilotOnline.com, “Former Va. Beach principal cleared of refusal charge,” Kathy Adams, Aug. 7, 2013