Driving under the influence (DUI) charges can have serious consequences, especially in a state like Arizona with overly strict laws against drunk driving. A conviction can affect your driving privileges, finances, and even freedom. As such, it helps to familiarize yourself with the legal landscape and understand the potential factors that can impact your case.
One crucial aspect to consider is the possibility of police errors during the arrest and investigation process. Mistakes by law enforcement officers can significantly influence the outcome of your DUI case, as discussed below.
Common police mistakes during a DUI arrest and investigation
The police are responsible for gathering crucial evidence that forms the backbone of the prosecution’s case. However, mistakes can occur during this process, potentially leading to flawed evidence and unjust charges. Below are such instances:
- Violation of Miranda rights – The law requires police officers to read the Miranda rights to an individual under arrest, informing them of their constitutional rights before custodial interrogation. Failure to do so may lead to a violation of your rights, like the right to remain silent and the right to counsel.
- Unlawful traffic stop – Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to believe that you were driving a vehicle under the influence to pull you over and commence their investigations. If you were stopped without a legally valid reason, it may amount to an unlawful stop.
- Chain of custody errors – The police must follow strict procedures when handling evidence in their possession to maintain its integrity. If there is a mixup or mishandling of the evidence or glaring deviations from the established chain of custody, it can lead to doubts about the reliability of the evidence.
These and other police mistakes can profoundly affect the outcome of your case as they can make it difficult for the prosecution to meet the legal burden of proof required for a conviction. For instance, evidence obtained in violation of your Miranda rights or from an unlawful stop may be suppressed and excluded from your case.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, seeking qualified legal guidance can help identify such loopholes in your case and advise you on the best defense strategy that will protect your interests.