A DUI conviction is a serious offense in the state of Florida and carries with it severe penalties. To anyone unfamiliar with DUI law, these penalties are almost unavoidable. The time constraints to formally fighting a DUI penalty are very strict as well, and must be adhered to for any hope of dropping or lessening the charges. Florida specifically has rigid timetables as to when certain motions and evidence needs to be submitted. Without specific, up-to-date knowledge on how Florida prosecutes DUI convictions, it is extremely difficult to get a DUI charge dismissed.
There are many possible defenses to DUIs that should be taken into consideration from the second you are pulled over by an officer. If you are suspected of driving under the influence the police will perform a series of tests to determine your sobriety level. These can include a field sobriety test, blood test, breath test (breathalyzer) or urine test.
To start, it’s important to understand Florida’s “Implied Consent” law. By receiving a driver’s license in Florida you are automatically agreeing to this law, which means you have already given consent for officers to give you a breathalyzer test. You can still refuse to perform this test, but there are penalties for your refusal (including license suspension), depending on the number of prior offenses and other factors. Refusal to take a breathalyzer doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested; in fact, it almost guarantees your arrest. If officers have requested you to provide a breathalyzer test it’s because their initial observations have led them to suspect you are driving under the influence. If you refuse a breathalyzer, officers will then be basing their decision solely on their observations & field tests – which have already concluded you are DUI.
There are many ways to invalidate a DUI conviction, and these defenses start the second you are pulled over. Breathalyzer tests can be proven inaccurate for a number of reasons, including the way they are maintained, administered, analyzed, etc. The testing procedure must follow federal guidelines in order to be considered admissible, and sometimes it can be proven that the testing equipment wasn’t properly maintained or there was an error in the way the test was given. In Miami, for example, a DUI conviction was overturned because it was proven the computer program that analyzed the breathalyzer results had an error in its programming code. The officers are also under strict guidelines as to how they submit evidence. What most people don’t realize when their license is suspended is that they have the right to subpoena the test results, the officer who administered the test, and the technician who analyzed your results. Failure to appear by any subpoenaed party will automatically invalidate the suspension.
To avoid a DUI penalty and possible license suspension, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the litigation process. To find possible defenses to your DUI conviction, contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins for a free case evaluation today.