When facing DUI charges, you know there is a lot at stake. Depending on the severity of your case, whether a car accident was involved and your criminal history, you could be facing the potential for time behind bars, fines and other detrimental penalties that can alter the course of your life. It’s in your interests to have a strong defense strategy prepared.
One part of your defense plan should be to look carefully at the circumstances of your DUI traffic stop. If the police did not have valid grounds to pull you over, it could negate some of the evidence against you, severely compromising the prosecution’s case. It is important to understand the legal principle of reasonable suspicion and how it applies to your case.
Grounds for a traffic stop
Police cannot detain you without reason, including stopping your vehicles and questioning you about drunk driving without cause. However, if you display certain behaviors or law enforcement witnesses something that gives them reason to suspect the commission of a crime, they can stop you. This is reasonable suspicion, and the following types of behaviors may lead to a valid suspected DUI traffic stop:
- Braking for no reason
- Almost hitting or hitting stationary objects
- Driving at erratic speeds
- Driving through stop signs
- Trouble maintaining the lane
Any of these behaviors and others may indicate a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a close examination of your case finds that there was no reason to pull you over in the first place, you may have grounds to challenge the entire case against you.
The impact on your life
A DUI can significantly impact your life. You could end up in jail, lose your driver’s license or have to pay expensive fines. A conviction could result in the loss of your job or future career opportunities, even if you are young. The effect on your future has the potential to be severe
You will find it beneficial to work with an experienced Florida attorney regarding your defense options. With the right support and guidance, it is possible to effectively confront the case against you. You may be able to mitigate some of the penalties you are facing or even avoid a conviction. An assessment of your case will reveal what options are available to you.