DUI in Broward County, Florida
Driving Under the Influence occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Broward County, these crimes are referred to as DUI (driving under the influence), Broward County DUI Lawyers do not refer to these offenses as DWI (driving while intoxicated) although many States still do. Intoxication investigations are handled differently than any other type of criminal case and they can be proven by circumstantial evidence: most commonly, field sobriety tests such as touching finger to nose, one leg stand and walk & turn test. Intoxication also can be established from scientific testing of the alcoholic content of blood, breath, or urine samples furnished by the motorist. Florida does have implied consent laws, which mandate that motorists, lawfully stopped for suspected DUI, must consent to chemical testing of their blood, breath, or urine. Failure to consent to such testing results in a suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license.
BROWARD COUNTY’S DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY TEAM
In Florida, driving under the influence is a factual condition that may be established with or without a blood or breath sample from the motorist. In the absence of any chemical tests the arresting officer can testify to the motorist’s condition: for example, the motorist reeked of alcohol, was falling down drunk, or other descriptive statements. If a blood or breath sample was obtained, the prosecution may use this evidence to buttress the officer’s testimony. The test results are not conclusive, however, because the motorist may still argue that he or she was not intoxicated despite a high blood-alcohol level. When the charge is driving while intoxicated, the quantity of alcohol in the defendant’s system is not the determinative factor; the motorist’s ability to operate the vehicle safely is the crucial issue. Thus the prosecution must prove both that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and that the motorist’s driving ability was thereby impaired.
BROWARD COUNTY DUI LAWYER
The DUI Law Office has been successfully defending the residents of Broward County for years. We devote special attention to perfecting tactical defenses to the different variations of this charge and have the case history to show it.
What you should know about DUI
The attorneys at the William Moore Criminal Defense Firm began to devote significant efforts toward the defending of DUI cases in the late 1990s. Since the opening of our Fort Lauderdale office years ago, we have diligently represented the rights of those accused by law enforcement of driving under the influence. Defending DUI is unique to other types of criminal charges as this simple misdemeanor is anything but simple. Often overlooked is the fact that a DUI carries with it just about every complex issue that you find in the more serious cases. We know because we have handled just about every type of criminal case that there is on the books.
DO YOU NEED TO SPEAK WITH A FORT LAUDERDALE DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LAWYER?
Think about it. When you get pulled over while driving you car, your rights are at issue. After all there has been a seizure, or detention. Once the investigation begins, a DUI attorney must then examine issues of probable cause that may or may not have warranted a criminal investigation following a traffic stop (provided that stop, or seizure, was lawful to begin with). Moving along, we will inevitably get to roadside sobriety tests that are conducted in front of a video recorder. Now you have just added video surveillance to this list, in addition to regulations on the administering of field sobriety exercises. Furthermore, if the DUI task force officer made you follow a pen light with your eyes, the legal issue of medical training has just come into play as “horizontal gaze hystagmus” is a medical test where by a jerking of the eye indicates impairment. Did I mention that DUI crimes in Fort Lauderdale are investigated by a “task force” – that’s pretty unique also.
A qualified DUI attorney would point out right about now that we are really just getting started. In fact, what we are dealing with up until this point are officer observations and that means that an arrest will be based on opinion alone. This is unique as there is no smoking gun, rather a belief or feeling. This is why DUI is described by Attorneys as an “opinion crime.” After all, no one can be prosecuted for possessing illegal narcotics where an officer is only of the opinion that they possessed the substance. Moving along…
Once you are arrested, your license will be suspended by the DMV. This suspension is entirely separate from the charges that will be files by the Broward County prosecutor and adds the issues of administrative law and double jeopardy. Makes you wonder, if the State prosecutor and State Department of Motor Vehicles are penalizing you, aren’t you being punished twice for the same crime? How about all of those questions just before the arrest, like where you had been earlier, and how much you had to drink? Don’t you have a right to remain silent? You might as well add Miranda to the list of issues common to a simple DUI. At the DUI (BAT) facility you will be asked to provide a blood, breath or urine sample depending on the circumstances. This is a search by criminal law standards and brings more constitutional protections into play as each form of chemical testing carries a varying level of intrusion into the body. Assuming that the choice of chemical testing by the DUI Task Force in your case was a breath sample (the most common), we have just added the following: intoxilyzer engineering and maintenance issues, toxicology issues, implied consent statutes, right to counsel and something called retrograde extrapolation. The time of the breath test doesn’t tell anyone your level of impairment when you were driving two hours before. What it will tell you is a number… and that number can convict you. If your reading is a .08 or above, a judge or jury can presume that you were impaired rather than having to have the state prove the case beyond and to the exclusion of any and all reasonable doubt. Perhaps the few attorneys that took DUI defense seriously back in the 1980s were on to something when they started saying that the prosecution of DUI was the gateway to the erosion of our constitutional rights.