DUI Defense Attorney in Rhode Island
Providing Aggressive Representation to Clients Facing DUI Charges
At the Law Office of Jason Knight, we provide diligent legal services to
clients in Rhode Island. Facing charges of a DUI can be stressful, and
a conviction can lead to severe consequences. At our firm, we have successfully
guided numerous clients through the Rhode Island criminal law system.
As a former prosecutor, our
Rhode Island DUI defense attorney has years of experience and knows how the other side thinks. Call us today
at (401) 354-2255 to discuss your case with our knowledgeable legal advocate.
What Are Some Defenses You May Use Against Charges of DUI?
Penalties for a DUI conviction in Rhode Island are serious. They include
hefty fines, prison sentences, and driver’s license suspension.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, there are several defenses you may
be able to use for your case. Jason can investigate your situation to
gather evidence, and we can use effective legal strategies as you pursue
a favorable outcome.
Common legal defenses to DUI charges include:
- Lack of probable cause
- Failure to read Miranda warnings
- Unreliability of breath and chemical tests
- Unreliability of field sobriety tests
By law, police must have probable cause before pulling over a driver. Probable
cause refers to the reasonable belief that a crime has been, or is about
to be, committed by the driver. For example, if you are swerving in your
lane, speeding, driving recklessly, or otherwise violating traffic rules,
a police officer has probable cause to pull you over. However, if a police
officer pulls you over at random and gives no explanation of probable
cause, you can use this as a possible defense against your arrest.
Miranda warnings, such as the right to remain silent and to hire legal
counsel, must be given to defendants. If the police officer fails to read
you the Miranda warnings, or does so incorrectly, anything you say in
an interrogation cannot be used against you in court. This means, if you
admit guilt to a police officer who did not properly deliver your Miranda
warnings, your statements may be excluded from trial.
Unreliability of Breath & Chemical Tests
Breathalyzer and chemical tests are often administered to a defendant soon
after an arrest. These tests, which may include breath, blood, and urine-based
samples, are used to determine the weight of alcohol in a driver’s
bloodstream (known as the blood alcohol concentrate, or BAC). However,
there are several factors that may render a breath or chemical test inadmissible in court.
In order to be admissible in court, a breath or chemical test must:
- Include 2 complete samples
- Be given within a period of 15 minutes
- Have at least .02% agreement between the 2 samples
Furthermore, the breathalyzer machine must comply with the Department of
Health regulations. The breath test operator must also have been certified
within 1 year of the test. In addition, the result of the test must be
mailed to the defendant within 72 hours of the test.
Under Rhode Island law, police officers are required to observe the driver
for at least 15 minutes before administering breath or chemical tests.
If the officer who pulled you over failed to follow correct procedure,
or there were other problems with the breath or chemical test (such as
mishandling or improper administration), our Rhode Island DUI defense
lawyer can use these facts to build your case. We can work hard to determine
effective defense strategies and uphold your constitutional rights in court.
Unreliability of Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are used to determine a driver’s level of intoxication.
However, studies done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), the agency that regulates the field sobriety testing procedures,
found that these tests are not very reliable. Some field sobriety tests
(not endorsed by the NHTSA) include counting backwards, picking up an
object, and reciting the alphabet. These tests have no scientific backing
and cannot accurately be used to determine a driver’s impairment.
Common field sobriety tests, certified by the NHTSA, include:
- The one-leg stand test
- The walk-and-turn test
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN)
Studies have revealed that, for drivers with a BAC over .10%, the one-leg
stand test is only about 65% accurate. Furthermore, the walk-and-turn
test is only about 68% accurate, and the HGN test is only about 77% accurate.
If the officer was not properly trained to administer the field sobriety
test, or did not follow proper procedure, you may be able to use this
as a defense to your case.
Call Our Experienced Rhode Island DUI Defense Attorney Today at (401) 354-2255
At the Law Office of Jason Knight, we diligently defend the rights of clients
who are facing criminal charges. A DUI can have serious penalties. However,
the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant
operated a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Our Rhode Island
criminal defense lawyer can investigate your arrest and determine if there
are any discrepancies that may be used to lessen or drop the charges against
you. We know you are going through a stressful time. That is why our firm
can work hard to handle the legal issues and guide you through the process.
today for a free case evaluation.