Defenses to DUI
It is everyone’s worst nightmare. You are driving at night after having a couple of drinks and notice a police car in your rearview mirror. You immediately slow down, start paying closer attention to your driving, and focus more on staying within your lane and staying below the speed limit. Unfortunately, it is too late. The police cars lights are on and the next thing you know is you are being investigated for DUI.
At Pallegar Law, P.A., as Tampa DUI defense lawyers, our objective is to get your DUI case thrown out. A DUI conviction has serious consequences and we want to do whatever we can to avoid them.
Defenses exist that are readily available and have been used successfully to beat a DUI charge. We use these defenses in one of two ways: first, in pretrial negotiations with the prosecutor and if that does not work, we will use these during trial.
We never condone texting and driving but an argument could be made that you were texting or looking down on your phone to explain swerving or bad driving and it was not alcohol related. Another defense for bad driving is adjusting the radio or your vehicle has mechanical problems or even the argument that everyone speeds.
Some examples of attacks we could use as Tampa DUI defense attorneys against the arresting officer include: the officer did not demonstrate the Field Sobriety Exercises properly, the officer is a member of MADD, or contradictions exist in the police report between two officers version of the facts. In most DUI cases, contrary to what any DUI officer will tell you, the officer has already made the decision to arrest you before he actually begins the DUI investigation. In order to explore all of the possible options, it is important that you contact an experienced and aggressive attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. as soon as possible after your arrest or charge.
In cases where the dash camera on the police cruiser is not working or unavailable an argument made by experienced Tampa DUI defense lawyers could be why didn’t the officer use his cell phone to record everything. After all everyone has a phone with video recording capabilities theses days.
Other defenses we use to attack the field sobriety tests are:
Nobody can successfully complete the exercises since there is no pass or fail and the officer is looking at every detail subjectively to scrutinize you on. No two officers will have the same opinion as to your performance on a test.
Field Sobriety Exercises do not actually test impairment but rather physical ability.
You did not have the ability to practice the exercises. You get one bite at it and if you don’t get it right you are arrested.
You are overweight, nervous, wearing heels, have leg problems, on medication are all personal defenses available to justify your performance on the FSEs.
There are many defenses to blood shot watery eyes. Kids keeping you up all night, being tired due to overworking, or even smoking are all defenses that could be used to explain this. Also when an officer notices an odor of alcohol it does not give the officer any indication of how much you actually had to drink or the time frame in which you consumed the drinks. Or maybe someone spilt alcohol on you hence the reason for the smell.
Fumbling for your wallet to get your insurance information is not necessarily a sign of intoxication but rather a sign of fear-- after all, you are scared.
In cases where there is a double refusal meaning you refused both the Field Sobriety Exercises and the breath test a defense an experienced Tampa DUI defense attorney would make is lack of evidence or that you are merely following your attorneys recommendation not to perform the tests.
According to Florida Statute 775.051 voluntarily getting drunk or taking medication is not a defense to a DUI charge, however, involuntary intoxication is. So if someone slipped you a drug and you ingested unknowingly that could be argued at trial.