Those arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Alabama often feel embarrassed and hopeless. They imagine that there is no option other than pleading guilty and believe that their guilty plea will likely mean they will face challenges for years to come.
Someone might begin spiraling into depression in the early moments after their arrest before they ever even leave state custody. They may convince themselves that their only choice is to plead guilty.
While it is perfectly natural to have an emotional reaction to a DUI arrest, those who correct their personal misconceptions about DWI charges might feel more comfortable taking the necessary steps to try to avoid a conviction.
Misconception 1: Breath tests are irrefutable evidence
Even drivers who know they were fully sober or had far too little to actually be drunk may feel despair when they hear the results of their chemical test.
All too often, people jump to the conclusion that the courts will simply accept the test results and rush toward a conviction. However, there is plenty of evidence that chemical breath tests can fail. False positive results can occur for a host of different reasons, which means that challenging the accuracy of the breath test could help someone prevent a conviction.
Misconception 2: Criminal trials are the only option
The idea of going to court and trying to establish one’s innocence can be very intimidating even for someone who firmly asserts that they did not break the law. People may plead guilty as a way to bypass a traditional criminal trial in Alabama. What they may not realize is that there is a possible alternative.
Alabama has DUI courts that focus on helping to rehabilitate those accused of impairment at the wheel because of a substance abuse disorder. People could go through the DUI courts to avoid both standard criminal penalties and a criminal record.
Misconception 3: No one takes a defendant’s word over an officer’s
A defense attorney only needs to establish a reasonable doubt about whether or not someone actually committed a crime. Raising questions about how a police officer gathered evidence or the way that they perceived the situation could actually help someone avoid a conviction. Maybe there is a medical explanation for why someone acted a certain way, or perhaps there is a question about whether the officer actually had the necessary probable cause to pull someone over in the first place.
The courts can sometimes eliminate certain types of evidence from criminal proceedings because police officers violated the law or someone’s civil rights when they conducted a traffic stop.
Anyone who is facing DUI charges could potentially have multiple ways of defending against those accusations. Debunking myths and misconceptions can help people employ a more level-headed response to Alabama DUI charges and to pursue a stronger defense strategy as a result.