If you were wrongly accused of driving while under the influence, you do have options. You do not have to willingly accept this false charge against you. There are legal steps you can take to help get your record and name cleared. Especially in the case where you were involved in a car accident, you may be held liable for damages and injuries if determined to be at-fault. It is in your best interest to get the help of an attorney, like a criminal lawyer baltimore MD relies on, for assistance on how to clear a DUI from your name once and for all.
Can I sue the officer who arrested me for a false arrest?
You may be able to sue the officer for a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights under Section 1983, for unlawfully arresting you for a DUI. An officer who arrests someone without probable cause or reasonable belief can lose in a false arrest lawsuit. The officer who pulled you over may claim any of the following signs of a DUI applied to your arrest.
- Failure of driver to pass sobriety tests
- Blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08% on breathalyzer
- Strong scent of alcohol on driver’s breath
- Bloodshot eyes
- Committing traffic violations or reckless driving
What if I failed the breathalyzer test, is it always accurate?
There are many reasons why a breathalyzer may have worked incorrectly. The officer may have administered the test in a flawed manner, leading to your false arrest. A few examples of what could have contributed to a false positive are listed below:
- Fresh breath – if you used mouthwash prior to leaving the house, it can lead to a false positive on a breathalyzer test. Many mouthwash brands have a high content of alcohol. When you have a concentration of alcohol just in your mouth when taking the test, results can be skewed.
- Calibration – if the officer who performed your test did not set the breathalyzer correctly, it may have led to a false positive. A portable breathalyzer needs frequent maintenance in order to keep performing accurate analysis.
- Medication – some medications can interfere with a breathalyzer test. Any medication that is applied in the mouth and contains a level of alcohol can alter test accuracy.
How can I get my arrest record removed for the false DUI?
The process to get a false DUI arrest off your record varies depending on the state you live in. Once you are found not guilty for the DUI charge, it can be sealed or expunged from your record. It can actually be more challenging to get a mugshot off the internet, than a false charge removed from your record. An attorney who is familiar with handling cases like yours, can help give you advice on how to remove all traces of your arrest from public domain. Many respectable law firms offer a free initial case evaluation for new clients. This is a great way to get acquainted with a law firm and your potential attorney before committing to legal fees.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into criminal defense.