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Drunk driving charges don't always lead to conviction

Getting pulled over on the way home from a night out with friends in California can be a nerve-racking experience. A police officer may mention excessive driving speed, a non-functioning tail light or some other vehicle infraction before writing a ticket. If the officer asks the driver to step out of the vehicle, it is likely that he or she suspects drunk driving.

Under such circumstances, a driver accused of DUI may also wonder whether he or she will be able to avoid conviction. There are often several defense strategies available to fight such charges in court. A police officer must have reasonable cause to make a traffic stop and probable cause to make an arrest. A defendant may argue that the officer in question did not satisfy these requirements.

Another possible defense against DUI charges concerns Breathalyzer devices. The person who administers a test must be certified. Also, someone facing charges may question whether the device used was properly calibrated. Evidence suggesting it wasn't could prompt the court to dismiss a case.

Perhaps a driver failed a horizontal gaze nystagmus test. If the officer did not administer the test properly or an underlying condition or circumstance impeded someone's ability to pass a test, it's definitely an issue that can be brought to the court's attention. Many California motorists in the past have successfully avoided a DUI conviction by arguing that officials mishandled blood samples following chemical tests. An experienced criminal law attorney can determine which defense strategy would be most useful for one's particular situation.

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