How to Beat a DUI in Florida
How do you beat a DUI? Shortly is by discrediting the evidence. Therefore, there are many ways to beat a drunk driving charge. A Musca Law DUI attorney in Florida will know all the details, but some examples on how to beat a DUI are below.
First thing to know in beating a DUI is how a prosecution attorney will try to get a DUI conviction. There are two ways he will try to prove DUI. One way will be to attack the driver’s mental and physical condition presenting evidence that shows the driver was impaired because their alcohol consumption. Another way is by concentrating on the driver’s blood-alcohol content and not focusing on the driver’s physical or mental condition. Or, the prosecutor could use both ways in the same case.
A DUI case will hinge on four kinds of evidence: physical appearance of a driver, driving pattern, results of a chemical test, and the results of the field sobriety test. All of them are subject to debate in a variety of ways, and this is where beating a DUI case happens. For example, start with the driving pattern. If the defendant pulled over promptly, used his turn signal, parked safely, etc., it could be well argued that the driving pattern did not indicate any impairment.
The field sobriety test is also open to debate. A defense attorney might argue that a true test allows time for students to study beforehand instead of taking it on the spot; that they get to do it in a quiet room instead of outside with distractions like traffic rushing by; and that getting 10% of the answers wrong shouldn’t necessarily result in a failing grade.
Then there is the argument about mental impairment being evidence of physical impairment. Experts on both sides agree that when alcohol is consumed, mental impairment is evidenced before physical impairment becomes evident. The prosecution may prove physical impairment, but if a Musca Law defense attorney can discredit the presence of mental impairment, he may rightfully assert that the alleged physical impairment was the result not of alcohol but of something else, like injury or fatigue.
A Musca Law defense attorney can also beat a DUI by attacking the blood sample. Among other errors, if too much time elapses between the blood being drawn and being measured, it can result in artificially increased blood-alcohol content (BAC) reading. This is because blood can ferment, thus increasing the amount of alcohol in the sample, thus wrongly raising the BAC.The above are just hypothetical examples of how to beat a DUI. It is best to consult a skilled DUI lawyer.
What Happens When You Get Stopped for Drunk Driving?
Getting stopped for drunk driving (commonly referred to as “dwi” – driving while intoxicated or “dui” – driving under the influence) is a serious offense and can have different consequences depending upon where you live. All 50 states have “per se” laws defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above the prescribed threshold level. Every state has set this level at 0.08 percent. However, some states have enacted zero tolerance laws that lower that level for underage drivers and high BAC laws that impose harsher penalties for those caught with levels of .16 to .20.
Getting stopped. When you’re stopped for drunk driving (or for something else and a police officer has reason to believe you’ve been drinking), you will generally be required to take a sobriety test (blood, breath or urine) to determine your BAC level. Most states have implied consent laws which means that you must comply with a test or face fines and/or license suspension – sometimes right on the spot – for refusing to take the test. Some states have abandoned the urine test due to reliability issues. The driver usually gets his choice of the available tests. Which test should you choose? That depends. A breath testing machine may be easier to fault for accuracy than a blood test, but a breath testing machine cannot test for the presence of drugs. You must remember that a DWI can also be “under the influence of drugs.”
What happens next? If you refuse the test or are found to have a BAC over the state limit, chances are you’ll be taken into custody and brought to a police station where you’ll be held until someone can pick you up, or until next morning when you have sobered up. In addition, your license may be temporarily suspended and your vehicle may be impounded for a period of time after the incident. However, these penalties seldom apply to refusing to perform FST’s (field sobriety tests), which are the physical coordination tests an officer has you perform.
Going to court. Aside from a possible administrative hearing that reviews the circumstances surrounding your arrest to see if your license should be administratively suspended (as opposed to suspended by the Court), you must generally go to court where a jury or judge will decide your fate. In any Florida criminal case, including DWI’s, you have the right to a jury trial, but once convicted, it is up to the judge what punishment you will receive. In many states there are mandatory punishments and consequences that deny the judge any discretion as to the punishment if your BA is of a certain level, or if you have refused to take a mandatory test. Generally, for each prior conviction of DWI within the previous 5-10 years, the punishment will become progressively severe, and these may also be mandatory minimum sentences. If you’re found guilty, most courts will:
- impose fines (and some add on an additional driver responsibility tax)
- suspend or revoke your license (Motor Vehicle Dept. May do so even if Court does not)
- require participation in a drunk driver education program
- add points to your license (and your insurance will most likely increase)
- sentence you to jail or require community service work as an alternative
- put you on parole (called “probation” in some states)
- impose various statutory fees intended to offset the state’s budget expenses on DWI cases
In addition, some judges and some states may require you to participate in alcohol or drug treatment programs as part of a parole program or have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. You may also receive as a condition of parole (probation) that you not drink any alcoholic beverage while on parole, or not even enter a tavern.
Getting your license back. Some states allow for provisional, conditional, hardship or temporary licenses. This varies greatly by state, judge and circumstances and is often granted only with participation in an education program or by showing a family hardship. You may also have to show proof of liability insurance to get your license back.
What to do? In the State of Florida with drunk driving consider hiring a Musca Law lawyer to assist you through the process. A Musca Law Attorney limits our practice to drunk driving, know the system and we will provide a free consultation.
Contact an Experienced Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
For more information on Florida DUI laws, or if you have been arrested for DUI, please schedule a free confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney by calling us at one of the phone numbers below, e-mailing us, or filling out our intake form on our Contact Us page. Time is important; experience does matter.
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