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Can You Be Charged With A DUI And Be Innocent

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How would you answer the question “Can you be charged with a DUI and be innocent?” Of course you would say that you only can be charged if you drive under the influence. It is common sense, isn’t it?

Let’s look at the first case that happened over a year ago. A woman met her girl friends after work for dinner and a few drinks. On her way home, she had to cross some railroad tracks. She drove her car to the tracks, stopped then slowly crossed them. A police officer who had watched the woman pulled her over. The woman had to take a breathalyzer test after she told the officer that she had a few drinks that night. The result of the test showed that the woman was still below the legal limit. Nevertheless, she was handcuffed, and taken to the police station where she was booked, and only released after she posted bail. The reason for this? The police officer claimed the woman knew she was drunk otherwise she would not have stopped at the railroad tracks.

This case shows that you can be charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit. The woman had to hire an attorney to fight the charges. Even if the charges were dropped, the nightmare of this experience will not go away that easily.

Another true story happened only recently in Surprise, Arizona. A 64-year-old man was driving home from the fitness center through the town of Surprise, and allegedly crossed the white line of his lane. The driver was promptly pulled over by a police officer. The officer saw the red bloodshot eyes of the driver and insisted that the driver was drunk therefore he was driving under the influence. The driver told the officer that he came from the fitness center where he had been swimming to release tension in his hip. He was schedule for a hip replacement a few days later. The police officer did not buy the story, and ordered the driver to take a sobriety test. Indeed, the result showed a blood alcohol content of 0.000%. Nevertheless, the driver was cuffed and taken to headquarters. A drug recognition expert was called in, and blood was drawn from the driver. More tests followed. All came back negative. No alcohol, no drugs, there was nothing in the system. Even in the case report was noted that the driver had not been driving under the influence. And yet, the driver was charged with a DUI, his car was impounded and the DVM notified to suspend his license. The driver had to take a lawyer, and fight the wrong charges. They were later dropped.

In the first case there could be proven some alcohol content in the blood, but not enough to justify any DUI charges. In the second case there was no alcohol in the blood detected at all. But in both cases the drivers were charged with a DUI. Both cases show that it was most important to find a good lawyer to defend them, their innocence, and help justice prevail. So, can you be charged with a DUI and be innocent? Unfortunately, you can in certain instances.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.