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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 (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 are serious. They include hefty fines, prison sentences, and license suspension. If you have been arrested, 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

Breath and chemical tests are often administered to a defendant soon after an arrest. These tests, which may be breath, blood, and urine-based, are used to determine the weight of alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream (known as the 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 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.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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  1. Former Prosecutor
  2. 100% Focus on Criminal Defense
  3. Trial-Tested, Compassionate Representation
  4. Affordable Service and Convenient Office Hours
  5. Emergency Appointments Available 24/7
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