A California man, Ryan Baird, was sentenced to 23 years to life in jail after he was convicted for driving drunk and causing a serious accident that lead to his three passengers all being injured. He faced a number of charges including:
- Second-degree murder, with enhancements for great bodily injury to two other victims
- Gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, with two prior DUI convictions
- Driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 causing injury
These are all serious charges on their own, but combined they are extremely serious. In a case like this, or any DUI charge, it is important to understand the value of a good defense.
If you have been charged with DUI in California, you may have a lot of questions. Many people facing charges think that because they had a BAC over the legal limit, they should plead ‘guilty' and get the process over with. Though no 2 cases are exactly the same, there are some DUI defense strategies that hold up in court and get better results than others.
The strongest evidence the prosecution has against you in a DUI case is the results of your sobriety tests. Therefore, you should challenge this evidence. If you can put the validity of the sobriety test results into question, your charges will be severely weakened. Sobriety tests are flawed, each type of test has weaknesses. You can also argue that you were not stopped legally. Police need to either stop a driver for making any error or demonstrating questionable driving patterns or at a sobriety checkpoint.
Regardless of the charges that you are facing, hiring a DUI lawyer is likely a good idea. Attorneys believe that there is a defense for every case and an arrest does not mean that you are guilty. Some attorneys will advise you plead ‘no contest', or build a strong defense with their help so that you can be found ‘not guilty'.