A DUI arrest and additional criminal charge can result in significant fines, penalties, and a criminal record. In the event that the DUI had aggravating circumstances, such as an accident, injury, fatality, or DUI with a minor, the defendant will likely face even more significant charges and penalties. In a recent Alabama case, a mother was charged with driving under the influence. She is also facing the additional charge of child endangerment because she was driving with her child.
In the event of a DUI arrest, defendants should consult with an experienced defense attorney who can review the facts, identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and explore every opportunity to minimize charges and penalties. Our Birmingham DUI defense lawyers have extensive experience representing clients facing charges under a wide range of circumstances. Remember that every case is unique, depending on the facts, and can be challenged on different grounds. Getting pulled over without probable cause, improper administration of a breathalyzer, and police misconduct could be grounds for your defense, even case dismissal.
According to reports, the 23-year-old Elkmont mother was pulled over and charged with driving under the influence and endangering the welfare of a child. In addition to these charges, the officers also searched her vehicle and charged her with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arresting officers claim to have found cocaine, Xanex, as well as drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. In this case a defense attorney should review all of the following:
Probable cause at time of arrest. An officer must have probable cause to pull over any driver. An officer must show in the police report that he or she had probable cause to stop a vehicle. In this case, the driver must have demonstrated that she was impaired or violated a traffic law to justify the stop and arrest.
Lab testing and evidence of drug possession. Police reports in this case allege that the mother had Xanex and cocaine in the vehicle. When building a defense, it is important that evidence is maintained through trial, including drugs and drug paraphernalia. Defense attorneys should request that alleged drugs retrieved at the time of the arrest be tested by a qualified lab.
Lawful search and seizure. Even at the time of an arrest, officers must perform a lawful search of your person or your vehicle. In many cases, a driver will give consent without realizing that they have the right to refuse a search. Remember that your 4th Amendment search and seizure rights apply even if you are pulled over.
For some parents, a DUI or child endangerment charge could also impact a divorce or custody case. If you are a parent and have been recently arrested or charged with DUI, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney about the potential outcome of your case. Remember that the best way to minimize the consequences of a DUI is to defend against the underlying charge.