Defending Against DUI Charges in Florida

Defending Against DUI Charges in Florida

A DUI arrest can be expensive and devastating, especially if it ends with a conviction. Because you have the right to an attorney, get one—and the sooner, the better. Florida’s penalties for DUI are severe. You can lose your driver’s license, even for a first offense. A DUI attorney understands how to defend you against those charges so the arrest does not lead to conviction. 

The first hearing occurs within days of an arrest. Do not plead guilty. Your next move is to contact our West Palm Beach DUI attorneys so we can begin building your defense. Here, we’ll discuss some of the many defenses we have available to help defend you with the goal of reduced or dismissed charges, especially for a first offense. 

The Traffic Stop and Probable Cause 

Why did the officer pull you over? Law enforcement must have and show a valid reason and probable cause for stopping a driver, i.e., a moving violation, and for DUI. The exception is a DUI checkpoint, if handled correctly.

Was the stop made on a public road or private property? Police may stop someone “wherever the public has a right to travel by motor vehicle.”  Under § 316.640, Fla. Stat, a stop in a gated-access community may be invalid, but police can stop you in the Publix parking lot. 

We can challenge the validity of the traffic stop, learn if the driver was pulled over for any moving violations, and whether anyone was at risk before the police officer pulled over the driver. 

Contesting The Field Sobriety Test (FST)

Police rely on FST results to determine whether they should arrest a person for DUI and conduct these to gather additional evidence. Unfortunately, FSTs are not a true indicator of intoxication. 

When a person is instructed to begin an FST, their unfamiliarity with the testing, along with road conditions, nervousness, adverse weather conditions, and cars whizzing past while on the side of the road, increases the probability of failure. This means that the individual is likely to “fail” these tests even if sober. 

Furthermore, individuals with Parkinson’s, diabetes, or speech impediments may appear intoxicated during testing. There may also be a false positive result in chemical testing. 

Contesting the Breathalyzer Results 

An arresting officer must observe an individual for 20 minutes prior to getting a breathalyzer test to ensure they do not ingest anything or regurgitate. This ensures the test’s accuracy. The officer must conduct two samples that are within 0.020 of each other. If a longer period has passed before tests are administered, the samples won’t be admissible. The machines also have monthly and yearly maintenance requirements. If these are not completed, or the officer has not been properly trained on using a breathalyzer, any results may be inadmissible.  

Dash Cam Video

Most police are now equipped with dash cams and body cams to record their activities and interactions with the public. Police are required to preserve these recordings; without them, the other evidence may not be valid. The dash or bodycam videos may also show improper procedure or other officer misconduct, challenging the officer’s credibility. 

DUI Defense Attorneys In West Palm Beach 

If you are stopped and charged with DUI, do not answer questions or speak with police without your lawyer present. Ask for one immediately, and do not say anything without the presence of your lawyer. Attorneys like Adam Farkas and Jacqueline Crowley are experienced criminal defense attorneys ready to defend you against Florida DUI charges. Our number is (561) 444-9529, and we’re available 24/7, whenever you need us. 

If you have been charged with a DUI in West Palm Beach, contact Farkas and Crowley P.A. today.

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Certified by the Florida Bar

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Looking for a criminal law firm? Farkas & Crowley, P.A. are the attorneys for you. They are extremely knowledgeable of the law and go the extra mile for their clients. Their expertise and impeccable work ethic are hard to beat. Available 24/7. Highly recommended.

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500 S. Australian Ave.
6th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401


(561) - 444 - 9529


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Farkas & Crowley, PA

Criminal Defense & Family Law Lawyers