DUI Defenses

At Spital & Assciates, we are highly experienced and dedicated attorneys and want to handle your DUI case. Our goal is to review and analyze the facts of the case and substantive law to reduce the ability of the prosecution to establish the elements of the DUI crime beyond a reasonable doubt;. Secondly, we will analyze the procedural aspects of your DUI case including but not limited to the chain of custody of the evidence, the appropriate testing procedures, and complying with the applicable Constitutional Guarantees. Additionally, we seek to obtain an   appropriate and not excessive sentence by presenting compelling evidence of the  mitigating facts and circumstances.

We seek to thoroughly investigate your DUI charges to ensure that your rights were not violated and that the police followed proper procedures. In this regard, we will dispute the following:

  • The validity of the police officer or sheriff’s stop;
  • All of the procedures that followed in the arrest, including Breathalyzer, blood or urine test;
  • The evidence that was seized in your case
  • Whether there are any statements you may have inadvertently made as a result of the DUI.

Our goal is to protect  and advance your rights. Not only do we have a vast experience handling substance abuse and DUI cases,  but we also handle all other types of criminal cases; this gives us the knowledge of best practices and procedures, all facets of criminal law, constitutional guarantees, as well we sentencing guidelines and penalties in  misdemeanor and felony cases to argue for the best sentence or resolution for you. We are mindful how the DA and City Attorney who handle cases lose sight of the big picture as it applies to all criminal law matters.

What are Some Defense Against DUI Charges?

  • Mistakes made by law enforcement
  • Illegal DUI arrest
  • Unreliable or inappropriate Breath or Blood Test
  • Inconsistent or inadmissible Chemical Test
  • Inconsistencies shown on video and/or by independent witnesses

At Spital & Associates, our goal is not only to win your case, but to hold the government accountable under the law. You deserve competent DUI counsel to prevent the prosecution from over-reaching. We do not assume the prosecutor can prove each and every single element of a DUI crime beyond a reasonable doubt; nor that he can overcome our objections to the procedures used in making the arrest or by the prosecution in court; nor will we assume the stated and often excessive criminal penalties cannot be marginalized or minimized.

In addition to some of the above strategies, we want to be sure that illegally obtained evidence cannot be introduced against our client. In that way, we seek to safeguard you from violations of the procedural and constitutional guarantees under law.

What are Some of the Powerful Strategies We Analyze for our Client?

  • Your Right to Effective and Successful Counsel
  • Your Right to Remain Silent in your interrogation, arrest, offense
  • Your Right to a Speedy Trial for a DUI arrest
  • Right to imaginative use of the Criminal Discovery Rules and Procedure
  • Right to Subpoena and Compel Witnesses to Testify on your behalf
  • To use cost-effective and distinguished Expert Testimony
  • Your Right to aggressively Cross Examine and Confront the Prosecution’s Witnesses
  • Your Right to challenge the introduction and use of all Prosecution evidence
  • Your Right to a Jury Trial
  • Right to assert all Constitutional defenses in all aspects of your DUI case
  • Right to employ Demonstrative Evidence in your trial
  • Your Right of Presumed Innocence
  • Right to Testify on Own Behalf in your trial
  • To assert Creative Options
  • To negotiate Lesser Offenses and Reduced Sentences
  • Your Right to Appeal errors, rulings and improper Decisions

Why is “15 Minutes” Important?

The law enforcement officer who stops your vehicle has to observe you for an entire 15 minutes before taking the breath sample. At Spital & Associates, we will review all of the facts and circumstances and determine whether you were left alone or out of the sight of the officer at any time prior to taking the Chemical Test, including being placed in a holding room or cell, using the restroom or making a telephone call. We will inquire whether the officer included any of the transportation time as part of the required 15 minute DUI observation period. Also, we will inquire whether you had trouble holding food &/or liquid down or if you vomited during the 15-minute observation period before the DUI test was administered. In addition, we will ask whether you belched or burped during the 15-minute observation period before the breath sample was taken.

 

Is the Chemical Test Reliable?

When we determine the breath or blood test is unreliable and inappropriate, we will argue the results and/or evidence obtained thereafter are inadmissible in your case. Hence, we want to know:

