Every day, offenders across Florida are arrested for driving under the influence. Fortunately for those arrested, not all arrests turn into convictions. In Florida, there are various legal defenses that those arrested can use to have their charges dismissed or reduced.
Working with a DUI attorney will ensure you have the best chance of having your charges dismissed or reduced in Florida. Knowledgeable Florida DUI defense attorneys are able to utilize various arguments to defend your case. Below are ten of the best ways to beat a DUI Case in Florida.
Fight An Illegal Seizure Or Stop
In the United States, the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution provides every American legal protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Stopping a vehicle begins when an arresting officer details an individual. Having an individual detained means that the driver realizes that an officer has their lights flashing in an attempt to pull them over.
At this point, the driver is no longer free to continue driving and is required to pull over to the side of the road to speak with the officer. In order for a legal pull over to occur, the arresting officer must have had various legal facts that caused him to suspect that the driver had committed or was in the process of committing a crime or violation of law. If there was no true reasonable suspicion, the stop of the vehicle is considered illegal.
Contesting Observations Of The Police Officer After A Stop
During an arrest, the officer will make a note of observations they made during their interaction with an offender. Typically, the notes they take depict that the driver indicated impairment either through their words or actions. The notes often follow outlines established in the Alcohol Influence Report. In some cases, the criteria in which officers use can often be argued as symptoms of other conditions. For example, an arresting officer saying their probable cause was based on a driver's watery eyes can be argued that the eye condition was the result of a lack of sleep, illness, or even contact lenses.
Fighting Statements Made By Drivers To Law Enforcement Officers
There are many instances where offenders believe that officers are legally required to read a person their Miranda Rights. Unfortunately, this often leads to offenders making incriminating statements to law enforcement officers. In criminal courts, these statements can only be used if the prosecutor is able to prove that the person was indeed told their legal rights. If a person was not advised of the legal rights afforded to them, then self-incriminating statements cannot be used against him or her in a criminal trial.
Flaws In Field Sobriety Exercises
When an arresting officer pulls over a driver who they suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will often ask the driver to conduct a series of tasks in front of them. Some of the most common tasks include walking in a straight line toe-to-heal, moving their eyes to follow certain objects without moving their heads, and even saying the alphabet backwards. In order to establish a reliable defense to these tests, it is crucial for a DUI defense attorney in Florida to carefully review the results of the tests issued at the time of the arrest.
Details are often contained in a written report. The report should state the amount of time an officer observed an offender before having them conduct the test, the ground conditions, and the weather at the time of the arrest. If there is inclement weather or poor ground conditions, it can be used as a strong legal defense for your case.
Contesting The Results Of A Breathalyzer Test
In Florida, a driver is considered to be intoxicated while driving if they have a blood alcohol content level above 0.08. In order to determine what BAC level a driver has, police officers will request that they take a breathalyzer screening. This test is conducted with a small device. A driver will breathe into the machine. The machine then reads the level of alcohol in their breath and display the reading for the officer.
Fortunately for those arrested, breathalyzer tests are filled with flaws that ensure strong legal arguments. First, it is critical to determine how long before a person took the test were they arrested. Officers are required to observe drivers at least 20-minutes before they are issued the test. Their failure to observe the driver for the correct amount of time can result in a dismissal of breathalyzer results in court.
In cases where offenders were observed several hours before issued the test, the results displayed may not be entirely accurate. In the minutes and hours following consumption, a driver’s blood alcohol content level will continue to rise. Tests issued at 3 hours or even 4 hours after an arrest will show a far higher reading than tests issued within a half hour.
In order for the test results to be applicable, an arresting officer must receive two breath samples that are within .020 percent of each other. Without two results, they are unable to be used against an offender. Finally, police departments are required to perform routine maintenance on the breathalyzer machines each year. If the prosecutor is unable to prove that the machines received the required maintenance, the results cannot be admitted into evidence.
A DUI Defense Attorney In Florida Can Help You
If you are arrested for a DUI in Florida, it is imperative for you to contact a criminal defense attorney in Florida as soon as possible. Our skilled and knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys at Musca Law have over 150-years of combined experience helping offenders beat their criminal cases in court. Our attorneys have an exceptional reputation among prosecutors, attorneys, and judges across our state. Contact our law firm today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free case evaluation today.