You might feel in a state of despair if you have been charged for DUI in Tampa and you may think you can’t do a thing about it. There are ways, however, that you can beat the charge and either get it dismissed or the penalty reduced. The most important action you must take is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer here in Tampa who will fight aggressively on your behalf
If you have been stopped by a police officer, you must think clearly about the circumstances at the time. There is one main reason that permits an officer to stop you and that is the firm belief that a traffic law has been violated.
You can’t be stopped if:
an anonymous person reported you drunk.
Inaccuracy of Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests can not fully prove you are drunk. For example, the standing on one-leg test provides only 65% accuracy. The walk and then turn test has only 68% accuracy. In addition, if you have an injury, you are more than 50 pounds over weight or you are over the age of 65, there is no guarantee that sobriety tests will prove you are DUI. A good DUI defense attorney will prepare your case, taking these issues into account.
It is not just the sobriety tests that are often inaccurate but also blood alcohol testing methods and results. For a start, taking one breath test is not reliable enough by itself to prove DUI. On top of this, the person operating the breath test must be licensed in Florida and have an up-to-date license, otherwise the results can’t be used as evidence. Breathalyzers sometimes malfunction, so then their results can’t be used at all.
Blood Testing Is Flawed
Moving on to blood tests, these are often used to get proof of DUI, but a skilled DUI attorney knows only too well that they also have flaws. Police officers who are under stress may fail to follow the correct rules and procedures when taking and analyzing blood tests. Such results will not hold up in court. In Florida, blood tests conducted in hospitals are known to only have a inaccurate a 25% accuracy rate. These flaws in a DUI arrest situation allow an attorney to prepare a good case on your behalf.
If the attorney can’t help you in the situations above, there are still other avenues that can be pursued. The statute of limitations in Florida demands that a DUI charge, when it is a misdemeanor, has to be filed within a certain time of the alleged offense. If this doesn’t take place, the charge has to be dismissed. Also, the charges have to be dismissed if a trial hasn’t taken place within a certain period of time. This might be due to time pressures on the court and the prosecutors, but this is not acceptable in Florida.
The Arresting Officer May Get the DUI Facts Wrong
One of the commonest causes of a DUI case being dismissed is not just the lack of or poor quality of sobriety test results and blood testing, but the performance of the arresting officer. There are many times when the officer, once in the courtroom, tries to exert his or her status by contradicting the events surrounding the arrest and subsequent charge. What the officer says must match any video footage taken leading up to and at the time of the arrest. If the pieces of evidence don’t match, then your DUI will be dismissed and the event will not be recorded.
It takes the experience of a Tampa DUI attorney to find the mistakes in your arrest procedure and who will fight your case to get your charges dismissed.
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