  • If you have a medical condition, such as diabetes or hypoglycemia as these individuals when consuming alcohol can also produce a high acetone level, which the body converts into isopropyl alcohol.
  • Similarly, if you have a medical problem such as a hiatal hernia, reflux disease or an intestinal problem; a respiratory problem, such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD].
  • If you have a dental problem, such as gum disease or gingivitis pockets around the roots, dentures or bridgework as these conditions can trap mouth alcohol and contaminate the results of a breath test.
  • If you used Breath Drops or mouth spray that contained alcohol immediately before your arrest.
  • If you used Nyquil, Vicks Formula 44 or other brand cough medicine as one of their ingredients is alcohol.
  • If you have consumed other substances such as Skoal brand snuff as they may interfere with and/or produce incompetent test results.
  • If there are independent witnesses to help us ascertain if your actions, behavior or conduct are inconsistent with the Chemical test.
  • If there is a video tape as it may demonstrates your actions or behavior is inconsistent with the test.
  • If you were  on the Atkins or other variety of a high-protein diet because it can trigger an auto-generated alcohol production when you eat carbohydrates, thereby converting ketones into isopropyl alcohol.
  • If you have been exposed to any toxic substances or volatile fumes, including lacquer substances, gasoline, paint, dry cleaning fluids or even brand 409 house cleaner, as they can produce a chemical interference to cause an elevated result of a Chemical test.
  • If you were involved in an automobile accident and the air bag inflated, a forensic expert can be retained to determine if there was exposure to the propellant and/or lung and airway irritation causing fluid buildup from the caustic gas propellant to possibly invalidate the test results.
  • If you had a high fever as in the case you recently used a sauna or hot tub, or because you were detained in the back of the patrol car in the heat of summer, were standing in the hot sun, dancing, running, doing any heavy exercises, or for women having a menstrual cycle, it also can impact the breath test.
  • Some clients may have had a blowing pattern irregularity at the time of the DUI breath test as in the case you were crying as this can  result in artificially high water vapor causing the test to be unreliable.
  • Did the officer fail to follow procedures and protocol taught in the Academy and/or written in the training manual.
  • We want to know if the law enforcement officer was properly trained in accordance with the DUI standards of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations as well as the theory behind the operation of the Breathalyzer machine.
  • We analyze the officer’s report to find indications supporting sobriety and inconsistent with intoxication, or  evidence evincing the officer performing a poor investigation of alternative causes in the DUI case.
  • We investigate whether there were adequate and appropriate inspections of the Breathalyzer machine by properly trained DUI personnel.
  • We will look for improper or inconsistent test results in your drunk driving case in San Diego, and then determine that if there were follow-up tests, seeking at least two timely results and that are within 0.02 percent of each other.
  • If there was an abnormally high Chemical test result because it is inconsistent with other evidence.
  • If there is a rising blood alcohol level, there may be sufficient evidence in your case to argue the actual BAC at the time you were driving would have been lower than the time you in fact were tested.
  • If the first BAC reading is below .08 and the second is .08 or above, we will assert there is a failure of at least two consecutive and similar test results to support the findings.
  • If the officer refused your request for a second and independent DUI test and/or denied your request for a blood test, which is more reliable and deemed most accurate, we will argue this as grounds to attack the charges.
  • Whether the chemical test admonition was too broad or if the officer threatens dire consequences and there is no factual basis for such a warning, and/or the consequences regarding the suspension of one’s driving privileges have been misstated.
  • If the chemical test was obtained more than three hours after you were stopped as the presumption your BAC was at or over the limit at the time of driving only applies if the test is within three hours of the stop.
  • If the officer makes an illegal stop or the arrest is without probable cause, we will argue the DUI charge is invalid.
  • If  the officer relocates, is subsequently fired, commits a crime and is indicted, retires or dies before the case goes to trial, we will use that as a basis to obtain a dismissal.
  • If the Field Sobriety Tests were performed on a partial hill or slope and/or a location in the County of San Diego that has heavy traffic, the FST are not reliable or persuasive evidence.
  • If there was a curved road at the location of the arrest this can affect your driving.
  • In summary, we evaluate and perform a painstaking analysis of the entire test process, such as:
    • whether the test operator had a current certification
    • when the DUI test machine was last certified
    • when the machine was calibrated
    • if the mouthpiece was changed before the test was given
    • if a written record of the temperature of the calibrating solutions in the machine was maintained
    • if there is a written log of the tests that were run for the machine in question
    • the frequency the calibration solution was changed
    • other factors such as determining whether the DUI test room was contaminated; there was interference due to a cell phone, an officer’s radio, or someone smoking in or near the machine; a shared power supply with a heater or other appliance since any of these events can potentially cause artificially high BAC results

Contact an Experienced San Diego DUI Attorney

At Spital & Associates you can schedule a confidential and free consultation with our Managing Lawyer (we have no paralegals, law clerks or new lawyers to serve our clients) by sending an email or calling 619.583.0350 between 7am and 9pm daily.

 

Main Offices
8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92108-1642
Telephone: 619.583.0350
Fax: 619-583-1850

Downtown Associate Office
Of Counsel – Bill O’Connell, Esq. 
110 West C Street, Suite 1300
San Diego, CA 92101-3978

Associates available 7am-9pm daily.
Call 619.583.0350 or send us an e-mail.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.