The old adage, “to err is human,” perfectly captures what could happen to you on the road. Unfortunately, when a police officer errors, the Florida judge might wrongfully convict you, blemishing your record for years. If you have been arrested for DUI, here are the common mistakes law enforcement can make that you can use to your advantage in court.
Making a traffic stop without a probable cause
In Florida, for a police officer to pull over a driver, they must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed. This means they must have observed something that led them to believe that the driver was intoxicated. If there’s no valid reason, the arresting police officer would be violating your fourth amendment rights.
Failing to read the Miranda rights
After a person is placed under arrest for DUI, the police must read them their Miranda rights. These include the right to remain silent and to an attorney. If the arresting police officer fails to read your Miranda rights, any evidence they obtain may not be admissible in court.
Failing to conduct a proper field sobriety test
In Florida, police officers use a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs) to determine whether a driver is intoxicated. They are designed to test your physical and mental abilities, which are impaired when drunk. However, they are not always accurate. In fact, numerous factors can affect your performance on these tests, such as age, weight, fatigue and nerves. Additionally, the police officer conducting the test may not be properly trained in administering it. As such, it is important to know that you have the right to refuse these tests.
DUI checkpoint mistakes
DUI checkpoints are legal and constitutional in Florida. Meaning, that if a police officer asks you to stop, you must pull over. But, there are things that a police officer cannot do. For example, they cannot just stop any car; there must be a neutral predetermined process of selecting vehicles to pull over. Additionally, they must have a reasonable suspicion that a driver is intoxicated before they can ask them to step out of their car.
You should remember that the state and federal laws protect you as a citizen of America. A police officer should never breach your constitutional rights regardless of the circumstances on the road.