How do you Beat a DUI in Pennsylvania?
As a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney I’m always running into someone new in my travels across the beautiful Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States. From Harrisburg to Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and states beyond, one thing that stays the same is the “magic question” that everyone seems to eventually ask me. “So how do you beat a DUI in Pennsylvania?”
It happens all the time. As soon as I introduce myself a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney, the magic question comes. Recently I had an interesting encounter with a professor from Shippensburg University.
Part of being the top DUI Attorney in PA is that I am constantly flying in and out of Harrisburg International Airport to attend training and to lecture about DUI, Sobriety Testing, and Forensic Science. For whatever reason, Harrisburg International Airport constantly has delays. Recently I was enjoying one of these delays while sitting next to a Sociology Professor from Shippensburg University. As soon as I introduced myself as a DUI Lawyer, the “magic question” was asked. So, how do you beat a DUI in Pennsylvania?” My response is rather simple.
I explain that it isn’t about beating a DUI, it’s about telling the truth. Most of the time, when you tell people the truth both in a forensically and scientifically valid manner the result comes naturally in Pennsylvania DUI cases.
(In the Courtroom Science and the Truth Should Always Prevail)
The dirty little secret is that actually the true and legitimate science is oftentimes in the favor of the citizen among us who has been accused of a DUI. You, or rather your chosen Pennsylvania DUI Attorney, need to know about it, understand it and be able to present it to the Judge or Jury. Science is empirical and is the truth. It is a very powerful immovable object.
I don’t play the old fashioned “smoke and mirrors” defense case tactics. It is not my specific way of defending a Pennsylvania DUI to play these “smoke and mirror” games and to hide facts from the Jury. Rather, I handle Pennsylvania DUI cases by giving the Jury all of the necessary tools for them to completely understand the importance that their decision will make in someone else’s life and reach a well informed verdict that is based on truth and most of all upon real, empirical science.
I find that most of the time Juries all across Pennsylvania crave information and knowledge. However, very few of them have any have sort of scientific or technical background especially when it comes to the absorption, the distribution, the metabolization, and the elimination of alcohol or drugs. It my job to educate these common citizens on the basic principles of pharmacology and especially pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics as well as on the different types of testing whether it be breath testing (infrared breath test spectrometry or fuel cell based) and/or blood testing (hospital enzymatic assay testing or gas chromatography).
I trust and believe in Juries. I truly believe that they want to do the right thing. I see it in their eyes and in their actions. They want to make the right choice. Once the Jury is exposed to the truth and comes to understand the basics and how the police or the test administrators oftentimes deviate from the proper general handling and proper testing procedures that these Pennsylvania DUI cases require and instead cut corners, the Juries want to make the right decision to return a verdict of Not Guilty which really means not proven. The uncertainty of the entire situation really comes to light.
Additionally, I spend a lot of time teaching them about the flaws and uncertainty involved in Blood Alcohol Content testing especially false positives, incorrect testing methods and procedures that inflate or falsely elevate the reported BAC and the true measured margin of error otherwise known as an uncertainty budget in the reported Blood Alcohol Content result.
Another area where I find it necessary to educate the Jury is on the specific DUI laws in Pennsylvania. For example, there is a precise legal definition of “incapable of safe driving”. Just because someone had something to drink, does not mean they are guilty of DUI under Pennsylvania law. There are also very precise steps that police officers must adhere to in order for their evidence to be admissible in court. Once again, police officers all across Pennsylvania regularly do not follow the correct procedures and laws involved in DUI cases. All of this leads to false positives and possible tainted evidence.
There’s a better way of prosecuting these cases. That is being more forensically and scientifically responsible with the reporting and the obtaining of the results, but because there are so few Pennsylvania DUI attorneys who truly challenge the Government’s case both scientifically and legally, the current state of the defense of a citizen accused of a DUI in Pennsylvania is rather sloppy. It is my ethical duty and job to minimize or eliminate the consequences that may come to any citizen who is accused of a DUI. However, it is also my duty both morally and as a member of our society to make sure that the truth comes out before the Jury. I answer this challenge and always present truthful defenses every day. At the end of the day it is about truth and justice and not about smoke and mirrors.
(The day of Smoke and Mirrors in the Courtroom is over)
-Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
I am the highest rated DUI Attorney in PA as Rated by Avvo.com
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By the National Board of Trial Advocacy
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