DUI Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested for driving over the legal limit, our Tampa DUI defense attorney can help. There are multiple possible defense strategies, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Watch as top-rated DUI lawyer, Ben Stechschulte, shares how we can defend you.
If you have been arrested for driving over the legal limit, you can raise a number of possible defenses, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.
Potential DUI Defenses
Reckless Driving Plea
In cases, where there is some evidence that you were DUI, a Tampa DUI defense attorney can demand or request that the prosecutor reduce the charge to a Reckless Driving. By pleading guilty to a Reckless Driving charge, you will not be convicted of any alcohol-related driving charge and there will likely be no additional court-ordered driver’s license suspension.
On some occasions a Reckless Driving plea can be sealed from your record, thus allowing you to have your mugshot removed from the sheriff’s office website and giving you the ability to deny your DUI/Reckless Driving arrest to potential employers. Furthermore, with a Reckless Driving plea, you will likely not be subject to increased auto insurance rates as a result of your plea.
Lack of evidence that you were operating the car.
You must have actually been operating and in control of your motor vehicle to be guilty of a DUI. If you were sitting in the driver’s seat of your vehicle but not actually driving or operating your vehicle, you may be able to get your charges dismissed.
Illegal Traffic Stops and Seizures
Often times, cops will state that they pulled someone over because their car was weaving within or just outside the lane markers or they believe the driver was impaired. Your Fourth Amendment protections prevent law enforcement from pulling you over without probable cause.
A Tampa criminal defense attorney from our office can successfully challenge the cop’s basis for this type or any type of illegal stop by using video and/or expert testimony to refute the cop’s flawed observations of your driving.
Moreover, once they have stopped your vehicle, cops cannot order you to submit to a breath/urine/blood test or to field sobriety tests without just cause to believe you are intoxicated or impaired. Pulling you over for a broken tail light, for example, does not give law enforcement officers the right to check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) unless there was reason to believe you were intoxicated, such as slurred words or a strong scent of alcohol.
Stechschulte Nell Law is available 24/7. Call today to explore your options for the best DUI defense strategy for your unique case.
Faulty field sobriety tests
Field sobriety tests are exercises that law enforcement administers at the scene, such as asking you to walk heel-to-toe or to perform a One leg Stand. Field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable and subjective. If you were not properly instructed on how to perform the tests or if the officer did not consider your age, weight, height, medical condition or physical disabilities when conducting the tests, then the evidence provided by the field sobriety tests can be considered faulty.
A rising BAC at the time of your Breath Test.
In order to be convicted of DUI, the prosecutor must prove that your Breath/Blood alcohol level was .08 or higher at the time you drove your car. Oftentimes, your blood alcohol content continues to rise even after you stop consuming alcohol. If you were not tested immediately upon being stopped but there was instead a gap in time, it is possible that you were not above the legal limit at the time you were driving your car. Our Tampa criminal defense law firm can hire an expert, such as a toxicologist, to challenge the breath evidence.
Faulty breath tests.
Many things can go wrong with breathalyzer tests. The test may not have been working properly, especially if it missed monthly or annual inspections. The test may have been affected by physiological factors or by the fact that you were chewing gum, had a breath mint in your mouth, or had recently burped, vomited or used mouth wash during or immediately before the test.
Test results may also be incorrect if you do not blow hard enough into the machine. As experienced Hillsborough County DUI attorneys, we can challenge your breath test results and even hire an independent expert to testify on your behalf in court.
Faulty drug tests.
You can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs including illegal drugs and/or drugs that were legally prescribed by your Doctor, just as you can be charged with a DUI of alcohol. However, there is not a clear standard for determining when you are impaired by drugs.
If the officers did not take a urine sample or perform a drug recognition exam, you may be able to avoid conviction for driving while impaired by drugs. In addition, if your urine sample showed marijuana in your system, the government will need to show that you were actually high at the time of driving since marijuana can stay in your system for up to 30 days.
Prescription drugs can also remain in your system for a long period of time after you have taken the drugs, and they are of course legal to use. This means that if you are arrested for a DUI related to prescription drugs showing up in your system, you can make a solid argument that the presence of these drugs in your body does NOT mean that you were impaired or intoxicated at the time when you were driving.
Blood Draw DUIs.
If law enforcement gave you a blood test to determine your level of intoxication, you can raise a number of legal challenges to the admission of this blood test in court or to the veracity of the evidence that it provides. For example:
- Did law enforcement have a legal basis to draw your blood?
- Was there a death or was someone seriously hurt in a car accident?
- Was it impractical/impossible for the officers to administer a breath test at the time of your arrest?
Law enforcement cannot take your blood without having reasonable cause to do so and if your constitutional rights were violated, a Tampa Bay DUI attorney at our firm can keep the evidence collected from the blood draw out of court.
A top-rated DUI lawyer is available 24/7, contact Stechschulte Nell law in South Tampa. Florida Board-certified Attorney Ben Stechschulte can help achieve the most favorable outcome possible.
Residential and/or Outpatient Alcohol/Drug Treatment Defense
In some cases where the prosecutor’s evidence is strong, you may be able to enter into an alcohol and/or drug program such as the DACCO or Operation Par drug treatment programs as a substitute for any jail or prison time the prosecutor is seeking.
At Stechschulte Nell, our Tampa DWI lawyer has successfully argued this in many cases where the facts were against our clients.
Other DUI Defense Strategies
- Violation of your Miranda rights. If law enforcement did not provide you with information on your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney, anything you may have said cannot be used against you.
- Failure to inform you of implied consent laws. In Florida, you can lose your license for refusing to take a breath test because you are assumed to have given implied consent to testing by driving on Florida roadways. However, law enforcement is required to inform you of the implied consent laws for you to lose your license.
In addition to raising these and other DUI defenses, a Tampa DUI defense attorney can also help you negotiate a plea deal wherein you agree to plead guilty to reckless driving in exchange for lesser charges and penalties.
To learn more about your options when arrested for a DUI and for help building your criminal defense, contact Stechschulte Nell Law as soon as possible after your DUI arrest.
Our law firm conveniently accepts all forms of payment including cash, check, debit and credit cards and we can also provide a payment plan to clients.
Get Help from a Tampa Bay DUI Attorney
DUI charges are serious and you should seek assistance from a Tampa DUI defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested.
Contact Stechschulte Nell today to explore your options, craft a defense and achieve the most favorable outcome possible.