Police officers are permitted to pull over your vehicle if they suspect impaired driving. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, the penalties upon conviction can be extremely serious.
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Florida, you need experienced legal representation by your side throughout your case. The DUI criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can review the facts and circumstances of your case and can advocate for you all the way to the courtroom, if necessary.
Pretextual Traffic Stops
In most cases, people are arrested for DUIs as part of pretextual traffic stops. In other words, the police stop a vehicle for speeding, running a red light, or for some other relatively minor traffic or civil infraction, all the while suspecting that the driver has been drinking or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Random Traffic Stops
A police officer may not ordinarily engage in random traffic stops. However, an officer may administratively stop every other vehicle, third vehicle, or fourth vehicle, for example.
Challenging a DUI Stop
DUIs can be challenged on constitutional, legal, and administrative grounds. From a constitutional standpoint, a DUI stop may be challenged under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prevents against unlawful searches and seizures. The knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorneys at Khonsari Law Group may raise legal defenses on your behalf that could cause the dismissal of your case. Some common defenses include:
- Challenging the result of a chemical test – A defense attorney may challenge a stop if the condition of the testing instruments is questionable or if the State does not have (or does not introduce) the necessary evidence at trial.
- Challenging the traffic stop itself – Police officers are not permitted to engage in random traffic stops. To pull over a vehicle, an officer must first have reasonable suspicion to believe that you committed a traffic offense, such as speeding. Otherwise, the police officer must have probable cause to pull you over. If one of these circumstances does not exist, you can challenge the traffic stop and suppress any further evidence obtained through it.
Note that an officer may develop probable cause due to bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcohol on breath, slurred speech, staggered gait, the appearance of intoxication, admissions to drinking, or unacceptable breathalyzer or other chemical test results.
Potential Penalties Upon Conviction
If you are ultimately convicted of a DUI—or placed on probation—then the possible penalties may include the following:
- High fines
- Jail time
- Community service
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
Contact a St. Petersburg DUI Defense Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been charged with a DUI in Florida, you need experienced legal representation on your side to safeguard all of your legal and constitutional rights. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida, DUI defense lawyer, please call us today at (727) 269-5300 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.