Defending A DUI in Daytona Florida – Why Experience Matters
DWI Driving While Intoxicated Defense
No individual should be subject to a DUI conviction in Florida if they are innocent of the crime alleged. Although state prosecutors may try to paint DUI charges as easy to prove, there are many complexities in these cases that can be identified by those defense attorneys who have the experience to identify them. Only by breaking down the situation and analyzing each aspect, will the weaknesses of the case be revealed.
The Two-Track DUI Process
DUI arrests involved tow tracks; the criminal prosecution and the administrative suspension of the driver’s license by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). When you are arrested for DUI in the state of Florida it is essential that you contact an attorney within the first 10 days of your arrest so you can challenge the pending suspension of your driver’s license. If you fail to challenge the suspension within the 10 days, your right to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Florida will be suspended at least 6 months, up to 18 months, depending on the circumstances of your case.
The Motor Vehicle Stop
To properly evaluate the strength of a DUI charge; you must start from the initial contact law enforcement made with the suspect. In cases involving a vehicle in motion, each aspect of the operation is a vital piece of the evidence. Some of the significant components of this analysis are:
- Did the defendant break a traffic law before the officer activated their lights?
- What aspects of the operation indicated to the officer that the defendant might be impaired?
- How quickly did the defendant react by breaking and parking when the officer activated his lights?
- Did the defendant park legally and within acceptable traffic safety standards?
In some instances, officers are assigned to specialized task forces where their primary job function is to arrest individuals suspected of driving under the influence. These task forces, which often operate late at night when bars are about to close, are looking for any reason to pull a motor vehicle over. If this officer cannot point to reasonable and articulable factors that they observed to support the traffic stop, the entire seizure can be challenged through a suppression motion.
The Exit Order
Even if a motor vehicle stop is considered valid, the potential constitutional violations do not stop there. Once an officer makes initial contact with a suspect, they cannot order them out of the car based solely on the fact they conducted a traffic stop. The officer must point to observations that support their suspicion that the suspect may be under the influence of alcohol. If they cannot, the exit order, and all evidence secured after the order was issued, may be challenged.
Probable Cause Subject To Arrest
If the motor vehicle stop and exit order are justified, an officer must still articulate that, based on the evidence presented, it is more likely than not (i.e., probable cause) that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. The evidence is documented through the performance of field sobriety tests (walk and turn, one-leg-stand and HGN). If the evidence does not meet the probable cause standard for an arrest, you can argue for dismissal of the DUI charge.
Florida DUI Law
A dedicated and aggressive specialist will help you defend your rights. You should contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss the possible penalties, sanctions, and potential punishments you could face regarding the particular facts of your case. It is in your best interest to obtain legal counsel as soon as you have been accused of a DUI offense. Call the office of Jessica Damoth P.A. if you are in the Daytona area, experience matters. For more information on Jessica Damoth and her experience as a criminal defense lawyer please visit her website: https://JDamothLaw.com