Reasons why you should plead Not Guilty in a Tampa DUI case:
There are a multitude of factors, whether known at the time or not, that will come into play when defending a DUI case.
It is very important for all defendants to remember that a DUI case is something that can be won!
Although the majority of people may have a difficult time understanding this concept, the truth of the matter is that many defendants will think that they have to plead guilty because they felt they may have been in the wrong. Our expert advise or opinion to anyone facing a DUI charge would be:
Do not plead guilty, or admit guilt, even if you think you're guilty.
There are plenty of reasons why that advice should strongly be considered, but to put it in simple terms, a DUI case isn't won or lost based on the actions of the defendant alone. In many situations, the actions or inactions of how the police or sheriff performed their stop become big factors in these types of cases more often than one might expect.
How a DUI case can be won based on the actions of the arresting agency:
Was the traffic stop conducted properly?
This is an important one because the entire incident begins with the traffic stop. Was there probable cause to pull the defendant over? Was the car stopped improperly? If so, the prosecution may be left with no other choice but to drop the case. The evidence collected from any traffic stop may have been unlawfully obtained in situations where the stop was not conducted properly.
If there was no probable cause to stop, detain or arrest a defendant for DUI, the evidence and the case may be subject to dismissal.
If the police do not have a reasonable suspicion or belief that you are engaged in criminal activity before they stop a vehicle, then the traffic stop was conducted illegally. Probable cause must exist before they stop a defendant and conduct any DUI investigation.
An good example would be if a defendant were out driving their vehicle in the Tampa area at around 2:12 a.m. and was pulled over for being on the road after the bars let out, without having first committed some type of traffic violation, then any evidence obtained after the stop can not be used against them. Anything said to the officer, including any blood and/or breath test results along with any field sobriety tests could also be suppressed.
Did the police officer, arresting agency or authorities read the defendant their rights?
This is also an important one. If a defendant is not advised of their right to remain silent, then anything that may have been said to the authorities during the time of the incident may have been obtained unlawfully. If that occurs, the information that was obtained should not admissible in court or able to be used against a defendant.
How were the sobriety tests conducted?
Here in Florida, a field sobriety test is not necessarily an accurate indicator of alcohol and/or drug impairment. In fact, studies show that the accuracy and trustworthiness of these types of tests ranges at only 65-77% in detecting impairment. To make matters worse, these tests are often improperly administered and scored. There are also other reasons why a defendant could get poor results including:
• Officer induced intimidation
• Bad weather conditions
• Uneven surface conditions
• Poor lighting
• Poor footwear on the defendant
• An un-coordinated or un-athletic driver
Did the police officer, arresting agency or authorities provide misleading information or bad advice?
In some cases, a defendant may have asked questions during the traffic stop for suspected DUI. For example, if a defendant questions whether or not they can refuse the breathalyzer, and the officer, arresting agency or authorities have misled the defendant with bad advice, then it may be possible to have the breathalyzer evidence thrown out as it would have been illegally obtained.
This defense is also possible in situations where the defendant has refused a breathalyzer and also in situations where the results of the breath test have come back to show a defendant was in fact, under the influence.
Police misconduct would also become a factor in having DUI charges dismissed. It has happened, even in situations where a defendant was actually guilty of DUI. The police reports must be accurate, all proper Florida procedures must be complied with and the courtroom testimony must be truthful. If any of these conditions are ignored or manipulated intentionally in any way, then that evidence can be thrown out.
Was the breathalyzer properly maintained and calibrated, or was the person conducting the test properly trained?
From time to time, we've found a lack of proper maintenance or calibration on the breathalyzer machines has led to that evidence being inadmissible. In addition, we have also seen instances where the officer, agent or authority using the breathalyzer was not properly trained on the use of that particular device. Either situation casts serious doubt over the validity of any evidence that would have been collected, how it was obtained, and the accuracy of that evidence would also then be questionable.
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Why should I choose the Fernandez Law Group for my Tampa DUI defense?
Our Tampa DUI and Traffic Violation attorneys are known for providing an unbiased solution to many of your questions. We offer a free step by step consultation on how to proceed based on your individual circumstances.
Fernandez Law Group, P.A. offers time tested and proven results by consulting with top legal counsel from around the country. Fewer than 10% of Florida criminal attorneys are qualified to practice in federal courts and our attorneys are part of that group. We also put more than one attorney on your case, and one of those attorneys was a former prosecutor for over 20 years - this gives us another advantage before you even go into court.
We have years of experience in helping defendants face their DUI charges. Whether we've won them for obvious reasons, not-so-obvious reasons, unusual reasons, or due to our strong pre-trial preparation and cross examination during motion hearings and trial, we're confident in our ability to navigate your case and provide successful results.
We have a great deal of knowledge and experience, we are aggressive and know how prosecutors operate. We are well aware of all of the issues that may come up in any DUI matter and can help anyone at anytime. Additionally, our clients will have multiple attorneys working together to defend them on their charges.
We offer services to assist everybody in the full spectrum of their DUI defense, whether someone is charged with State or Federal crimes.
Tampa has nearly 2000 people arrested for DUI each year.
It's no surprise that too much drinking can lead to devastating circumstances.
According to information provided by the Tampa Police Department, there are on average, about 2,000 people arrested for DUI each year in the city of Tampa alone.
Call us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and case evaluation.
Content authored by Frank Fernandez