Common DUI Defenses in Florida
Many people think that if they are arrested for a DUI then they should just plead guilty. However, that is not always the case. There are many different defenses to DUIs that a skilled Florida DUI defense attorney can use to defend you against DUI charges. While the specific defense will depend on the unique circumstances of your case, this article looks at some of the most common defenses to DUI charges.
It is important to understand what the DUI laws are before looking at the defenses. According to Florida law, in order to be found guilty, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was driving or in “actual physical control” of a vehicle within the state. They also must prove that the person driving had a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08, or that he or she was impaired by alcohol or another substance.
Common DUI Defenses
There are many different kinds of defenses that skilled DUI defense attorneys may use on their clients’ behalf. These include:
- The defendant was not driving. As stated in the statute, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was driving or in control of the vehicle. Sometimes, such as when the car is parked, the prosecutor may not be able to prove that the defendant was driving. Whether the defendant had control may depend on where the keys are. Like the other defenses this is all very fact based and the specifics will depend on the case.
- Wrongful stop. One of the most common defenses is that the stop itself was not proper. If the reason for stopping someone in the first place was not lawful, then the stop itself and everything that happened after must be thrown out, and therefore the prosecution will likely dismiss the charges. The police must have had a valid reason for stopping you.
- Challenging the sobriety tests. Whether the tests are a breath test, blood test, or other field sobriety tests, another common defense is challenging some element of the tests. One huge part of the prosecution’s case is proving that the defendant was impaired while driving. If your attorney can create enough doubt that the sobriety tests were accurate, then the prosecution may not be able to prove this to the standard that is needed.
- Affirmative defenses. With an affirmative defense, in essence, you agree that you are guilty of the crime, but that you had a legally sufficient reason to make it allowable that you did it. Some affirmative defenses include necessity, for example if there is a natural disaster that you have to flee. Another affirmative defense is involuntary intoxication, such as being unknowingly drugged by someone.
West Palm Beach DUI Defense Attorney
As this article makes clear, if you have been arrested for a DUI, that does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. You should contact a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney as soon as possible if you are arrested for a DUI. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, can help to defend you against your DUI and any other charges you may be facing.