A DUI in Florida can be one of your life’s most daunting and stressful experiences. The fear of fines, license suspension, or even jail can be overwhelming. But don’t lose hope.

With help from a Pensacola DUI lawyer, there are ways to potentially get your DUI dismissed and make a significant difference in your case.

How to Get a DUI Dismissed in Florida

To get a DUI dismissed, you must identify and exploit weaknesses in the case. This can involve challenging the legality of the traffic stop, disputing the accuracy of field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, and investigating potential errors.

Each of these strategies targets specific aspects of your DUI arrest and evidence, aiming to prove that your rights were violated or that the evidence is unreliable.

1. Challenge the Traffic Stop

To legally stop a vehicle for drunk driving, an officer must have reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or crime. They cannot stop you based on a hunch. So, the DUI stop could be considered unlawful if you were stopped without a valid reason, such as because it was late at night.

A skilled lawyer can review dashcam footage, witness statements, and the officer’s report to prove the lack of reasonable suspicion. Demonstrating an unjustified traffic stop can lead to excluding any evidence of impairment gathered during the stop.

Signs of an Unlawful DUI Stop

  • You were driving within your lane and obeying all traffic laws.
  • The officer stopped you solely because it was late at night.
  • There was no observable traffic violation or suspicious behavior.
  • The officer could not provide specific facts to justify the stop.
  • Dashcam footage contradicts the officer’s account.

2. Dispute the Field Sobriety Test

Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are roadside tests commonly called the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests.

FSTs assess a driver’s impairment by observing their balance, coordination, and eye movements. However, these tests are not mandatory. By refusing, you deny the officer potentially flawed evidence that could be used against you. This can be a strategic decision to prevent the accumulation of subjective evidence that may be misinterpreted or misrepresented in court.

The results of Field Sobriety Tests are highly subjective. They can often be influenced by factors unrelated to alcohol, such as medical conditions, fatigue, nervousness, poor instructions from the officer, or uneven surfaces. For instance, if you have a condition like vertigo that affects your balance, your lawyer can present medical evidence to argue that your poor performance was due to this condition, not intoxication.

3. Call Breathalyzer & DUI Blood Tests into Question

Breathalyzers measure the alcohol in your breath to estimate your BAC, providing immediate results. However, preliminary roadside breathalyzer tests are not mandatory or admissible in FL – nor are they always accurate.

Breathalyzer results can be compromised by improper calibration, device malfunctions, and the presence of substances like mouthwash or medical conditions that produce alcohol-like compounds, leading to falsely high BAC readings.

Can You Challenge Mandatory DUI Tests?

Under Florida’s implied consent law (§ 316.1932), anyone operating a vehicle automatically consents to a formal breath or blood test if law enforcement has reasonable cause to suspect DUI. Refusing these mandatory tests can lead to additional penalties, including license suspension. While these tests are more accurate in measuring blood alcohol content, they are not foolproof. Errors in sample collection, storage, or analysis can compromise results.

A DUI defense lawyer can challenge the accuracy of breath and blood tests by examining maintenance records, testing procedures, and the qualifications of the officer or technician involved. Demonstrating procedural errors or equipment malfunctions can cast doubt on the reliability of the results, significantly weakening the prosecution’s case.

4. Point Out Police Mistakes & Violations

Accurate police reports are crucial in DUI cases as they document the officer’s observations and actions. Any inaccuracies or inconsistencies can challenge the validity of the arrest. Your lawyer will compare the police report with dashcam footage, witness statements, and your account of events.

Discrepancies, such as differences between the report and video evidence, can undermine the officer’s credibility. Significant inconsistencies can lead your attorney to argue that the officer’s testimony is unreliable, potentially resulting in the dismissal of charges.

Were Your Rights Violated?

During a DUI arrest, you have specific rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Violations of these rights can impact your case. Procedural violations include failing to read Miranda rights, conducting an illegal search, or not following proper arrest protocols.

Violations can lead to the exclusion of evidence or even dismissal of DUI charges. Your lawyer will review arrest records, witness statements, and any available footage to identify procedural missteps. Proving these violations can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.

6. Challenge the Validity of DUI Evidence

Despite what police and prosecutors may say, mishandling DUI evidence happens – often. This includes improper labeling, chain of custody errors, or inadequate storage. These mistakes can lead to contamination or loss, compromising the evidence’s reliability.

As a result, your lawyer can file motions to review how evidence was collected and stored. If mishandling is found, they can argue that the evidence is unreliable and should be excluded, weakening the prosecution’s case.

The Role of Expert Witnesses in DUI Cases

Expert witnesses can provide specialized knowledge on DUI testing procedures, medical conditions affecting test results, and more. Your lawyer can identify experts based on your circumstances.

Experts can analyze evidence, offer alternative explanations, and testify on your behalf. For example, a toxicologist might explain how certain medical conditions affect BAC readings, leading to potential dismissal. Expert testimony can critically challenge the prosecution’s evidence and support your defense. 

Your DUI is Not Open & Shut – Get a Free Evaluation

Florida DUI charges are complex and challenging. While no one wants to be arrested for drunk driving, convictions are not guaranteed; there is a lot that an experienced defense lawyer like Josef Mitkevicius can do.

From identifying weaknesses to challenging faulty evidence and pointing out violations, attorney Mitkevicius can significantly increase your chances of getting your DUI dismissed. With a reputation and successful record for fighting DUI charges, even if dismissal is impossible, Mitkevicius Law, PLLC can work to mitigate the harm, reduce penalties, and help you move on with your life. If you’re facing a DUI in Pensacola, don’t hesitate to seek professional help to protect your rights and future.

Call 850-361-2142 or submit a request 24/7 for a free DUI case evaluation.  We’ll explain your options and do what it takes so you see the best possible outcome.

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