I’ve Been Charged With A DUI. Will I Lose My License?
The penalties in South Dakota for a DUI/DWI are severe. Even for a first offense, you face significant fines and possible jail time. A DUI conviction also affects your ability to operate your motor vehicle. You face a possible driver’s license suspension and a number of restrictions. Finally, the personal consequences following a DUI arrest and conviction may never fully go away.
At the Skinner Law Office, P.C., we fight for you in every aspect of your case in the event of DUI charges. In some instances, we fight to have charges reduced. In other instances, we go to court and work toward dismissal of all charges.
Experienced DUI/DWI Criminal Defense Representation
Having tried cases involving drunk driving charges for 25 years, lawyer Matthew L. Skinner understands every aspect of DUI/DWI representation. He understands the approach that prosecuting attorneys will take when trying your case. Matt aggressively challenges whether arrests were proper, blood alcohol evidence was correctly handled, consent for blood or field sobriety tests was properly obtained or there existed probable cause to pull you over.
Our office has access to investigators and experts who will help in your case. Investigators find out what occurred. Alcohol evaluation experts look for discrepancies in test results concerning blood or breath tests.
We represent individuals across the Black Hills region. This includes defending out-of-state residents arrested for DUI/DWI in Sturgis or Spearfish during the motorcycle rally. It also includes helping out tourists visiting the Black Hills during summer vacations.
As a lawyer who regularly provides such representation, Matt understands the DUI laws and penalties in our state, keeps up to date with trends and possible challenges to drunk driving charges and can capably negotiate and litigate your case.
Challenging Your DUI/DWI Charges
When facing charges of intoxicated driving, it might seem like there is no hope for an effective defense. Perhaps the breath or blood test showed a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than the legal limit or the arresting officer has clear evidence that you could not walk or speak properly from the roadside tests. These are strong evidentiary elements, and it makes sense that you would be concerned.
However, these cases are not as simple as they sometimes appear. There are numerous ways to challenge DUI/DWI charges. With decades of criminal defense experience, Matt knows how to fight these charges. He challenges every aspect of the case, including:
- The legality of the stop: This is the most important factor for challenging drunk-driving charges in South Dakota. There are strict regulations for when and how a police officer can make a stop for drunk driving. There has to be probable cause to believe that the person being arrested is in fact intoxicated. Probable cause can include speeding or other forms of reckless driving. Absent probable cause, the stop is illegal. A viable criminal charge cannot arise from an illegal stop. Therefore, if it can be shown that the stop lacked probable cause, it can result in dropped charges.
- The blood and breath tests: Although they seem very accurate and official, the methods of technology used by the police for breath and blood tests are not perfect. There are times when the machines malfunction, and there are numerous factors that can alter the results. For example, in some cases, a driver chewing gum shortly before taking the breath test could show up as having alcohol in the system even though the person wasn’t drinking at all. Matt will explore all the possible challenges to the breath and blood tests.
- The roadside sobriety tests: There are a few common roadside sobriety tests that the police have drivers perform to determine whether they are intoxicated. The walk and turn, touching your nose and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (following the officer’s finger back and forth with your eyes) are three of the most common roadside sobriety tests. The problem with these tests is that they are highly inaccurate.
With more than two decades of practicing criminal defense. Matt knows how to challenge these charges. If there is any problem, he can use that to reduce or eliminate the charges against you, weaken the prosecutor’s case and possibly get the charges thrown out.
It is important to trust in a lawyer who has experience handling these cases as well as the dedication needed to find the answers. An overworked public defender or an inexperienced lawyer will lack either the knowledge necessary or the time to uncover the problems in the prosecutor’s case. If there is any way to win your case, Matt will find it.