It can be a scary when the police pull you over for even a minor moving violation.
However, the situation is always more serious when the police stop your car and suspect you of DUI. After all, a DUI charge and conviction can impact your life in many ways.
Knowing your legal rights can be helpful if you are charged with DUI. Along with speaking with a knowledgeable professional, it’s worth considering if the police made a mistake during the arrest process. If so, it may help your case. Here are some possible defenses to a DUI stop:
No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop You
The police must have reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop you while you are driving. Situations that create cases of reasonable suspicion include not signaling when you turn, rolling through a stop sign or speeding. You can also be legally stopped for equipment violations or mechanical issues. In Florida, Stop and Frisk is governed by Supreme Court decisions and Florida Statute 901.151, known as the Florida Stop and Frisk Law.
However, if there is no reason for the police to stop you, any evidence gathered during the traffic stop shouldn’t be used against you. There’s no way to prove the DUI charge against you if there is no evidence.
Reasonable Suspicion vs. Probable Cause
Reasonable suspicion may be sufficient to justify a stop of a vehicle or person but it’s not enough to justify an arrest. Police must have probable cause (objective facts) that prove you have committed a crime and arrest you for DUI. Probable cause is developed from behavioral observations, cause of a traffic accident, pre-arrest breath and field sobriety tests. No probable cause means there is insufficient evidence to justify an arrest for the DUI charge. This ruling is made by a judge.
Protecting your rights when arrested for DUI
If you are arrested for DUI, knowing your rights is essential. In many cases, a viable defense to these charges is a mistake made by the police. Reviewing the information here to determine if that happened in your arrest is important.