An arrest for driving under the influence in Florida can have a major impact on a person’s life. Not only do they face having a criminal record, but a DUI arrest can jeopardize a person’s ability to work and live in certain areas. Unfortunately, fighting a DUI arrest can be extremely complicated, which is why so many individuals hire lawyers to help fight for their legal rights in courts. Attorneys can help individuals reduce their charges or have them dismissed entirely.
Fortunately, if you do not have the financial resources available to hire an experienced DUI attorney to help you with your charges, you can fight a DUI without one. If you are seeking out ways in which you can beat a DUI arrest without hiring a lawyer, it is crucial that you realize the magnitude of this situation, as well as your chances of succeeding without hiring an experienced DUI attorney to help. There are several legal arguments you can make to defend yourself against a DUI conviction in Florida.
Making Your Best Legal Argument
With DUI charges, it is crucial to examine the circumstances surrounding your case. Quite often, offenders are able to find faults in their arrest. There are numerous factors that should be considered in compiling your legal argument.
One of the absolute best ways to beat a DUI charge is to find any police errors or mistakes that can result in your charges being reduced or dismissed.
Was There Probable Cause For The Stop? In Florida, an officer must have reasonable suspicion or belief that you are engaged in criminal activity before they are able to pull you over and conduct a DUI investigation. If an officer does not have probable cause to pull you over, then any evidence obtained against you cannot be used in court. For this reason, most arrests that lack probable cause are usually reduced or dismissed in Florida.
You Were Not Read Your Miranda Rights. This is one of the most common legal arguments for fighting DUI charges successfully in Florida. Did the officer read you your Miranda rights at the time of the arrest? Were they read to you clearly and completely? If not, you may be able to have your DUI arrest thrown out on a technicality.
Was The Breathalyzer Faulty? DUI breathalyzers have numerous flaws. Some of the most common problems with these machines are:
- Instrument malfunctions;
- A failure to observe the defendant prior to taking the test;
- Improper use by the arresting officer; and/or
- Physiological conditions.
In Florida, an arresting officer must observe the offender for at least fifteen minutes prior to issuing the Breathalyzer test. Someone having acid reflux or even burping prior to the test can cause false positives to appear. If the officer does not observe you for the required time, there is no way for them to disprove your claim surrounding these issues.
Mouth Alcohol Can Cause False High Readings. Individuals who have alcohol-soaked food in their teeth, suffer from a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or who even burp during the testing period can result in a false reading. Breathalyzers are designed to sample your breath from deep in the lung tissues. Having residual alcohol lingering in the mouth can cause the machine to capture the “mouth alcohol,” rather than the alcohol reading from the deep lung tissue, which can trigger a false DUI reading.
Dietary Conditions Can Give False High Readings. Individuals who are following an Atkins-style diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein, as well as individuals who have diabetes or hypoglycemia, often produce false highs on Breathalyzers. These medical conditions are known for causing individuals to self-produce ethyl alcohol because the body is deprived of carbohydrates. When bodies do not have enough carbohydrates, the body turns to stored fat for energy, which produces Ketones. Ketones convert into ethyl alcohol when they are eliminated through breath and urine.
A Medical Condition Influenced Your Results. There are many instances where individuals exert a false high blood-alcohol content (BAC) result on Breathalyzer tests because they suffer common health problems. Conditions like GERD, acid reflux, or heartburn can cause contaminated DUI breath test results to occur.
Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Always Accurate. In Florida, the field sobriety tests issued by arresting officers are not always accurate indications of impairment. There are many reasons why these field sobriety tests would give a false reading for impairment. Some common reasons for poor performance on field sobriety tests include:
- The officer was intimidating the offender;
- The arresting officer did not give an example of the test performance;
- There was poor lighting in the area;
- The weather was bad at the time of testing;
- The surface area was damaged or uneven;
- Poor footwear; and/or
- Uncoordinated drivers.
Rising Blood-Alcohol Level. When a person consumes alcohol, it usually takes between fifty minutes and three hours for it to absorb into their system. When a person is pulled over immediately after they were drinking, their alcohol level continues to rise. An officer may decide to observe the driver for some time before issuing the test and, as a result, the test may show a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Although this may very well be your BAC level at the time of testing, it is not necessarily the level you maintained while behind the wheel of your car. Fortunately, this legal argument can be made in circumstances where a person has issued a Breathalyzer as well as blood testing, as both tests provide time for the BAC level to rise prior to testing.
Consult With An Experienced Florida DUI Attorney
Deciding to fight a DUI charge without a lawyer in Florida is a very brave move. At the very least, it may be extremely helpful for you to consult with an experienced attorney prior to embarking on this legal battle alone. Contact an experienced DUI attorney from Musca Law at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case review in order to determine if it may, in fact, be in your best interest to receive legal counsel in defending your case.