DUI LAWYER WEST PALM BEACH:
Too often people think that an arrest on DUI charges means that a conviction is unavoidable and they fail to adequately defend themselves. Our experienced DUI attorneys understand how to build a strong defense that can protect your rights and help you secure the best possible resolution to your situation.
There are a number of ways that a skilled criminal defense attorney can approach defending a client against DUI charges including:
- Questioning the stop — Was there probable cause (legitimate reason) for the officer to have pulled you over in the first place?
- Questioning the procedure — Did the police officer respect your rights at all points during the investigation and arrest?
- Questioning the BAC — Was the Intoxilyzer operator properly trained on that unit? Was the machine recently calibrated? Does that particular model of Intoxilyzer have a history of false positives? Did the testing officer or Intoxilyzer Technician perform the test properly?
What Makes Our Firm Different?
The cornerstone of this firm is our experience in the courtroom. Our firm is uniquely dedicated to providing clients with skilled and aggressive legal representation in DUI matters with personal service, efficiency, professionalism and most importantly outstanding results. Too often, the police investigate, charge and arrest someone for a crime that they did not commit. During our decades of defending clients in criminal matters we have experienced numerous mistakes made by law enforcement. We are committed to ensuring that your rights are protected at every stage of the investigation, arrest and formal charges.
FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
There Are Five Main Field Sobriety Tests That An Officer Will Request Of Someone Suspected Of Driving Under The Influence:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
The most unreliable of these tests is called the HGN, or Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test.
This test is performed by the officer using only a pen and usually a flashlight in your eye. It is used to determine if your eye exhibits nystagmus, or involuntary jerkiness at a 45 degree angle. Most often, the officer has absolutely no medical training whatsoever.
Most officers do not have medical training and some courts do not accept the accuracy of such HGN test and do not allow this test into evidence because of its lack of scientific reliability. In fact, most police officers only have approximately eight hours of Academy training on the HGN test, which does not qualify them to make such an evaluation.
Today’s breath tests are taken on a machine called the Intoxilyzer 8000R. This device measures your breath with a special infrared light to determine the alcohol content of your breath/blood.
Every Intoxilyzer device in use in the state of Florida must be tested every month as well as annually and must be registered and calibrated with the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement).
Pursuant to Florida DUI Statutes, the breath test legal limit is .08.
In most instances, you are asked to give a breath sample at the police station or local sheriff’s office. The latter usually occurs an hour or so after the actual traffic stop or initial encounter with the officer. Not at the time you are stopped. There are cases in which the police take up to two hours to administer this breath test. Accordingly, your breath test does not accurately reflect your blood-alcohol level at the time you were driving.
The results can be higher or lower than what it was at the time of driving. When you are arrested for DUI and taken to the jail and asked to provide a breath test you will not be unarrested if you pass the breath test.
Other factors that affect the accuracy of the results are:
- Time of your last drink (Beer, Wine, Liquor)
- Your body size and weight
- Your metabolism (most people take up to 90 minutes to start burning off alcohol)
- When you last ate and how much food was consumed.
- The activity you were involved in (dancing, sitting, running)
The attorney will question all of the above and if necessary hire an expert witness to testify about all of the inconsistencies using the above information as well as accuracy of the machine.
Walk And Turn
The Walk and Turn physical test requires you to walk heel-to-toe nine steps forward and then walk nine steps back.
The Walk and Turn is a difficult test even if you’re not drinking alcohol — especially with police pressure, hostility, nervousness, police car lights, etc. Not to mention, on the side of the road with cars speeding by. You don’t get to practice.
If you step off the straight line (usually an imaginary line) or fail to follow instructions, you fail the entire test.
One Leg Stand
The One Leg Stand is a physical test that requires you to lift your right or left leg six inches off the ground and count “1000-1, 1002…” until you reach “1000-30.” Most officers tell you to start the test and simply look at their watch … you don’t know when to stop. Most people cannot perform this exercise on their best day.
Whether you are a professional athlete or extremely out of shape — you are held to the same standard.
Finger To Nose
The Finger to Nose test is a physical test that requires you to extend your arm out and bring it back in and touch the tip of your noise with the tip of your index finger. The officer then directs you to use your left or right arm while you are tilting your head back. The Officer usually says “Left, Left, Right, Right, Left” or any combination thereof.
This is a difficult test even if one is not impaired by alcohol or another substance. If you touch any part of your nose other than the tip — you’ve failed the entire test.
Reciting The ABCs
Reciting the alphabet on the side of a dark street, in the middle of the night, with police pressure, hostility, nervousness, police car lights, etc. can lead to mistakes and confusion.
Contact The Criminal Defense Lawyers Of Gonzalez & Associates, PLLC
When you are facing DUI charges, you need to do everything you can to ensure that you secure the best possible resolution to your case. The skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys of Gonzalez & Associates, PLLC, can help. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our West Palm Beach DUI attorneys, call (561) 500-4529 available 24/7
Call for FREE Consultation: (561) 500-4529