A drunk driving conviction can result in the creation of a criminal record, the loss of your driver’s license, and could require you to spend up to six months in jail—all for one terrible mistake.
Unfortunately, many drivers in this situation will plead guilty, accepting deals from the prosecution that are not in their best interest. What you decide to do in the days after your arrest will have a significant impact on the rest of your life, so you should not take any action without first speaking to a DUI defense attorney.
Your Florida DUI Arrest May Not Be Legal If Your Rights Were Not Respected
In order for the state to bring a case against you for driving under the influence, the police and arresting officers must follow all procedures to the letter, ensuring that proper action is taken every step of the way. If any mistakes are made during the DUI investigation, attorney Kevin J. Pitts can challenge them in court and they may lead to the reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. To set up your consultation or to ask us questions about your case, contact us in Daytona Beach at (386) 451-5112 or in Sanford at (407) 883-6853.
Our legal team can examine and refute many aspects of your DUI defense, including:
- Reason for the stop. Officers must be able to provide a valid reason for pulling a driver over, and many stops are made without a legal reason. For example, traveling outside of a single lane or failing to use a turn signal can only be a legal reason to stop a vehicle if the actions affect traffic. If the DUI stop is illegal, then everything flowing from the stop can be suppressed, including the results of breath tests and field sobriety exercises.
- Field sobriety tests. A police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of impairment in order to request a driver to do field sobriety exercises. Usually, “reasonable suspicion” requires multiple factors, such as speeding, an odor of alcohol, and bloodshot eyes. If an officer cannot provide a valid reasonable suspicion for asking you to do field sobriety exercises, the results of the exercises may not be used as evidence. In addition, the officer is required to warn you that a refusal to perform field sobriety exercises can be used against you in court.
- Probable cause. An officer must have “probable cause” to make a legal DUI arrest. Probable cause is a specific doctrine that requires an officer to observe sufficient indicators of impairment before arresting an individual for DUI. If the arrest is made without probable cause, all information obtained after the arrest may be inadmissible.
- Breath tests. A driver may be asked to submit to a breath test after he or she has been arrested for DUI. Under state law, refusing a breath test will result in a 12-month administrative driver’s license suspension. The refusal can also be used against you to show probability of guilt. If you consent to a breath test, there are additional procedures that must be followed in order for the results to be considered accurate. For example, the arresting officer must stay with the driver for a certain period of time before the test is administered, the driver may not eat or drink anything prior to testing, and the machine must comply with required testing standards. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts has completed the Florida 16-hour breath test operator course required of all Florida police officers, so he is fully aware of what must be done for these tests to be administered legally.
- Driver’s license suspension. If your case involves an administrative driver’s license suspension, you must take action to prevent your driver’s license from being suspended even before the criminal case has begun. Even if the criminal DUI case is completely dropped by the State Attorney’s Office, you will still face license suspension unless you request an administrative hearing to retain your license within 10 days of your arrest. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner we can begin working to retain your license.
Attorney Kevin J. Pitts has handled hundreds of DUI cases, always working in his clients’ best interests. Whether you are best served by negotiating with opposing counsel or taking the case to court, our firm always works toward the best possible resolution to your case.
Contact us today through our easy online form or call us in Volusia County at (386) 451-5112 or in Seminole County at (407) 883-6853.