Being arrested for DUI is a very frightening experience that can wreak havoc on you financially and emotionally, especially if the circumstances surrounding your arrest were strange or suspicious. Following a DUI arrest everyone inevitably asks "what are the best DUI defenses in Florida?" This article examines some of the most common defenses and what they could possibly mean to your case. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI in Tampa Bay, call an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer at Taracks & Associates for a free consultation - 813-281-2897. An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to exploit these defenses to fight the State's case against you, often resulting in reductions in charges (from DUI to Reckless Driving) or dismissal of the charges altogether.
- The Initial Traffic Stop
One of the most common ways to attack your DUI is the initial traffic stop. What were the circumstances surrounding that stop? Where were you pulled over? What were you pulled over for? Were you at a roadside sobriety checkpoint? Florida case law holds that a minor traffic violation that does not disrupt other traffic may not be enough to give rise to "reasonable suspicion," which is the level of certainty an officer must show in order to make a valid traffic stop. Were you stopped for "weaving" or "swerving" within your lane? If no other traffic was affected, an experienced lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress the results of that traffic stop in Court.
- Actual, Physical Control
One of the key elements of the crime of DUI is "actual, physical control" of a vehicle. Were you found standing outside of a broken down vehicle? Were you asleep in your car? Were you outside of the car when police arrived on the scene? If so, the State might not be able to prove that you were in actual, physical control of a vehicle on the night in question. Without this element of the crime, the State has no case against you.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do may be used against you in a Court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you. Were you read these rights? If not, certain statements you made to law enforcement are inadmissible.
- The Field Sobriety Exercises
Field Sobriety Exercises, or FSE's, are roadside tests that law enforcement officers will oftentimes ask drivers to conduct when they suspect the driver might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These tests, which typically include the "walk-and-turn" test and the "one-leg-stand" test, are difficult to complete and often result in failing scores - even for drivers who are not actually impaired. An experienced attorney will review your DUI surveillance video and will be able to sit down with the State and review the alleged errors the officer saw in your performance that night. Often times, the video will show that the driver performed well on the tests and that the officer was wrong in his decision to make an arrest for DUI. If this happens, the charges against that driver are oftentimes reduced or dismissed altogether.
- The Breath Test
Was the breath test machine working that night? Did you first refuse to submit, then later recant that refusal? How many samples did you give? What did you blow? Was your blow high based upon the number of drinks you know you consumed? There are a million things that could go wrong when law enforcement officials rely on a machine to make determinations about a driver's sobriety. An experienced attorney will know how these machines and will have software and experts that can verify the machine's accuracy.
- Many Other Factors Should be Considered
Overall, DUI is a complex charge that has many different defenses. An experienced attorney will know how to attack the State's case against you and fight for your rights. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, call an experienced Tampa DUI attorney today at 813-281-2897 for a free consultation. Taracks & Associates has three former state prosecutors on staff who have handled thousands of DUI cases, including motions to suppress, motions to dismiss, reductions to reckless driving, and DUI trials. Call today for a free consultation. Taracks & Associates - The Advocate For You.