A Few Things to Consider When Accused of Driving Under the Influence

If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you do have options, including fighting the charge. In this brief article, a DUI attorney in Tampa will discuss several of the most common defenses an attorney can deploy in a DUI case. At The Rickman Law Firm, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to provide you with accurate legal counsel and a strong defense against DUI allegations.

What Are Your Options When Accused of a DUI?

The majority of DUI cases are resolved through plea bargaining. This is when the defendant agrees to plead guilty and accepts a lesser charge. Typically, this includes lesser penalties than if they were convicted of a DUI in a court setting. A plea deal is generally presented at the beginning of a case; however, plea deals can be presented in the middle of a trial or at another time, too. 

Determining whether a defendant should accept a plea deal or fight a DUI charge largely depends on the circumstances of the case, including: 

  • Details in the police report
  • Evidence presented in court 
  • Potential defense strategies for the defendant 

In some cases, a generous plea deal may be the best option for the accused while in other cases a DUI defense attorney in Tampa will review the opposing counsel’s evidence and determine that the prosecution will have difficulty proving a DUI charge. Again, determining which option is better largely depends on the facts related to the case.   

Related: What You Need to Know When Pulled Over

Common Defenses Against a DUI Charge  

If you do elect to fight a DUI charge, an attorney can assess the above findings and develop a defense strategy. Common defenses include: 

  1. Improper Stop: In order for a motorist to be pulled over by an officer, the officer must have probable cause to initiate the traffic stop. In other words, if a motorist wasn’t weaving, driving erratic, or violating a traffic law, the officer likely had no reason to pull over the motorist.  
  2. Inaccurate Sobriety Test: Many of the field sobriety tests that officers conduct are largely based on hypothesis rather than evidence. For example, a motorist with a speech impediment could struggle with any field sobriety tests that require speech. Another commonly challenged test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test which assesses the eye movements of the motorist.    
  3. Inaccurate Breathalyzer Test: There are several issues with a portable breathalyzer test, including whether or not the device has been properly calibrated. In many cases, a defendant will read at the scene for one blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and then an entirely different and much more accurate reading at the police station.  
  4. Misconduct By the Officer: There are a variety of ways a police officer can make a mistake or violate the defendant’s civil rights. For example, if a police officer told the defendant they pulled them over because of the way they are dressed, this is unacceptable conduct.  

For a free consultation with a DUI defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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