Central-Florida DUI Defense Attorney Jody Fisher Can Help
If you have been charged with a DUI in The Villages — or elsewhere in Florida — you need to know that Florida DUI charges are one of the most serious driving offenses you can face. With stiff penalties that include fines of up to $500, up to 1 year of probation, losing your license for up to 180 days, mandatory attendance at DUI school, and up to 6 months in prison, you need a skilled and experience advocate on your side who will defend you against a central-Florida charge of Driving Under the Influence.
At the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher, my criminal defense team will work hard for you, giving you the best chance to avoid the fines, penalties, and possible jail time that comes with a Florida DUI conviction. We may be able to have the case dismissed, or negotiate a plea to a lesser offense that can avoid some of the harsh penalties associated with a DUI conviction.
Challenging a Central-Florida DUI
To successfully defend against a criminal charge of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, you need a lawyer who understands the technicalities of a DUI case. As a former prosecutor and now as a criminal defense attorney, I have the experience and expertise to defend you against charges of DUI, and keep the sentence as mild as possible.
Did the Officer Have Probable Cause?
Your first line of defense in a criminal case, and a DUI case in particular, is to challenge whether the arresting officer had probable cause to stop you. If your Florida DUI defense lawyer can cast doubt on whether the officer had a reasonable suspicion that you were driving while intoxicated, the prosecutor will have little choice but to reduce the charge, or even drop the case.
In Florida, a police officer has probable cause if they had a reasonable suspicion that you were breaking the law. In a DUI case, probable cause exists if you were:
- Driving erratically
- Driving left of center
- Ran a red light or stop sign
- Hesitated going through a green light
- Have a burnt out head-light, tail light, or even license plate light
If any of these conditions were present, the police officer probably had probable cause to stop you.
The second question, then, is whether the officer had probable cause to suspect that you were under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating drug (including prescription drugs). Probable cause to investigate a Florida DUI includes:
- The presence of an alcoholic beverage in your vehicle
- The smell of alcohol on your breath or coming from your vehicle
- Red, watery, or glassy eyes
- Slurred speech
- Disorientation or fumbling
If at any point during the stop the police no longer has probable cause to believe that you were in violation of the law, the officer cannot continue to the next phase of the investigation. If the officer continues without probable cause, a Florida criminal defense attorney can ask the court not to consider that evidence because it was illegally obtained.
If your Florida DUI defense attorney can successfully challenge whether the police officer had probable cause to stop you, or to continue the investigation, it is increasingly likely that the prosecutor will reduce the charges, or even drop the case against you.
But even if we do not successfully exclude the evidence, by challenging the prosecutor's evidence we learn more about the state’s case against you and better prepare our defense.
Were the Field Sobriety Tests Properly Administered?
During a traffic stop with a DUI suspect, the police probably asked you to perform a variety of activities designed to assess your level of intoxication. These are called Field Sobriety Tests, or FSTs. They include:
- Walking a straight line
- Reciting the alphabet backwards
- Walk and turn
- Standing on one leg, and
- The horizontal nystagmus gaze test
The FSTs are designed to allow police officers to gather evidence to prove that you were intoxicated. Most sober people can complete the tests. If you do not successfully complete the test, the officer will note that you did not perform the test “as explained and demonstrated.”
However, there are many reasons a person might not successfully complete the FSTs. For example, if you suffer from a medical condition, you might experience difficulty successfully completing the FSTs.
If your DUI defense attorney can challenge the FSTs or the manner in which they were given, we may be able to have that evidence excluded which will make it more difficult for the prosecutor to secure a conviction.
Was the Blood Alcohol Test Accurate?
Finally, your central-Florida DUI defense attorney can challenge the Blood Alcohol Test (BAC) results.
In Florida, you cannot legally operate a motor vehicle with a BAC that exceeds .08%. To test your BAC, the police officer may have asked you to submit to a test of your breath, blood, or urine, and analyzed the sample for the presence of alcohol or other intoxicants.
A central-Florida DUI defense attorney can try to have the results of the BAC test excluded by challenging:
- Whether the machine was properly calibrated
- Whether the test was properly administered
- How frequently the machine was calibrated and tested
- How the sample was stored prior to testing
- Whether the prosecutor can establish chain of custody of the sample
- Whether your medical history may have impacted the validity of the test
- Whether the test was administered during the absorption phase, which occurs when your BAC increases after you’ve stopped drinking while alcohol is absorbed into your blood-stream
Charged with a DUI in Central Florida’s The Villages?
If you've been charged with a DUI in or around The Villages in central-Florida, it is critical that you hire an experienced and skilled DUI attorney to defend you against the charges. Contact me today to schedule a consultation.
As a former prosecutor, I know how the system works, and I can use my experience to help reduce the charge, or have the case dismissed.
Contact The Law Office of Jody L. Fisher Today
With offices in Leesburg, the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher defends people throughout central-Florida who have been charged with DUIs. Call (352) 503-4111, email, or complete our online form.