If you have ever received a speeding ticket, or known someone who has, you have probably heard more than one version of the events that led up to the traffic stop and the eventual ticket. In many of these cases it might seem like there is no question but that the driver was driving faster than the posted speed limit, and little can be done to fight the charges. If this sounds familiar, you might also have the same idea about a traffic stop that leads to a DUI arrest. One might think that challenging the reason for the stop can seem nearly impossible, because most people believe it is the driver’s word against the officer’s word. But, questioning the traffic stop is a crucial part of our firm’s DUI defense. Here are some reasons why you should consider making the argument.
Most often, a DUI is the result of being pulled over by a police officer, being asked for impaired driving, and being asked take a breath test. The legal blood-alcohol limit in Florida is 0.08, and it does not take much for many drivers to reach this level. Sometimes, there is a limited defense to challenge the accusation that the driver was impaired. But, if you are able to show the police officer did not have a valid, lawful to conduct the initial traffic stop, you can suppress all of the subsequent evidence against you, including field sobriety exercises and the breath test.
Here are some other considerations regarding the traffic stop that leads to a DUI:
• What was the reason for the stop, and how was it articulated by the police? Believe it or not there are standards that have to be followed, and if the police do not show the stop was within the letter of the law, anything that transpired after you were pulled over should not be used against you.
• The standard for pulling you over (reasonable suspicion) is much less than the standard that must be met in order to make an arrest (probable cause). It is important to distinguish between the two and pinpoint what standard was used for your stop.
A DUI conviction can mean loss of your driver’s license and even possible jail time. So if you have reason to believe any part of the process was improper, you should question it during the defense of your case. We can help – call us today to find out more.
Contact our office for answers to your questions about what constitutes a valid traffic stop for a DUI case. Let an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West help you today. We offer initial consultations by phone, and we are just a call away.