Evidence in DUI Cases
Jacksonville Attorneys Defending Drivers
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI), reviewing the evidence may be an important step in developing a suitable defense strategy. Reviewing the evidence in DUI cases and other criminal matters is necessary to establish the elements of the offense. To get a conviction, the prosecution must have sufficient evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. At Ellis and Bryant, we understand how to address the key pieces of evidence typically involved in a DUI case. Our Jacksonville DUI attorneys can examine the circumstances of a DUI arrest and challenge improper evidence. We are prepared to guide you through the proceedings and answer any questions you may have regarding the evidence in your DUI case.
Evidence in DUI Cases
Many Jacksonville DUI cases arise from traffic stops conducted by law enforcement officers. The evidence gathered from a DUI traffic stop and investigation may provide probable cause for an arrest. Evidence may also be presented by the prosecution to be used against you at trial. Evidence in DUI cases may include the results of a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, statements and testimony from the arresting officer and other witnesses, and other admissible information. The evidence most commonly used in DUI cases is explained below.
DUI Chemical Test
Incident to a DUI arrest, a law enforcement officer may ask the driver to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining their blood alcohol content (BAC) level. The results of a lawfully administered chemical test may be admissible evidence in a DUI case. Under Florida law, a BAC level of .08 or more is prima facie evidence that the driver was impaired by alcohol. A defendant may also secure an independent blood, breath, or urine test at their own expense.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are conducted by police to gather evidence that may indicate whether a driver is impaired. The police officer administering the field sobriety tests may testify at trial regarding their observations of the defendant’s performance. The testimony of the officer is evidence that may be used to prove a DUI. If available, dashboard and/or police body cameras may also provide video evidence of the defendant’s performance of field sobriety tests.
Statements Made by the Defendant
Generally, anything you say during a DUI stop may be used as evidence against you. Once you are arrested for a DUI, however, a Miranda warning must be provided before the police may interrogate you. If you then waive your Miranda rights and speak to the officers, your statements may be admitted as evidence in a DUI case. Statements that are solicited from you in violation of your Miranda rights, or made involuntary through coercion or force, are generally not admissible in court.
Motion to Suppress Evidence
Evidence that was obtained unlawfully or in violation of your constitutional rights may not be used against you in a DUI case. For example, if the police did not have probable cause to arrest you for a DUI, the evidence gathered as a result of your arrest generally would not be admissible in court. However, it is important to note that neither the prosecutor nor the judge is responsible for raising these evidentiary issues. If the prosecution seeks to admit questionable evidence in a DUI case, the defense must bring it to the attention of the court in a motion to suppress.
Discuss Your DUI Case With a Lawyer in Jacksonville
A criminal defense attorney can examine the evidence in your DUI case and argue for a favorable outcome. At Ellis and Bryant, our lawyers can help people who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Jacksonville Beach, Middleburg, Orange Park, and other areas of Duval and Clay Counties. Schedule a meeting to review your DUI case with one of our attorneys by calling (904) 551-4120 or by contacting us online.