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Are There Any Law Enforcement Mistakes That Can Get My Traffic Violation Case Dismissed?

There are no law enforcement mistakes that can get a traffic case automatically dismissed. However, there are many law enforcement mistakes that can get your case dismissed if you address the mistake in court.

The law presumes that officers are correct until challenged. If you believe that there were mistakes made by the officer that could get the case dismissed, your best bet is to hire an attorney and explain the situation to them. Your attorney will look at the citation, listen to the mistakes you think the officer made, and find any additional mistakes they think the officer made. To the trained eye, many of these mistakes will be relatively easy to find right there on the ticket.

An attorney can then challenge the imperfections in the ticket and any other mistakes in court. The court then has to rule on whether they are indeed mistakes and what that means for the case. Some cases are indeed dismissed this way.

Of course, this all starts with hiring an attorney. If you don’t hire an attorney, you won’t properly raise the challenge, and your right to do so later may be waived. This can hurt you both in the short term and down the road if you ever get additional charges.

If I Already Paid My Traffic Ticket, Is It Too Late To Avoid Points On My Driver’s License?

In many cases, no, it is not too late. If quite a long time has passed (i.e., at least several years), you may not be able to avoid the points. However, if it is relatively soon after the ticket has been paid, you definitely have a chance. In fact, there is a specific process for addressing this type of issue. It is generally advisable to hire an attorney to do it, but if the case is relatively simple and you are somewhat savvy about the process, you can do it yourself.

The process begins by filing a Motion to Mitigate Sentence. This re-opens the case, and puts the ticket back before the court. When you initially paid your ticket, it automatically entered a plea of guilty to the charges. Once the case is re-opened, either you or your attorney can vacate that plea, and then argue for a not-guilty reduced sentence with a Withhold of Adjudication in order to avoid getting points.

Does A Police Officer Have To Show Me His Or Her Radar Reading If I’ve Asked?

Yes, a police officer is required to show you their radar reading before the court.

How Does Florida Define A DUI Violation Or A DUI Charge?

A DUI is a violation for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances. There are several different ways that officers can test whether you have ingested alcohol and/or controlled substances, and how much. The tests that you took may impact your defense, especially depending on the circumstances in which they were administered. It is important to note that if an officer asks you to take one of these tests, you are allowed to choose which one you want to take.

One common DUI test is a breath test. It is a means of testing your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) through your breath. In Florida, a person can be charged with a DUI for having a BAC of .08% or more. If you have a BAC of 0.15% or more, you can be charged with an aggravated DUI, which has more severe penalties.

Another way is a urine test. This method is primarily used for drug offenses. Urine cases are notoriously hard for the state to prove, so long as you hire a competent attorney to argue on your behalf. This is because urine tests can tell whether you have a controlled substance in your system, but cannot exactly pinpoint when you took the controlled substance, and whether it would have been affecting you to the extent that you were impaired while you were driving. In order to prove a urine-based DUI, they have to prove something that the urine test is, in my opinion, simply not exact enough to do. This can be good news for your case, but that depends on an attorney being able to clearly make this argument on your behalf.

A third way is a blood test. There are many potential defenses that blood tests present, because there are many mistakes that can be made along the way. An attorney can question virtually every element of the testing process, from whether the blood was collected and run legally to whether the officer stored the blood in their car for too long. The later point often comes up in Florida, since it’s so hot here. If you store blood in your trunk under the hot Florida sun, it is going to ferment relatively quickly. Fermentation increases the alcohol content of the blood, which can cause later tests to show falsely elevated BAC levels. Like urine tests, blood tests are easy for a knowledgeable attorney to pick apart, so it’s especially important to hire an attorney for these cases.

What Are Roadside Breath Tests And Standardized Field Sobriety Tests? Are They Required In Florida?

Roadside breath tests and field sobriety tests are methods used by officers to test BAC/signs of sobriety when they stop people on suspicion of being intoxicated. As for if they are required, the answer is yes and no.

Officers stopping a driver on suspicion of intoxication are required to offer field sobriety exercises. You are allowed to refuse to perform these exercises if you don’t want to. Generally, if you are really intoxicated, my advice is to refuse. They are going to suspend your driving privileges either way (i.e., whether they charge you with a DUI or you refuse.)

As far as the breath test is concerned, you can also refuse, but the penalties for refusing are more severe. These penalties include an automatic suspension of your license and driving privileges for up to a year for a first-time DUI and up to 18 months for a second or third charge. The only situation where I would advise a client to refuse is if they are truly very intoxicated and believe that they might blow above, say, a 0.3. Not having evidence of such a high BAC may be somewhat helpful. Otherwise, refusal gives the state the presumption of guilt, which they can use at trial to argue that you were intoxicated.

What Happens If I Refuse To Take A Breathalyzer Or Chemical Test?

When you refuse to take a test for BAC or drugs, your license is automatically suspended. The officer will read you what’s called Implied Consent, which basically says that as part of driving privileges, you acknowledge that you’ll have to submit these exercises and tests. Therefore, if you refuse, you get an automatic suspension of your license, because having that license is a privilege, not a right.

For more information on Traffic Violations Cases in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 478-4222 today.

Christopher Shaw, Esq.

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(727) 478-4222