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The process of building a strong defense to a drunk driving charge begins when you are pulled over by a New York police officer and continues throughout all stages of what happens thereafter, from scrutinizing the foundations of the officer's observations to the accuracy and reliability of the technology he uses to the arrest and overall police investigation. In all of these aspects, knowing what to look for and what questions to ask are important considerations for your defense attorney.

For example, what made the officer decide to stop you? Were his observations of your driving behavior sufficient to establish a reasonable suspicion that you were intoxicated? Police cannot rely on hunches or "gut feelings" to initiate a traffic stop; they must have a reasonable basis for their belief that you were driving under the influence, and be able to articulate that belief. A good defense attorney will look for opportunities to challenge this belief through cross-examination as well as presenting alternative theories to explain your driving behavior other than the use of alcohol or drugs.

Once the traffic stop has been initiated, how long it did it take (the stop must be only as long as reasonably necessary under the circumstances), and what were the officer's impressions when interacting with you that led him to proceed further with field sobriety tests or an initial breathalyzer test? Did the officer make any mistakes were made while instructing you how to perform the tests or in the way that he administered them?

Did the police officer in fact have probable cause to make an arrest based upon what he observed and the conclusions that he drew from those observations, especially if it can be shown that any mistakes were made or plausible alternative explanations exist that would explain what he saw as something other than drunk driving?

The bottom line for a successful criminal defense – whether it be for drunk driving or any other charge – is whether your defense attorney can introduce enough questions to the jury about what happened so as to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of at least some of the jurors. Experienced defense attorneys, such as those at the Law Offices of Zev Goldstein, will understand what to look for in this regard and how to frame the evidence and testimony to raise such reasonable doubts.

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