How To Get DUI Evidence Thrown Out in Hillsborough County?
People often think DUI cases are open and shut. However, there is a lot an experienced lawyer can do to limit or exclude the evidence against you.
Your lawyer should review all the evidence and how the prosecution got it to determine if any of it could be ruled inadmissible. If there is questionable evidence, attorney Brett Metcalf will file a pretrial motion asking the judge to throw it out.
To learn more about common evidence in a DUI case and how to get it thrown out, call Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. at (813) 258-4800, or use the online form to request a free consultation.
Arguments To Get Evidence Thrown Out of Court
Below are a few arguments we can use to persuade a judge to throw out the evidence. There are other possible strategies, as well. It is essential to talk with a DUI defense attorney about the options in your specific case.
Faulty Breath Test Evidence
Most DUIs involve breath test results from a test performed after your arrest. This test measures the level of alcohol in your breath.
A lot can throw off the results, including medical conditions and medications. You may have a reason why the breath test results were wrong and showed you were over the legal limit when you were not.
There are also rules for how and when an officer must conduct this test. Officers must watch you for 20 minutes before the test to ensure there was no way it could be contaminated. Things like eating and drinking can mess up the results. If no one observed you for 20 minutes before the test, we could argue the breath test results are invalid.
Another issue is the breath test machine itself. An investigation into the device’s history and whether the operator followed proper procedures can tell a lot. Maybe it was improperly taken care of, or the operator did not run a diagnostic check, air blank tests, or a control test. Both of these are reasons to exclude evidence.
Involuntary Field Sobriety Tests
Florida law does not require you to take field sobriety tests during a traffic stop. But police officers do not make that clear. They often make it sound like you must perform these tasks.
Most people listen to an officer’s instructions out of fear of getting into trouble. When an officer tells you to perform a field sobriety test, you do. But, does that mean it was voluntary?
We may argue that the court should throw out any field sobriety results because you did not participate in them voluntarily. You thought you had no choice.
Illegally Obtained Evidence
One of the strongest arguments for getting evidence thrown out is to prove the officers only got it by violating your constitutional rights. We may be able to show police officers received the evidence despite:
- Not having probable cause to conduct a reasonable search and seizure
- Not having a valid warrant to conduct a search and seizure
- Searching and seizing evidence outside of a warrant’s parameters
- Failing to Mirandize you upon your arrest
Brett always reviews the officers’ conduct during a traffic stop. He determines whether the officer had a legitimate reason to stop you and looks for any signs that your constitutional right to privacy was violated. That happens if the officer looked through your car without probable cause or your permission. If Brett finds evidence of unlawful conduct by the police, he will use it to argue the judge should throw the evidence out.
Specific evidence may be part of a larger whole, such as a snippet of an audio recording from a longer conversation. This might be a recording from a police car’s dashboard camera or an officer’s body camera during a DUI case. A clip of audio or video might look bad for your case, which is why the prosecution wants to use it. But other parts of the recording or video might also be permissible and support your defense.
Under these circumstances, we may argue the evidence is a small portion of a larger whole. It needs to be viewed as a whole and should be thrown out if the jury cannot see the whole evidence, whether it is an audio recording, video, or something else.
The result may be that the court throws out the portion of evidence or requires the prosecution to present the evidence in its entirety.
Certain types of evidence are inherently not permissible based on the rules of evidence. A kind of inadmissible evidence is hearsay (though there are exceptions).
Hearsay is a statement made out of court and presented in court to prove the truth of the matter asserted. In other words, the statement is presented at trial to prove that the statement is true. For example, “Witness A” may claim that someone else told her that you admitted to driving after having several drinks at a bar.
Hearsay is considered second-hand information, and it is inadmissible because the lawyers in court cannot question the person who originally had the information.
We can argue against the prosecutor using hearsay in court, and the judge may throw it out. Hearsay can also come up at trial, in which case, Brett will immediately object. The judge can strike the hearsay from the court record. But it is not something that jurors can forget.
Call a Hillsborough County DUI Lawyer Today
When the police arrest you for drinking and driving, the best response is to call an experienced DUI defense lawyer right away. There are ways to defend yourself, including by limiting the evidence available to the prosecutor at trial. Reach out to Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. online or call (813) 258-4800 to set up a free consultation.