A DUI charge in Florida can carry harsh consequences. For example, a first DUI offense can result in up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, driver's license revocation for 180 days to one year, and six months of having an ignition interlock device installed on your car (if your BAC is 0.015%).
If a police officer believes that you are driving drunk, you may be pulled over and asked to perform a field sobriety exercise and roadside breath test. Field sobriety exercises can provide an officer some evidence to lead to a DUI conviction in court. Fortunately, you are not required to take a field sobriety exercise in Florida.
If you are asked to perform a breath test, you are required to take it under Florida's implied consent law. If you refuse to do so, you could possibly go to jail and lose your driver's license for up to one year. If you fail a breath test or an officer otherwise believes that you were driving drunk, you could be arrested and charged with DUI.
With the right DUI defense attorney on your side, you may be able to fight the charges. In fact, many DUI cases get thrown out either before or during trial. Here's why.
The police officer didn't have a valid reason for pulling you over
A DUI charge can be dropped if the officer who pulled you over didn't have a valid reason for doing so. In order for an officer to pull you over, there must be reasonable suspicion that you committed a traffic violation. This could include speeding, running a red light, failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, or failing to stay within the lines of the road. You can also be pulled over for a broken tail-light or other safety hazard.
If you were charged with DUI, but the officer didn't have reasonable suspicion for stopping or arresting you, then any evidence the officer collected against you may be inadmissible in court.
Faulty breath test
Breathalyzers are not always accurate. In fact, they are known for having glitches that yield faulty BAC readings. In many cases, innocent people get arrested and charged with DUI based on inaccurate readings.
If you were arrested and charged with DUI based on a breath or chemical test result, your attorney may be able to dispute the results in court.
No evidence you were driving
Sometimes police wrongfully arrest people who they think were driving drunk when they weren't actually driving. For example, you could have been standing outside of your car or just retrieving something from your car at the time of your arrest. You may have also been sitting in your car without the keys in the ignition.
If there is no evidence that you were actually driving, based on a traffic stop, video surveillance footage, or witness statements, your DUI charge may be thrown out.
Why hire an attorney?
If you're facing a DUI charge, even without solid evidence, the stakes are simply too high to not have an experienced attorney on your side. Consulting with the right attorney can mean a difference between your freedom and facing months and years of legal consequences.
For legal help, contact the Clay County attorneys at Aguilar & Sieron, P.A.