As drunk driving accidents continue to be prevalent in today's society, the authorities are always looking for a reason to stop drivers. Once a stop occurs, police officers rely on a multitude of tests in order to determine, in their opinion, whether a motorist is intoxicated. The results of these tests are then handed off to prosecutors who will use them as evidence to buttress their DUI cases. Therefore, knowing about and fully understanding these tests is critical to those who have been accused of driving under the influence, as there may be ways to attack their validity.
When property goes missing, many individuals are quick point the finger and blame others for their loss. Although sometimes others are responsible for missing property, other times allegations are falsely made or falsely levied against an individual. Yet, when accusations are made, a Pennsylvania resident can wind up facing criminal charges for stealing. In order to avoid the harsh penalties that can accompany a conviction, defendants need to know the law, understand it and comprehend how to utilize it to their advantage as, regardless of the circumstances, criminal defense options may be available to them.
Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are constantly looking for ways to build cases that leave them well positioned to obtain a conviction against an individual they believe has committed a crime. Although the law tries to strike a balance between protecting personal liberty and public safety, far too often overzealous police officers infringe on an individual's rights. When this happens, individuals can be wrongly accused and even wrongfully convicted, leaving them subjected to serious penalties.
Pittsburgh residents who are slapped with criminal charges can find themselves afraid on many levels. They might be concerned about how the allegations will affect their reputation, but their primary concern may revolve around the potential penalties they could face if convicted. Depending on the crime at hand, a criminal conviction can result in prison time, significant fines and a mark on one's criminal record that can be hard to overcome, even after one pays his or her debt to society. With so much at stake, it only makes sense that these individuals would put forth the strongest criminal defense they can manage in hopes of avoiding some or all of these damaging penalties.
It's not uncommon for relationships to sour. When they do, negative animosity towards one another can leave individuals amidst heated arguments and false accusations. In some instances, these allegations take on a criminal nature, which, in turn, can lead to criminal charges and the potential for the imposition of serious penalties.
We’ve been looking in recent posts at the two bases on which the government can build a drunken driving case, and some of the issues that need to be considered when building a strong defense against DUI charges. As we’ve noted, meeting or exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit and intoxication sufficient to render one incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle are two potential bases for DUI charges, and each involve their own unique considerations.
In our last post, we mentioned several important factors that need to be considered when scrutinizing the reliability of alcohol tests in drunken driving cases. As we mentioned, the scientific acceptability of breath testing software; proper calibration, use and maintenance of breath testing devices; proper performance of blood testing and chain of custody issues should all be scrutinized with breath and blood test results.
Most people understand that it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney when facing drunken driving charges, if for no other reason than they do not understand the legal process and how to build a strong defense case. While in every drunken driving case, the goal is to resolve the matter to the best benefit of the defendant, each case is different, and different strategies are used depending on the facts of the case.
Drunken driving is a serious problem affecting highway safety, and state are always looking for better ways to address the problem, whether through better public education, enhanced enforcement efforts, or passing stricter laws. Pennsylvania lawmakers, as Pittsburgh readers may be aware, have been working to get tougher laws in place to fight DUI, though with limited success.
We’ve been looking in recent posts at the topic of searches and seizures, the warrant requirement, and some recent cases involving jurisdictional issues surrounding warrants. Another warrant-related issue that is a hot-button issue at present is to what extent cell phones and other mobile digital devices should be treated as private.