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What you should know about DUI charges before you're stopped

A DUI conviction can cause all kinds of problems for a defendant. You could lose your license, face jail time and even have to pay stiff fines. While it can sometimes be rather difficult to get DUI charges dismissed, it might surprise you to know that that are some legal routes you can take that might just make a dismissal of charges possible.

-- Breathalyzer issues. Although breathalyzer and blood tests are generally considered reliable, they are not fail-proof. Breathalyzers have to be calibrated periodically and if the calibration is off, the blood alcohol content level may show higher than it actually is. A faulty breathalyzer could give you a cause for dismissal.

-- Blood tests. You might think that it is hard to botch a blood test, but it does occasionally happen. Samples can become tainted if the blood is not processed or stored correctly, making the sample inadmissible in court. Interestingly, since a warrant is usually needed before you can be forced to give a blood sample. If no warrant was issued before you had your blood drawn, there may be grounds for a dismissal of charges as well.

-- Lack of probable cause. While an officer may think that you are drunk, he or she cannot actually pull you over just because they suspect that you are. In order for you to be pulled over for a traffic stop, the officer must have an actual legitimate reason or what is known as "probable cause." As an example, you might have failed to signal properly when you were turning or perhaps you were speeding. If you have obeyed all traffic laws, however, and you are still pulled over on the suspicion of driving drunk, the case may not stand up in court.

Defendants who are facing DUI charges may find it beneficial to seek the counsel of an experienced Maryland criminal attorney.

Source: Find Law, "5 Possible Ways to Get DUI Charges Dismissed" Aditi Mukherji, Dec. 03, 2014

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