Even when you’re arrested and charged with DUI in California, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be convicted. After a four-day trial in January, a woman was acquitted of driving drunk in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood because she was running from an abusive boyfriend, according to the San Francisco city public defender’s office.

A jury found Marlise Paulo, 25, not guilty of misdemeanor driving under influence in connection with an incident in September. Paulo was visiting San Francisco with her boyfriend to attend a 49ers game. At a nightclub on Market Street, the boyfriend was told to leave when he would not stop spitting chewing tobacco on the floor. Outside the club, he became angry at Ms. Paulo. She left him and went back to the hotel, where she fell asleep. When her boyfriend returned, he attacked her. With a cut to her scalp and a black eye, she grabbed the car keys and ran with the boyfriend in pursuit.

“Fearing for her life, she had no other option but to drive off,” Ms. Paulo’s attorney said. On Bryant Street, she caught the attention of a California Highway Patrol officer. Because her boyfriend was on probation, she lied and told the patrolman she had hit her head on a wall. After she was treated by paramedics, Ms. Paulo was arrested for DUI. In court, an expert witness – Nancy Lemon, a UC Berkeley Law lecturer – testified that Ms. Paulo suffered from battered woman syndrome, causing her to lie to protect her partner.

While Ms. Paulo’s defense was somewhat unique, if you are accused of driving under influence, an experienced California DUI defense attorney is familiar with several DUI defense strategies that can work to your advantage. The best defense attorneys can also, if needed, line up expert witnesses to assist with your case. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in California, speak to a good DUI defense lawyer immediately. He or she may be able to have your charge reduced or dismissed entirely, or win an acquittal at trial. A driving under influence charge is a serious threat to your freedom and your future. An experienced California DUI defense attorney will help you fight a DUI charge and will vigorously defend you through the entire process. If you need legal help with a DUI, don’t wait. Call now.