What’s the Difference Between a DUI Charge and a DUI Conviction?

What's the Difference Between a DUI Charge and a DUI ConvictionThere’s a misconception that being charged with a DUI is the same as being convicted of a DUI.

DUI Charge vs Conviction

The main difference between a DUI charge and a conviction is that a DUI conviction occurs in court where a judge finds you guilty of a DUI. A DUI charge occurs when an officer pulls you over on the suspicion of being intoxicated and you are arrested. In this case, you have been charged with a DUI.

If you have been charged with drunk driving you are facing serious consequences that can negatively impact your life. But, you can fight the charges you are facing, and, with the help of an aggressive, experienced DUI defense attorney you may be able to win your case and avoid a costly DUI conviction.

Here are some of the defenses your lawyer can use in court.

  • Field Sobriety Tests – There are many issues surrounding Field Sobriety Tests that can provide several potential defenses for your lawyer to use in court. FSTs are often misinterpreted, meaning the results aren’t an accurate depiction of whether or not you’re intoxicated. When it comes to a field sobriety test, it is often almost impossible for you to “pass” meaning that, if you participate, you’ll more than likely be charged with a DUI.
  • Breathalyzers – While typically considered more effective than FSTs when it comes to determining your BAC, a breathalyzer isn’t a perfect science. Breathalyzers are subject to error for many reasons. One of the biggest issues is that it doesn’t necessarily distinguish between ethyl alcohol (the type found in alcoholic beverages) and alcohol in the methyl group which is a huge distinction. Breathalyzers can be thrown off simply by what you had for lunch, depicting a higher than actual BAC level. What’s more diabetics and people who suffer from GERD can also show false levels due to their physical conditions.
  • Blood and Chemical Tests – While more accurate in determining the amount of alcohol in your blood, these tests also have their own shortcomings. Mishandling a blood sample can cause it to coagulate, congeal or decay which will taint any results. What’s more, is the sample can be contaminated by the alcohol swab used to clean the area before they take the blood sample causing a false reading.  

While these are some of the more basic defenses they are, by no means, the only ones. Being charged with a DUI doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be convicted. However, from the moment you get pulled over, you have a limited amount of time in order to prepare for your day in court.

The first thing you should to do is to hire the most experienced DUI defense attorney you can afford. The attorneys at Alpert Schreyer are well versed in Maryland DUI law, as well as the various defenses for DUI charges. A DUI charge, while not a conviction, is still a very serious issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Contact the experienced drunk driving defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer for a no-cost consultation today.

Leave a Reply