Reasons a Florida Drunk Driving Case Goes to Trial
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) reports that there were more than 32,000 people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in 2018, a figure that generally coincides with the drunk driving arrest totals for previous years. However, the path these cases take after arrest varies widely. Many are resolved through a type of probation known as pretrial diversion, while some defendants work out a plea agreement for a “wet reckless.” Still others decide not to fight DUI charges and accept their fate after a guilty plea.
After eliminating those that are resolved in the early stages, not as many defendants will go through the full trial process for drunk driving case. Though you can never guarantee the outcome, there are numerous reasons that you might WANT to go to trial to fight DUI charges. A Broward County DUI defense attorney can advise you on the following.
Issues with the DUI Roadside Stop: Police need a reasonable belief that you are under the influence to pull you over; then, they must have probable cause to make an arrest, a slightly higher level of proof. There may be opportunities to fight these issues at trial, especially where:
- You were never issued a ticket, such as for speeding, running through a stop sign, failing to use a blinker, or other traffic violation. Such circumstances could indicate that police did not have a reasonable belief, but were acting based upon improper hunch or assumption.
- In their police report, officers did not include notes on the aroma of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speed, or other indication of intoxication.
Weak Evidence of Intoxication or Impairment: You can be convicted of DUI in Florida if a chemical test reveals a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in excess of .08 percent OR if officers believe that you were impaired. At trial, there are multiple strategies for contesting the results of a BAC test, including lack of credentials by the breathalyzer operator, failure to maintain the machine, or improper calibration. Because impairment is a very subjective standard, the best way to attack the impressions of officers is putting them on the witness stand at trial.
Police Misconduct: You can expose the improper acts by officers at any time, but it may come down to your trial to point out misconduct. If you experienced any of the following, you should discuss options with your criminal defense attorney:
- False arrest;
- Failure to read your Miranda rights;
- Refusing to let you contact your lawyer;
- Tampering with BAC test results or other evidence; or,
- Obtaining a confession.
Your South Florida DUI Defense Lawyer Can Assist with Trials
After reviewing this information, you may feel confident that going to a full trial might be the right strategy for your drunk driving case. Our team can help you understand the implications, so please contact Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney Kevin J. Kulik to set up a consultation at our offices. Once we review your circumstances, we will discuss how to obtain the best possible result.