How To Build A Successful Defense Against DUI/DWI Charges

The successful defense of DUI DWI cases requires dedication, skill and experience — qualities you can rely on if you retain the law firm of Steven W. Thayer, P.S.

Most people arrested and charged with DUI don't realize there are several ways to win these cases. For example:

  • If the initial stop or detention was unlawful, i.e., lacking in probable cause, the remedy is dismissal.
  • Even if the initial stop or detention was lawful, if the arrest was unlawful, i.e., lacking in probable cause, the remedy is exclusion of any and all evidence subsequently seized, including any incriminating statements, field test results and breath test results.
  • Even if the initial stop and arrest were lawful, the failure of the arresting officer to follow established procedures in administering advice of rights and/or the breath test may result in exclusion of any breath test results obtained.

A History Of Success

Our firm has won many cases, for example, where clients were stopped and detained for weaving. Contrary to popular belief, weaving does not necessarily constitute probable cause to stop a moving vehicle. We have won many cases involving one or more lane violations, and many other cases where clients were initially detained for following too closely, suspected equipment violations, etc.

Many clients are arrested as a result of calls made to 911 by other motorists with cellphones, employees of convenience stores or fast food restaurants, etc. Many of these tips lack credibility and the resulting stop/detention may be successfully challenged. In that case, the remedy is exclusion of all evidence resulting from the stop and detention and dismissal of the client's case.

Even if the initial stop and detention were lawful the subsequent investigation must establish probable cause to arrest for DUI DWI. If not, the remedy is exclusion of all evidence seized or developed after the unlawful arrest, which usually also leads to dismissal of the case.

Clients often don't realize that they have many other rights guaranteed by statute and the Constitution, which require law enforcement officers to follow established procedures. Failure to do so may result in exclusion of any incriminating statements and/or breath test results obtained.

Even if the stop and arrest and subsequent investigation were lawfully conducted, many DUI DWI cases are defensible on the merits and may be won at trial. To obtain a conviction the city/state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt either a breath/blood alcohol test result exceeding .08, or in cases involving test results less than .08, a breath test refusal, or suspected drug intoxication, proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the ability to drive was impaired to an appreciable degree. A conviction is far more difficult in cases where arrests are based on breath/blood alcohol test results below .08, or the client refused to submit to a breath or blood test, as well as cases where clients have been arrested and charged based on suspicion of consumption of drugs.

Most DUI DWI cases, however, are won by negotiation. A first-time conviction for DUI DWI involves penalties, including mandatory jail and license suspension/revocation. A subsequent conviction for DUI within seven years results in mandatory minimum jail sentences of 30 or 45 days and an additional license suspension/revocation. A third DUI DWI within seven years results in even greater mandatory minimum jail sentences and an additional license suspension/revocation. As a result, many DUI DWI cases are successfully resolved by obtaining a reduction for the client to a lesser charge, such as negligent driving in the first or second degree, even if the case cannot be won outright on a pretrial motion or on the merits. Our law firm regularly negotiates reductions in charge for clients we represent in the municipal and state district courts in Clark County, and throughout Southwest Washington. Call us if you are interested in winning your DUI DWI case.

Contact Battleground Drunk Driving Defense Attorney Steven Thayer

If you have been charged with or arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in the state of Washington, make sure you go to court equipped with experienced and proven legal support. The law firm of Steven W. Thayer, P.S., applies four decades of success to your case. Call the firm 24 hours a day at 360-450-0872 or contact the firm online.