There are many defenses to a Knoxville DUI that are often specific to each case, but there are a few that come up on a regular basis. These are some of the most successful defenses your lawyer should be using for your Tennessee DUI defense case.
The “Bad Stop” Defense
This is one of the most basic defenses to DUI, but also one of the most effective.
The law is clear that for a police officer to pull you over or to “seize” you, he or she must have at least “reasonable suspicion” that you are committing or have committed a crime.
Police can’t pull you over on a hunch. They can’t pull you over because it’s 2 A.M. and you’re leaving a particular part of Knoxville. They can’t pull you over because you have out of county or out of state license plates, and they can’t seize you for sitting in your car minding your own business.
But sometimes they do. And when they do, a good Knoxville, TN DUI lawyer will recognize the “bad stop” and file a motion to suppress all the evidence and ask the Judge to throw the case out.
The “Disconnect” Defense
You’d probably be surprised how often a blood alcohol test result comes back far higher than a client would expect based on what they had to drink.
I’m often surprised at how high a result is based on watching my client on video and seeing that they look perfectly sober.
When these things happen there is a “disconnect.” Something is wrong with the evidence. Should we believe our own eyes seeing a sober and well functioning person? Or should we believe the TBI blood alcohol test report that says the person had a high BAC?
There are plenty of reasons to rely on our own common sense and not number on a page that is subject to human and machine error.
The “Real World Tests” vs. “Cop Tests” Defense
“I couldn’t do those tests sober!”
It’s funny because it’s true. The “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” are difficult. There are numerous reasons that people can’t perform them perfectly that have nothing to do with impairment.
We shouldn’t expect a 22 year old college athlete and a 52 year old teacher to perform to the same level on tests that require balance and coordination.
We shouldn’t expect someone with back problems, knee surgeries, inner ear issues, and a number of other medical conditions to be able to stand on one leg for 30 seconds with their eyes closed and their head tilted back.
In what world is that something people are expected to do to prove their innocence!
Don’t buy into these tests. They are tools for the prosecution to convict, not to objectively prove guilt or innocence.
At Barnes Law in Knoxville, we prefer to use my common sense and listen to how my client sounds, how she walks, how he answers questions, and the “real world” indicators of impairment or sobriety that we can all recognize.
The “Bad Investigation” Defense
If you were the victim of a crime wouldn’t you expect a thorough investigation of what happened? You wouldn’t want the police just jumping to conclusions. You’d want them to investigate. To find out the truth and to be sure about it.
I’ve seen people arrested for DUI before they were even able to get out of the car. I’ve seen DUI investigations that lasted less than 1 minute.
You and I are held to certain standards in our work. Police officers’ work affects people’s entire lives. They should be held to at least as high a standard of professionalism and diligence.
If the investigation was shoddy, we can’t trust the results.
The “Good Person” Defense
This isn’t technically a “defense” to DUI. Let me explain…
This is part of any good DUI defense but needs to be paired with a legal or factual defense.
Almost everyone we represent at Barnes Law for DUI is a good person. They contribute to their families and the Knoxville community, they take the charge seriously and get help if they need it, and the work to make sure it never happens again.
Sometimes my clients have made a simple mistake about whether they were ok to drive. Sometimes the police are the ones who made a mistake.
In any event, it’s important that you take certain steps to show that you are a responsible person who is not a danger to your community and that you won’t end up back in Tennessee DUI court ever again.
Taking these steps, that we can discuss, can lead to better results than an “actual” defense by itself.
The “At the Time of Driving” Defense
This is something I see occasionally. It happens when someone is arrested at their home or at some time after allegedly driving drunk.
In these situations a police officer may first encounter a person who has been in a car accident or who someone has called the police on.
However, the officer can only testify to what she sees at that time, not whether the person was impaired “at the time of driving.” (or sometimes they can’t say whether the suspect ever drove at all.)
The State has to prove, not just that someone was impaired, but that they were impaired “while driving or in physical control of a motor vehicle.”
That isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help You Beat a Knoxville DUI Charge
These are just a few of the defenses that may be available depending on the circumstances of your case.
Only a qualified Knoxville, TN criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending DUI cases and who stays on top of all the changes in Tennessee DUI law and practice can advise you about your case.
If you have questions or would like us to evaluate your case give us a call at (865) 805-5703.