Being pulled over by the police is scary. When it happens, you might find yourself anxious and eager to comply with law enforcement’s requests to try to alleviate any suspicions of wrongdoing. Yet, complying with the police, in some instances, could lead you into legal hot water.
This is often seen with field sobriety tests. Florida law doesn’t require you to comply with a request to participate in one of these tests, but the results of them could be used against you. So, to protect yourself as fully as possible from the harsh penalties that accompany a drunk driving conviction, which may include jail time and license suspension or revocation, you need to know how to attack field sobriety test results.
As an example, let’s look at the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Here, a police officer holds a small object, like a pen or a finger, in front of your face and directs you to follow it with your eyes as it is moved from side-to-side. You should be instructed to not move your head when following the object. The officer will look for signs of intoxication, including lack of smooth following of the object, jerking eyes, and a failure to follow instructions. If you are deemed to have failed this test, then law enforcement may rely on that for justification for an arrest.
But you might be able to challenge these results. In many instances, police officers fail to provide clear instructions, or they simply misread the test results. In other situations, accused individuals are able to draw an officer’s credibility, and thereby the test results, into question.
Being aggressive when dealing with these matters may lead to reduced charges, dismissed charges, or even an acquittal. However, the facts of each case are different, meaning that you shouldn’t subject yourself to a cookie cutter approach to criminal defense. Fortunately, you might be able to obtain the personalized representation you deserve and need when going toe-to-toe with aggressive prosecutors.