6 Ways Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyers Fight the Charges Against You

Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyers know that even when the evidence against you seems overwhelming, there are always strategies to minimize the damage. Some clients are surprised at how effective a skilled defense lawyer can be, particularly when they know their actions may have crossed certain legal boundaries.Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer

According to recent state law enforcement data, there were an estimated 1,300 DUI arrests in Broward County in a single recent year. But arrest doesn’t mean guaranteed conviction – particularly if you prioritize legal representation.

A Florida DUI conviction can have serious consequences — for your freedom, your finances, and your future. Even if you know you were in the wrong, do not simply resign yourself to pleading guilty to DUI until you have first consulted with a Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorney. We can explain exactly what a guilty plea to F.S. 316.193 will mean for you, and offer possible defense approaches that could work substantially in your favor.

Fort Lauderdale DUI Defense Strategies

Not every defense strategy will work for every situation. That’s why it’s important to have a lawyer look at the individual facts of your case, compare it to existing law, and map out potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Some of the elements we’ll be examining closely:

How did the officer handle the stop?

Drivers can’t be pulled over for absolutely no reason. The officer must have reasonable suspicion that the driver violated the law — either a traffic law or some other. They can’t merely stop you on a hunch or gut feeling. They have to be able to clearly articulate good cause for their action. DUI checkpoints may be the exception, but even then, certain rules must be followed. If the stop was invalid from the start, any evidence gleaned thereafter can be tossed.

What kind of field sobriety tests were administered?

Standardized field sobriety tests are frequently used in DUI stops, but they aren’t an exact science — and police aren’t scientists or medical professionals. There are many peer-reviewed studies by actual scientists who concluded field sobriety tests may only be accurate 30% to 60% of the time. Courts allow them to be used as evidence to support an officer’s conclusion, but they aren’t mandatory (the way breathalyzer tests are per Florida’s implied consent law). Nor do they paint a complete picture, even if they are accurate. Our defense team will look closely at the type of test, the methodology, and the results.

Could other conditions explain a person’s seemingly erratic behavior?

Some of the key indicators of alcohol impairment include red or glassy eyes, slurred speech, uneven balance, and confusion. But there are a lot of OTHER conditions that have those same symptoms. Diabetes can cause cognitive disruptions. Parkinson’s disease can cause imbalance and shaking. Speech impediments or strokes can cause a person to sound slurred or unclear. Some conditions can even result in false positive chemical test results. As Fort Lauderdale DUI attorneys, we’ll be closely examining whether anything like this was a factor.

Did weather or environmental conditions play a role?

Was the road slick or visibility limited by rain or fog?  Drivers may react in unpredictable ways when they’re caught off-guard by sudden adverse weather conditions. What did the pavement look like in the spot where the field sobriety test was administered? If the surface was uneven, it could have resulted in a person stumbling when they otherwise wouldn’t have.

What sort of video evidence is available?

As body cameras become more common among police, we’re seeing a growing number of cases where the testimony of the officer doesn’t align with what the video evidence shows. Discrepancies can damage the officer’s credibility – and the prosecutor’s case. If the state attorney’s office fails to preserve the tapes despite a request, this is called spoliation of evidence, and courts have tossed entire cases for it.

Did the officer follow protocol for breathalyzer and blood tests?

Both breathalyzers and blood tests have strict rules for how they can be administered – and by whom – and how to preserve that evidence. Improper calibration, insufficient officer training, or lack of sufficient monitoring of the defendant before and after the test can sometimes be enough to successfully challenge that evidence.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Defense Lawyer Today

Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward County.

Additional Resources:

Paradigm Shift for Alcohol Breath Test, 2010, Journal of Forensic Science

More Blog Entries:

Broward Defense Attorneys Relieved Florida DUI Bill Dies in House Committee, May 6, 2024, Fort Lauderdale DUI Defense Lawyers Blog

Contact Information