If you have been formally accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), perhaps the best outcome possible is to obtain a dismissal of your case. Typically, cases are dismissed when a judge or prosecutor determines that there is enough evidence available to proceed with the case. This usually occurs when a defendant makes a successful legal challenge to the admissibility of evidence or points out a procedural defect with the state’s case, both of which generally require making legal arguments and understanding complicated court procedures. For this reason, your chances of obtaining a dismissal are significantly increased when you retain an experienced DUI defense lawyer.
Florida DUI Basics
The legal DUI limits under Florida law are 0.08 percent for most drivers ages 21 and older, 0.02 percent for drivers younger than 21, and 0.04 percent for commercial drivers. If your blood alcohol concentration is determined to be above those limits, you can be charged with a DUI. You can also be charged with DUI if you are under the influence and affected to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired.
Challenging a DUI Arrest or Charge
In order to obtain a dismissal of your DUI case, you must first contest the charge by raising a good legal defense. You may be able to challenge a Florida DUI charge on constitutional, legal, or administrative grounds. Some examples of potential DUI defenses that may result in a dismissal of your case include:
- Issues with the accuracy of chemical testing – Breathalyzers and other chemical testing equipment must be carefully calibrated and correctly used in order to obtain accurate results. If you can show that the equipment used to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) was miscalibrated or that the officer who performed testing did not receive proper training or did not follow proper protocol, the court may dismiss your case.
- Problems with the stand field sobriety test – If you have certain physical disabilities or limitations, such as a bad back or bad knees, those limitations may affect your ability to perform a field sobriety test accurately. If the police officer who administered the test failed to take these limitations into account, your attorney may try to suppress any evidence obtained during a field sobriety test.
- The traffic stop was invalid – In order for a traffic stop to be valid, the police officer must first have reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity is afoot. However, an officer’s reasonable suspicion could be pretextual (that is, ostensibly pulling someone over for a minor traffic violation, all the while believing that the driver is under the influence of alcohol). Police officers may not engage in random traffic stops. If a stop is shown to be random or for a legally impermissible reason, then any evidence obtained could be inadmissible in court, generally resulting in a dismissal of the DUI charge.
Call a St. Petersburg DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Florida DUI charges and convictions can have serious consequences. The criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group may be able to help you avert some of those consequences by obtaining a complete dismissal of your charge. For a free case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida, DUI defense lawyer, contact us online or call our office at (727) 269-5300.