Common Grounds for Dismissing DUI Charges in Florida
The best possible outcome in a drunk driving case is to get the charges dismissed as early on in the process as possible, well before your trial. Typically, this occurs through pretrial motions, which are covered under the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. The basis of such a motion to dismiss is the argument that there’s something legally wrong with the prosecutor’s case, whether the error is procedural, factual, or other grounds exist.
To succeed with a motion to dismiss, it’s important to work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney who can file the necessary documents and argue the matter at a hearing before the judge. However, you may find it useful to know what’s going on behind the scenes.
The Process for Dismissing DUI Charges: In most cases, a lawyer files a pretrial motion to dismiss by making an official request through the court clerk. The document includes a statement asking for dismissal of the drunk driving charges, and it’s usually supported by a brief that explains the factual and legal basis for the request. The prosecuting attorney gets a copy of the packet, and will have the opportunity to respond in writing, oral argument – or both. After hearing from both sides, the judge makes a determination on the motion, either granting it or denying it.
Common Reasons a Court Will Dismiss a DUI Case: The most frequent basis for a motion to dismiss DUI charges is a violation of your civil rights, specifically your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. When information is obtained through methods that infringe on your rights, the case is subject to dismissal on such grounds as:
- No Legal Basis: Police need a good reason to pull you over for drunk driving; they can’t stop you on a hunch. Usually, the reason will be that they observed you breaking a traffic law or engaging in driving maneuvers that suggest impairment. They can also detain you during a sobriety checkpoint, but only when they’ve publicized the details in advance.
- Lack of Probable Cause: Once they’ve pulled you over, officers must have probable cause to arrest you for DUI. Many factors could meet this standard, such as the smell of alcohol on your breach, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or other signs of intoxication.
- Improper Chemical Testing: You may seek dismissal of DUI charges by disputing the results of a breathalyzer or other chemical test. If the operator didn’t have the right training, there was a problem with the machine, or other errors, the prosecutor cannot use evidence of your blood alcohol concentration in court.
Discuss Legal Options with a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer
Success in getting a DUI dismissed depends on the facts and retaining a skilled attorney to fight for your rights. Your chances of getting a favorable result increase when you get legal help as quickly as possible after your arrest, so please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik to set up a free consultation. We can meet with you at our Fort Lauderdale office to review your case and determine a strategy for your defense.