Criminal Defense LawyersMy family and I could not be more grateful
for everything you did for me... - T.S.
DUI is one of the most common arrestable offenses in Florida and has one of highest conviction rates of all crimes. It seems almost every year the penalties for impaired driving become stricter, and Florida’s mandatory DUI sentences limit a judge’s ability to impose a lenient sentence. Decades of lobbying by MADD and other organizations have been highly effective, and now everyone in the criminal justice system from the arresting officer to the state prosecutor takes DUI cases extremely seriously. If you have been arrested for DUI anywhere in South Florida do not gamble with your future by showing up in court without an experienced lawyer. There are numerous defenses that could apply to your DUI case, which if argued properly could result in a dismissal or reduction of your charge. And despite many penalties being mandatory, there are still exceptions for certain DUI sanctions. South Florida DUI lawyer Benjamin Herbst can explain these defenses in detail, and will explore your case from every angle to determine the best course of action. Benjamin has won numerous DUI jury trials will all types of fact patterns, including those who tested above the legal limit. He has also prevailed in DUI property damage cases and cases involving being under the influence of controlled substances such as illegal narcotics and prescription medications. Benjamin represents clients charged with DUI in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, and he is also an experienced Martin County and St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyer for anyone facing charges along the Treasure Coast. Benjamin has successfully defended first-time offenders, and those with more than 3 prior DUI convictions. He has helped numerous out-of-state clients who were arrested while in Florida, and understands the challenges that fighting a case from another state present.
The basics of Florida DUI law require that the state prove two main facts. The first is that the defendant was in actual physical control of a vehicle. The term vehicle can include anything from the standard car or truck to cases involving golf carts and scooters. Benjamin has even represented clients charged with DUI on a bicycle. Actual physical control does not necessarily mean the defendant was driving or that the car was in motion, and it does not require that the key be in the ignition. A defendant can be in actual physical control of a parked car that is not running, but simply using a vehicle for shelter does not qualify as actual physical control. Actual physical control is typically a question for the jury, as there is there is a lot of gray area to work with. Benjamin has successfully argued the state did not meet its burden in proving actual physical control many times, and is prepared to do the same in your case. The second element that the state must prove is that the defendant was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances or controlled substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired. There is a presumption that this burden is satisfied by establishing that the defendant had a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Just because you have been charged with DUI does not mean you will be found guilty! There are dozens of defenses that may be available to you, and South Florida DUI lawyer Benjamin Herbst will explore each and every one of these defenses. The obvious defenses are challenges to the evidence that the defendant was in control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged crime, and challenging that the defendant’s normal faculties were impaired. A defendant who allegedly “fails” the roadside exercises is not necessarily impaired, and there may be multiple explanations why a defendant had blood shot eyes, slurred speech and is slow to react. After all, how many people act completely calm and normal when they are pulled over for a simple speeding ticket? Benjamin has the experience to attack every piece of evidence that the arresting officer testifies to regarding impairment. The fact is that no officer can ever really know if a suspect is impaired, and shining a light in someone’s eyes is hardly science. The standard roadside sobriety exercises are also extremely flawed and difficult even for a sober person to understand and perform. The state’s entire case is often based on inadequate speculation, and Florida police officers are always biased in order to justify their arrest.
Even if you have submitted to a blood or breath alcohol test, Benjamin can challenge the legality of the test and the accuracy of the results. Breathalyzer machines are notoriously faulty, and breath techs and police routinely ignore testing requirements. Benjamin is also experienced at filing motions to suppress illegal traffic stops, and other unlawfully obtained evidence. If the police had no right to pull you over in the first place, any evidence of impairment must be suppressed. There may also be issues with your implied consent advisement and other flaws regarding your arrest, so it pays to contact a lawyer to see what defenses may be available to you. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in DUI charges, and he is standing by to offer a free consultation about your case anytime at (954) 543-0305.