If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, there is likely a police report filed by the officer who arrested you that is full of details, seemingly establishing “probable cause” for that officer to have stopped and arrested you. At a glance, all the information on this police report—not to mention included in court summons and other official court documents—can seem completely indisputable, no matter how good your legal counsel is.
In reality, beating an “unbeatable” DUI in South Florida is very often possible with help from an expert DUI lawyer. Our award-winning team at Rossen Law Firm knows exactly what the law requires of police officers when making DUI stops. By taking advantage of a few “legal loopholes,” you may actually have a very good chance of coming away from your case without a DUI conviction on your record no matter how overwhelmingly unfavorable the evidence against you seems to be.
Everyone in Florida has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” inside their vehicle, which essentially means that a police officer cannot pull someone over and invade their privacy while they are inside their own car unless that officer has a reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. When it comes to DUI stops in the Sunshine State, police officers must specifically have probable cause to pull someone over based on a reasonable suspicion that they committed a traffic violation because they were driving drunk.
For example, one of the more common allegations that police officers put on reports compiled after DUI stops is that a supposedly drunk driver “failed to maintain a single lane,” followed by extensive evidence that the driver was, in fact, intoxicated. However, you are allowed under state law to change lanes without signaling or even briefly veer over the dividing lines between lanes so long as your actions do not affect other traffic. Put another way, there is often a difference in a situation like this between the “factual” assumption made by the officer and what they can “legally” prove you did.
With this in mind, a top Fort Lauderdale attorney could contest your “unbeatable” DUI charge by establishing that the police officer who arrested you did not actually have probable cause to pull you over in the first place. This would make any evidence collected by the officer during the ensuing stop “fruit of the poisoned tree” —in other words, evidence that was collected illegally and is therefore admissible in court. Even something as blatant as admitting out loud that you were drunk could be unusable evidence without probable cause.
A skilled defense lawyer can file a motion with the court to “suppress” any evidence a police officer collected during a DUI stop that was made without probable cause. If the court grants this motion, all that evidence would be thrown out of the criminal case against you, and the prosecution would have virtually no evidence that they could actually present in court.
In a situation like this, the state’s attorney is often willing to negotiate with your defense counsel and either drop the charges altogether or take your DUI charge down to “careless driving” or “reckless driving.” These are much less severe charges that can eventually be sealed off your record entirely, will result in much smaller increases in your insurance rates, and will generally have much less severe effects on your life than a DUI conviction would. This, in a nutshell, is how you beat an “unbeatable” DUI in South Florida: by figuring out where police officers may have overstepped their legal authority and using that evidence to ensure that otherwise incriminating evidence cannot be incorporated into the case against you.
Getting a DUI can feel life-shattering, but you are not alone. Our dedicated team at Rossen Law Firm has extensive experience handling cases just like yours, and we will fight hard to protect your rights and your future. Beating an unbeatable DUI in South Florida is not impossible— you just need the right lawyers on your side. To learn more about what we can do for you, give us a call and set up your strategy session.
Rossen Law Firm’s legal team understands what’s at stake when you’re charged with a crime in South Florida. We’re committed to defending you and protecting your rights. Our legal team is ready to create a customized strategy for your case to fight for the best possible outcome. We handle Criminal, DUI, Federal, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act & Baker Act cases, and more.
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