When an officer charges you with a DUI in Tampa, you should not always assume that you must accept your fate; you may be surprised how often a criminal law attorney can get your case dismissed. After all, a DUI conviction can have serious consequences. In addition to losing your driving privileges, it can ruin your reputation. You may:
- Rack up expensive fees
- Face possible jail time
- Perform court-mandated community service
- Experience prejudice when applying for jobs, loans, etc.
You may also be required to have an IID (Interlock Ignition Device) installed in your vehicle. This device measures the alcohol in your system, just like a Breathalyzer, and your sample must be below a certain limit for your car to start. However, there is hope. Every year, there are Tampa residents who beat their DUI charges. In fact, according to the Florida DMV, of the more than 55,000 DUI tickets that were issued in 2011, less than two-thirds of those people were convicted. There are many reasons why a substantial number of cases fell through, although many of them are due to the experience and knowledge of a lawyer. Here a few ways a criminal law attorney may be able to help you avoid a DUI conviction.
Identifying Law Enforcement Mistakes
When you were pulled over under the suspicion of intoxicated driving, did the officer administer the breathalyzer test correctly? Was the officer trained to conduct the breathalyzer test? If an attorney establishes that the officer was not formally trained or did not meet certain qualifications at the time of the test, your case may be dismissed.
Inaccuracies in Test Results
Breathalyzer tests work under the presumption that a person will exhale 1.5 liters of air into the machine. However, the sample could vary by lung volume, sex, size, and age. A tall, healthy, young man could expel as much as 6 liters of air compared to an older, shorter woman who may only be able to expel 1 liter. If there are other factors such as lung disease present, that could also affect the reading. Your lawyer could argue that such a factor altered the test results, negating its accuracy.
Seek the Assistance of a Criminal Law Attorney
These are just two of the many potential defenses that could apply to a DUI case. Consulting with a local criminal law attorney will empower you and potentially save you from an uncertain future.