DUI is a serious crime that is a first degree misdemeanor in the state of Florida. DUI charges can also become felonies or include additional criminal charges in more serious incidents that involve injuries or property damage. This means that a good defense is important to avoid life changing penalties, including jail time.
A drunk driver in the Destin area made local headlines when he hit another car, then hit a police officer in the mouth after being arrested.
Drunk driver rear ends another car then knocks out a cop’s tooth
The suspect was driving on Highway 98 in Destin when he hit another car from behind at a high rate of speed. Witnesses state that the impact was hard enough to lift the car off of the pavement. When police from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrived, they detained the suspect and placed him in the back of an officer’s vehicle. At some point while being transported away from the scene, the suspect was able to free one of his hands from the cuffs and hit the officer in his mouth, knocking out his tooth. The suspect was hit with a taser and placed back in the handcuffs.
In addition to driving under the influence, the suspect was charged with crimes for driving without a license, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest with violence.
Is there any legitimate defense for someone in a similar situation?
While many DUI cases can look very bad when first reported, there are a number of potential defenses to charges that originate from suspicion of driving under the influence. Sometimes officers do not stop cars for legitimate reasons or they make mistakes when collecting evidence that will prove that the driver was impaired.
Usually, if a defense attorney can prove that the initial traffic stop was illegal, the rest of the evidence in the case will be excluded. Law enforcement needs to have suspicion of one of the traffic violations that is listed in the Florida statutes before they can legally conduct a traffic stop. Sometimes, officers are mistaken about the reasons why they can force a vehicle to pull over, and in these cases, everything that is discovered in the following investigation, including evidence of impairment, goes away. There are also strict procedures that need to be followed to collect a breath or blood sample, and the results of the test are excluded if this is not done properly.
What about the additional criminal charges?
The story above also speaks of additional criminal charges that were attached to the DUI offense. This is common as drunk drivers sometimes cause property damage, may have their license suspended from other traffic incidents, or resist arrest while intoxicated. These overlapping charges can also be handled by your DUI lawyer, and it may be possible to have these attached cases dropped or reduced depending on the specifics of your situation.
Get local help from an experienced DUI defense lawyer