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What is an affirmative defense in a DUI case?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Drunk driving charges have the potential to change your life. An arrest can result in the loss of your license and other complications, and a conviction can result in a permanent mark on your criminal record. If you are facing DUI charges in South Dakota, you are facing the possibility of time behind bars, loss of your personal reputation, expensive fines and much more. It is in your interests to know how to defend yourself and protect your future interests.

It is important to identify the most effective defense strategy for your individual situation. Whether it is your first offense or you have previous DUIs on your record, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to developing an effective defense. You will benefit from learning more about the different types of defense strategies and how they could apply to your individual situation.

Possible approaches for your defense strategy

The best approach for your DUI defense depends on the details specific to your individual situation. This may include your criminal history, your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest and more. An affirmative defense is a strategy that presents evidence that negates your criminal liability. In order for this to work, you must be able to present a set of facts contrary to the evidence presented by the prosecution. Examples of an affirmative DUI defense include:

  • Entrapment — There is evidence that law enforcement caused you to become intoxicated before you got behind the wheel.
  • Necessity — You have proof that you needed to drive while under the influence of alcohol in order to prevent greater harm.
  • Duress — This requires you to provide evidence that you needed to drive while intoxicated in order to prevent injury or death.
  • Mistake of fact — This applies when you can provide evidence that you did not know you had consumed alcohol or were in an intoxicated state when you were behind the wheel.

An assessment of your arrest and other details of your case will help you understand which DUI defense strategy will be best for your situation. An affirmative defense could be the ideal way to fight your DUI charges and preserve your future interests. After an arrest, it is beneficial to take quick action to learn about the ways you can protect yourself against these criminal charges.