Florida courts use a heavy hand in their treatment of offenders who drive while intoxicated (DWI). If you’re convicted of a DWI, you might be forced to pay significant fines and spend up to six months in jail.
And that’s for a first-time conviction. The penalties are much harsher for second and third offenses.
For this reason, it’s highly advisable that you talk to a Florida traffic attorney if you’ve been charged with a DWI. Your attorney can create a defense aimed at getting the charge dismissed or reducing the penalties. Following are potential options to that end.
#1 – Challenge The Traffic Stop
The officer who stops you must have a good reason for doing so. If he or she didn’t have such a reason, the stop may have been illegal and can be challenged on those grounds.
#2 – Challenge The Search
Often, an arrest for driving while intoxicated follows the officer’s discovery of an open container or other evidence of alcohol in the vehicle. But such evidence can be thrown out by the court if you show that the officer’s search was conducted without your permission or probable cause.
#3 – Challenge The Breathalyzer Test Results
The use of equipment to gauge drivers’ blood alcohol levels must adhere to rigid standards. The equipment must be properly calibrated; the officer is prohibited from requiring you to “continue blowing” during the test; and the officer is supposed to observe you for 20 minutes prior to conducting the test.
Your attorney may be able to challenge your test results on any of these grounds.
#4 – Challenge The Field Sobriety Tests
A DWI charge may stem from the results of a field sobriety test if the officer believes your performance suggests intoxication. But the results of such tests can be challenged on numerous grounds.
For example, your attorney may be able to show that the arresting officer lacked sufficient knowledge regarding your true coordination and balance. Or perhaps you were suffering from an injury (e.g. ligament tears in the knees) at the time of the test that affected your performance.
You should consult an experienced traffic attorney whenever you’ve been charged with a traffic-related offense. This is doubly important if you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated. A DWI conviction can jeopardize your driving privileges, as well as your freedom.
The Orlando traffic lawyers at Skubiak & Rivas have helped thousands of drivers avoid severe penalties related to DWI charges. We’re ready to help you, too. If you were arrested for DWI, call us at 407-894-4449 or complete this form for a private, no-risk consultation.