You might have had a drink, or two. On your way home, there was a traffic stop and you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). You think you did it, law enforcement thinks you did it. Should you plead guilty and get it over with?
If you are arrested for drunk driving, the state of Florida has the burden of proof to make the case against you. The consequences of pleading guilty are serious, including a criminal record. Avoiding conviction on even a misdemeanor crime is important for your future.
While you believe you are guilty — you may not be. You may have made a mistake, but the evidence against you may not be as clear as you think. Consider these possible defenses to a drunk driving charge:
- The traffic stop. Did law enforcement truly have probable cause to pull you over? A police officer must observe behavior or actions that give him or her a reasonable belief that you are driving impaired. Without probable cause, the traffic stop was illegal.
- And, speaking of the traffic stop. Were you pulled over at a DUI roadblock? Law enforcement must follow guidelines in placing roadblocks and processing motorists through the checkpoint. If protocol was violated, you may have been illegally profiled.
- The tests. Did you perform field sobriety tests? Physical sobriety tests are difficult even when sober. Were you given a breath test? Were you fully informed about these tests and were they carried out correctly? You cannot know whether your rights were violated during these tests if you do not speak with experienced legal counsel.
If you are arrested for DUI, it may not be an open and shut case. Never agree to plead guilty or no contest to any criminal charge without talking to a seasoned dui defense lawyer about your options. Contact our firm if you have questions.