At Joshi & Schisani Law, we understand that getting arrested for DUI can be a stressful—and even humiliating—experience, but rest assure there are numerous things our experienced law firm can do to get your charges reduced to a reckless driving or even completely dropped. We’re able to achieve such great results because our defense attorneys were former prosecutors and are cognizant of how the other side prosecutes cases. This is advantageous because it’s like knowing the other person’s hand before the “match” even begins. We’re able to bring our knowledge from the prosecution side of the law—over to the defense side—to strategically and methodically pick apart cases.
Our firm is well-known for finding common issues associated with DUI cases. When we find these issues, we file what’s called a “Motion to Suppress Evidence” and set a hearing on the motion to aggressively fight for your constitutional rights. A Motion to Suppress can prevent evidence from being used against you, making it more difficult for the State to prosecute—ultimately leading to a favorable result.
Below are some common issues we find with DUI cases:
1. Was the stop legal?
a. Did the officer have probable cause of a traffic infraction to stop?
i. E.g. speeding, running a stop sign, a defective taillight= probable cause to stop.
b. Did the officer have reasonable suspicion of DUI to stop?
2. After the stop, was the detainment lawful?
a. Generally, a person shouldn’t be detained for longer than was necessary for the officer to issue a traffic citation. In order to justify a longer detention, a law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion of a crime.
3. Did the officer have reasonable suspicion to request field sobriety exercises (FSEs)?
a. An officer must have reasonable suspicion of DUI to request and have you perform FSEs. If they don’t, then the FSEs should be suppressed and not used against you.
4. Did the officer have probable cause to arrest for DUI?
a. The officer can use the traffic stop, observations, results from the field sobriety exercises, etc. to determine probable cause to arrest you for DUI. They cannot arrest you for merely smelling the impurities of alcohol on your breath or by you admitting to drinking.
5. Before submitting to a breath test, were you observed for 20 minutes?
a. Before taking a breath test the subject must be observed for a period of 20 minutes to make sure they don’t eat anything or regurgitate, thereby interfering with the breath results. This can lead to suppression of evidence.
6. Did the officer read you Miranda?
a. If you are no longer free to leave and the officer fails to read you your Miranda rights, and continues to ask you questions about events prior to the stop, any incriminating statements made to the officer may be suppressed.
7. Were you involved in an accident, accused of DUI and questioned?
a. Under Florida law, you’re required to report accidents. Therefore, Florida has what is called the Accident Report Privilege, which encourages witnesses to cooperate with officers in vehicle accident investigations—without having witnesses fear that they may make incriminating statements to authorities. Under Florida’s Accident Report Privilege, most statements given to law enforcement officers are excluded from being used in later trial. It’s noteworthy to point out that if an officer thinks you may be driving under the influence, he or she may “switch hats” and inform you that they have concluded their crash investigation, and are moving on to a criminal investigation associated with the vehicle accident. At this point, for further inquiry, the officer must read you your rights. Therefore, if the officer fails to “switch hats” and read you your rights, any incriminating statements you make may be suppressed under the Accident Report Privilege and excluded as evidence.