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Can I Fight an OUI Charge After a Car Accident?

Posted on : August 7, 2020
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Fighting An OUI Charge

If you were in a car accident and charged with operating under the influence, you may be wondering if you have any grounds on which to fight your case at all. Although OUI accident cases tend to be more challenging than others, you may still be able to defend yourself and receive a favorable verdict. Here’s how. 

You Weren’t At Fault for the Accident 

If the other driver caused the accident, you may be able to argue that the collision had nothing to do with your level of impairment at the time. This defense is most effective if you do not have positive chemical test results and your OUI arrest was largely based on the officer’s impression of you at the scene of the accident. 

You Have a Legitimate Reason for Performing Poorly on Field Sobriety Tests 

If you submitted to field sobriety tests and performed poorly, you may be able to argue that you had a legitimate reason for doing so, such as: 

  • You were hurt in the accident and could not maintain your balance 
  • Your head was injured in the accident and you could not properly follow the officer’s light with your eyes 
  • You were emotionally shaken up after the collision and had difficulty understanding the officer’s instructions 

You are not legally required to submit to field sobriety tests, even in the event that an accident occurred. If you do, however, the officer can use your performance on the tests against you. 

The DRE’s Subjective Observations Were Inaccurate 

If you had a negative breathalyzer test, the police may have called a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to help determine if you were operating under the influence of any other substances. DRE training is sketchy at best and relies largely on an officer’s subjective observations of the suspect. 

 

For example, the DRE may say that your heart rate was elevated and your eyes were bloodshot because you were under the influence of an illegal substance. However, after just having been in an accident, it’s expected that you’d look and feel a little worse for the wear. Depending on the officer’s observations, you may be able to argue that they’re inaccurate or do not prove without a doubt that you were under the influence of a substance. 

Should You Contact an OUI Lawyer? 

If you were arrested for OUI in Massachusetts, don’t wait to get legal help. Call Adams & Kokonowski, LLC today for a consultation at 413.737.9700. 

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