Charges of driving under the influence, or DUI, can be very difficult to defend. While juries are supposed to be impartial, it's difficult for them to not bring prejudices to the table, since everyone has experience with drinking, with driving, and many people even with driving when they shouldn't. Since technology has come so far, juries also tend to buy into the results of tests. That being said, it's not impossible to defend a DUI case. Here are some strategies a qualified attorney might use in defense against DUI charges.
Defend against the Arrest
Generally, a DUI arrest starts with a driver being pulled over due to the officer believing they've seen abnormal driving — speeding, weaving, failure to stop at a light or obey a sign, etc. The problem with this is that these behaviors can be due to other factors; a comedy bit on the radio could make you laugh, causing you to weave. You may have simply forgotten to turn on your headlights.
If your lawyer can show that there was another reason for your driving and show that you cooperated with the officer when pulled over, this can be a first step in defending your DUI. Of course, there are other things to consider, such as the results of your field sobriety test.
Challenge the Test Results
The field sobriety test is used to give the officer probable cause to arrest you for DUI. These tests, while generally considered fairly accurate, are not foolproof. If your attorney can show, for example, that your heel-toe walking test was on uneven ground, or that there were other reasons for your eye test to fail (such as feeling intimidated by the officer) the results can be called into question.
Question the BAL Test Results
The BAL (breath alcohol level) test, or blood alcohol level results, are some of the most difficult against with to defend. These are obtained through a breathalyzer, urine or blood sample. In Florida, a BAL of .08 or higher is considered impaired. In general, police are very careful in how they go about obtaining these results. It can sometimes be done, but requires proving defective technology or that there may have been alcohol in your mouth from a recent drink and that the breathalyzer was inaccurate as a result.
Hire an Attorney
If you face a drunk driving charge in Florida, the last thing you should do is try to defend yourself. There are so many pitfalls, and DUI is not only difficult against which to defend, it carries very serious penalties that can include thousands of dollars in fines and months in prison as well as the loss of your driving privileges.
Always secure the services of a criminal defense lawyer if you face charges of DUI. An attorney can make sure that you have a valuable and expert ally making sure your rights are protected. If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, we are here to help. Take some time to read about the services we provide and how we can help fight for your rights, then give us a call today for a consultation of your case in defense against DUI charges or email us through our contact page.