A: There are many potential defenses in a DUI case, because of the complexity of the offense. They fall into following categories:

Were you driving? If you were neither driving nor in "actual physical control" of the vehicle, there cannot be a DUI. Read in Our Success Stories about the case that was dismissed by a judge (after we had picked a jury) because the accused was sleeping in his car in a private parking lot outside of a bar in the city of Erie.

Was there probable cause? If the officer did not have legal cause to stop, detain or arrest you, then any allegations of intoxication must be suppressed or otherwise rejected by the Court. Read about several cases in Our Success Stories which address this issue. However, sobriety roadblocks may be legal since the topic is complex.

Did you receive your Miranda warnings? If you weren't read your rights at the appropriate time and under the appropriate circumstances, and if you said something incriminating, your statement might not be admissible in court. Read about this in Our Success Stories in the Criminal Defense portion of our website.

Were you under the influence? Were you really under the influence? The observations made by the police, and their opinions about whether you were under the influence, can be called into question. The circumstances under which the field sobriety tests were administered also can cast doubt on the results of those tests.

Was the blood-alcohol testing done correctly? There are a lot of potential challenges to blood, breath and urine testing. For example, there are strict rules governing the way breath, blood or urine is collected and tested (and by whom).

Were you tested during the absorption phase? If you are still actively absorbing alcohol - in other words, if you had your last drink beyond two hours of the arrest - the blood, breath or urine test will be unreliable if done while you are still actively absorbing alcohol. Absorption can be delayed even longer if food is present in the stomach.

Is the retrograde extrapolation legitimate? If testing takes place some time after you were actually in control of the motor vehicle, the police will have to determine how drunk you were earlier. To do this, the test results are subject to a process called "retrograde extrapolation." A number of complex physiological problems are involved here, any of which might be used to challenge the conclusions reached by the police. The amendment to the recent DUI statute make it so that any testing done within two hours of driving results in the presumption that the test results accurately reflect your BAC at the time you were driving. (This does not necessarily square with science but it is nevertheless the law.)

Was the testing machine working? The prosecution must prove that the testing complied with Pennsylvania's requirements as to proper calibration and maintenance of the machines. Further, breathalyzers are machines and, as such, are fallible. Have you ever put correct change into a vending machine and still not received your soda? Sometimes machines just do not work correctly. How about the vacuum machine at a car wash? Works every time. Right? (Of course not).