After being charged with a DUI in Florida, you may be wondering how to fight the charges against you. Many individuals incorrectly assume that a failed breathalyzer or other field sobriety test may lead to an automatic conviction. However, the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and there could be several ways to fight the charges you face.
The first thing you should do following a DUI arrest is to contact a highly-qualified DUI defense attorney. Your attorney will investigate every detail of your case, ensure you understand your options, and aggressively advocate for your rights.
4 Possible Defenses for a Florida DUI Charge
Fortunately, there is a wide range of defense strategies to fight a DUI charge. Your attorney will help you to understand every detail of your case so that they can craft the best defense strategy possible for your situation. Some common DUI defense strategies include:
The Stop Was Unlawful
A police officer must have probable cause to pull over your vehicle legally. In other words, they cannot pull over a driver based on a hunch alone. However, if you drive erratically, speed, or violate other traffic laws, the officer has probable cause to pull you over. Depending on the details of your case, your attorney may be able to argue that the officer did not have probable cause to initiate the stop.
The Field Sobriety Tests Were Inaccurate
If you are pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer may ask you to exit the vehicle to perform a field sobriety test. You may be told to walk and turn in a straight line, stand on one foot, or watch a moving object. While you perform these tasks, the officer will look for symptoms of intoxication such as imbalance, jerking eye movements, or poor coordination. However, there are many reasons a person could perform poorly during a field sobriety test when they are sober. Certain medical conditions or nervousness could severely alter your coordination, making the tests unreliable.
The Breathalyzer Test Was Faulty
The results of a breathalyzer test are often the most vital piece of evidence the prosecutor has against you. Even if your test showed a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, your results could be inaccurate. Breathalyzers must be regularly calibrated and maintained in order to function properly. Factors such as improper maintenance and officer training could skew the test results and lead to false readings. A lawyer that is trained to administer breathalyzer and other field sobriety tests may be able to prove that the test was inaccurate.
Your BAC Continued to Rise After the Initial Stop
Your BAC levels do not stay static after you consume your last drink. Your BAC can continue to rise over time as your body processes the alcohol in different areas of your body. If the officer administered the breathalyzer at the police station rather than at the initial stop, your BAC might have continued to rise on the way to the station. In other words, if your BAC was under the legal limit when you were stopped, it could have increased to 0.08% or higher by the time you were tested. In that case, your lawyer could argue that you were not driving under the influence.
Speak to a Seasoned DUI Attorney in Naples, Florida
If you have been pulled over and arrested for a DUI, you do not need to fight your charges alone. Attorney Robert H. Hanaford has dedicated his 38-year legal career to helping clients like you protect their rights in Florida. Attorney Hanaford is trained to administer field sobriety tests and is committed to using his wealth of knowledge and experience to achieve favorable outcomes for his clients. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call our office at (239) 315-9750 or fill out our contact form.