Fort Myers, FL – When someone is suspected of driving under the influence in Florida, there are a number of things that the officers on the scene will do to start to gather evidence and help the state prove its case in court at a later time. One of the main jobs of a defense attorney is to try to question the validity of these pieces of evidence or have them excluded altogether if the investigation was not done properly. If crucial pieces of evidence are not going to be admitted, the defendant may be able to take a plea to a lesser charge or have the case dropped altogether. Anyone who is facing DUI charges in Florida should talk to an attorney about their case to get specific help. This is especially crucial in cases for driving under the influence, as traffic law, criminal law, and scientific evidence is involved.
Field exercises to gauge the suspect’s condition
Field sobriety tests or exercises are one of the main ways that the state attempts to prove that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they were driving.
One exercise is called the horizontal gaze nystagmus. This test is meant to use a stylus or pen to detect involuntary jerking of the eyes when someone is impaired. However, there are also medical conditions and legitimate prescription medications that can cause this same issue with someone who has focused their vision on a fixed point.
Other exercises such as the one leg stand and walk and turn are meant for the officer to observe the suspect’s balance and ability to complete physical tasks. While these observations are not necessarily scientific in nature, they do provide information about the driver’s condition and their ability to complete basic physical movements. The defense attorney can bring up the fact that these tasks should ideally be completed in a well lit area that is free from distractions, which is often difficult to do on the side of the road and can undermine the credibility of the test.
Chemical testing for intoxication
A chemical sample of breath, blood, or urine can be taken from the victim to give a blood alcohol content reading. Some suspects will refuse a breath test, as they are already under arrest when the test is given in Florida and the police will not let the person leave regardless of the reading of the sample. When someone refuses to take the test, they should tell their attorney, as there are slightly different penalties for a refusal case based on the state’s implied consent law.
Getting legal help
Anyone who is facing a DUI charge in the Fort Myers area can contact Michael M. Raheb for more information.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901