Do DUI Car Crash Defenses Exist in Ohio?
While a charge for driving under the influence greatly complicates matters for a person who is accused of causing a car crash, effective defense strategies definitely exist. An experienced Columbus DUI defense lawyer will focus on both questioning the evidence being used to convince a judge that his client was impaired by alcohol or drugs and on the reasons investigators cite for blaming the crash on his client.
Handling the Drunk or Drugged Driving Charge
When law enforcement officials suspect a driver was under the influence—or, to use the statutory language, operating a vehicle while intoxicated—at the time of a crash, they will ask for breath, blood, and urine tests. These laboratory tests for pre-crash use of alcohol or drugs must be conducted according to strict rules that, among other things, require police to advise the suspect of his or her right to refuse to participate and specify how samples collected for analysis must be handled and stored for possible retesting.
When a DUI defense lawyer discovers any violations of the rules for breath, blood, and urine testing, he will petition the court to have results thrown out. Succeeding in disqualifying this type of evidence will not automatically end the case, but it can make a prosecutor more willing to suggest a beneficial plea deal that does not include a conviction or penalties for DUI.
A lawyer may also defend his client against the DUI charge by questioning how the arresting officer performed and evaluated field sobriety tests, asking to have lab samples retested, and, in a case involving alleged illegal drug use, presenting medical records that substantiate his client’s legitimate need to take opioid painkillers or amphetamine-based ADHD medications.
Handling the Traffic Case
A person who gets charged with driving under the influence following a crash usually faces multiple other charges. This is especially true if other people suffer injuries or die as a result of the collision.
A dedicated Columbus DUI defense lawyer will not overlook accusations of speeding, failure to yield right of way, following too closely, or reckless driving. To help his or her client, the attorney will identify and interview witnesses, review traffic camera footage, and, when available, analyze data from the involved vehicles’ on-board trip computers. The defense team can also ask an independent expert to do a crash reconstruction to determine if the other driver actually made the mistake that led to the collision.
When the information gathered by the defense attorney differs from the evidence presented by police and prosecutors, grounds exist for seeking a plea to a lesser offense or asking to have the traffic charges dismissed altogether.
If you need help with a DUI crash case in the Columbus Ohio area, consider reaching out to The Maher Law Firm. We defend accused drunk and drugged drivers in Columbus and throughout Franklin County. We offer free phone consultations to all potential clients. To speak with a Columbus DUI lawyer now, call us at (614) 205-2208 or connect with us online by filling out this contact form.