Being arrested for the suspicion of an OWI is not a final guilty verdict. There are several OWI defenses that your Lafayette OWI attorney can use to obtain either a dismissal or an acquittal if the case happens to go to trial. At the Law Office of Jesse K. Sanchez, we provide a number of strong defenses of an OWI arrest for our clients daily. Contact our office for a free consultation today.
An OWI in Indiana
While in some states it is called DUI or Driving Under the Influence, in Indiana, it is called an OWI or Operating While Intoxicated. Now there is a slight difference between an OWI and a DUI. An OWI refers to ANY operation of the controls of a vehicle while intoxicated. This means that a potential can occur by sitting in the driver’s seat and turning on the headlamps. In Indiana, operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted. The penalties are enhanced to a felony if the intoxicated driver endangers, injures or kills someone.
An Improper Stop for DUI
There are some things which constitute the right to stop someone for suspicion of operating while intoxicated. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that for law enforcement to make a stop, there has to have specific grounds for them to stop someone.
The fact is that police must have either a warrant or reasonable cause to stop you. If they do not, it’s technically an illegal search and seizure and your breathalyzer results could very well become inadmissible. Without the evidence provided by the breathalyzer, the prosecutor may not have a firm case against you.
Failure to Follow Field Sobriety Testing (FST) Protocols
There are specific rules that the police are required to follow when conducting a field sobriety test. If a law enforcement officer fails to follow those protocols for proper Field Sobriety Testing, it becomes an invalid test and thus is inadmissible in court. The most commonly used FST’s are the following:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
- Walk and Turn
- One-leg Stand
Since Field Sobriety Tests are highly subjective, the failure to successfully pass FST alone cannot be the only admissible evidence that the prosecutor can use to win a case against you in Indiana.
Improper BAC Samples
If you were given a blood test by the police, it is quite possible that the BAC analysis was done improperly for a number of possible reasons. After an arrest for an OWI, any blood samples that are collected must be stored in a very specific way. If any of these protocols are not followed, the blood test is not admissible.
Certain Medical Conditions
There are medical conditions that can cause a driver to appear as if they are operating while intoxicated. Additionally, there are some neurological problems can cause you to fail a field sobriety test. It is quite possible that unless you fail a breathalyzer test, your OWI attorney might be able to show that your failure to pass is due to your pre-existing medical condition.
Improper Communication with Defendant
If a prosecutor attempts to contact you without you having an attorney, and you have not waived your Miranda rights, then you have a case to make that conversation inadmissible. You have a right to have an attorney present while you are being questioned. If you have requested a criminal attorney, you are no longer allowed to have a conversation with the prosecutor unless your Indiana OWI lawyer is with you.
There are other a number of other ways to fight an OWI charge. Items such as an incorrectly calibrated BAC instrument, or the use of unapproved equipment are some of the technicalities that an experienced OWI defense attorney can use to help you fight your charges.
OWI Defenses Are Best Delivered by an Attorney
If you have been arrested for the suspicion of an OWI, then you need to contact an Indiana OWI attorney to help provide the best of OWI defenses for your case. Call our office at (317) 743-0771 for help with your OWI defense now.