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The Four Most Common DUI Defenses

07 July 2017

Being charged with a DUI case, also commonly referred to as driving under the influence, is no joke. You can be taken into custody and booked at the county jail by a police officer on a mere suspicion by the officer that you were impaired.  

If you were arrested for DUI or know someone who is currently facing a DUI charge, know that more often than not, the case is not hopeless. Your DUI lawyer will help you fight for a full acquittal or reduced charges by helping you present any of these four most common DUI defenses.

1.Improper stop by the officer

An officer should have sufficient “probable cause” or reasonable suspicion before asking you to pull over. For example, if your vehicle drifted in and  out of your lane, or you made a wide turn and almost struck another vehicle, the officer may look at these as signs that you are impaired. He will then have enough probable cause to question and assess you.

If, however, you were asked to pull over without you doing anything that seemed wrong (e.g. swerving, speeding, etc.), it would then mean that the officer lacked justification to initiate the DUI traffic stop. This may result in a DUI charge against you being dropped.

2. Miranda Doctrine violations

Law enforcement is required to advise you concerning your rights when you are placed under arrest. This includes the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to be represented by a court-appointed lawyer if you are considered an indigent individual.

The officer is also expected to advise you that any statements you make from the time of arrest onwards may be used against you in the court of law. If the officer failed to read your Miranda rights, it’s highly likely that your post-custodial statements will be excluded from evidence.

3. Failure to follow proper administration of Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are supposed to be performed at the time of the traffic stop and law enforcement is expected to follow protocol when administering them. So, if the officer did not adhere to the procedures, it could mean that any of the evidence gathered after FSTs were administered can be rendered inadmissible.

4. Improper administration of blood-alcohol test

After you have been arrested for DUI charges, law enforcement is expected to offer you a breath test.  The prosecution will most likely be unsuccessful in advancing the case if:

  • Law enforcement did not properly execute certain paperwork, like the implied consent form.
  • Law enforcement did not properly conduct a 20-minute pre-test observation period, or
  • The test was improperly administered.

Medical conditions

You may look impaired to an officer during a traffic stop if your speech is slurred, if your eyes are watery, or if your face is flushed. However, these signs do not always mean that you were driving impaired, especially if you suffer from a medical condition that could account for these symptoms. In such cases, the prosecution would have a hard time convicting you of a DUI charge.

Do Not Plead Guilty: Contact an Attorney about DUI Defenses

It is possible to win a DUI case or at least have your serious DUI charge reduced. Talk to our experienced DUI attorney about your situation and we’ll help you get through this.

When you need a DUI lawyer in Miami, call Piotrowski Law. We can fight for you today.

Chad Piotrowski - post author

Chad Piotrowski is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida. He is a former Miami-Dade Prosecutor and has practiced criminal law, exclusively, for more than 10 years.

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