Florida Court Discusses Evidence of DUI Sufficient to Obtain a Warrant

In many cases, a person is charged with a DUI offense in Florida because they were pulled over while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a person is suspected of causing a collision while inebriated but the police have no proof that the individual drove the car involved in the crash, a warrant may be issued to acquire evidence such as blood samples. A Florida court recently released a ruling in a DUI case, reversing an order suppressing evidence gathered through several search warrants and explaining the probable cause the State must show to get a warrant. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s a good idea to talk to a seasoned Florida defense lawyer about your alternatives.

The Accident and the Investigation That Followed

According to reports, at around 2:30 a.m., a deadly collision occurred at an intersection in Orange County. One vehicle’s passenger and driver both perished as a result of their injuries. The defendant, who was in the driver’s seat at the time of the accident, was the owner of the second car involved in the collision. He had seat belt burns over his chest, and the defendant’s passenger said that he was inebriated and had consumed too much alcohol to drive.

Allegedly, the defendant was taken to the hospital, where he refused to give a blood sample. A warrant was acquired by the officer investigating the accident, allowing him to seize a sample of the defendant’s blood. A second warrant was issued a few days later to allow the office to seize evidence from the defendant’s vehicle, and a third warrant was issued a month later to seize a DNA sample from the defendant to see if it matched DNA from the automobile. The defendant filed a petition to suppress the evidence collected through the warrants, claiming that the police did not have probable cause to obtain them. The application was granted by the trial court, and the State appealed.

Providing Evidence of Probable Cause for Issuing a Warrant

In Florida, an affidavit supporting a warrant must prove probable cause for the warrant’s issuance by demonstrating that a specific person committed a crime and that evidence relevant to the probable crime is likely to be in the searched location. Probable cause does not necessitate prima facie proof of criminal activity; rather, it must be demonstrated that criminal behavior happened.

When a magistrate receives an affidavit in support of a warrant request, they must judge it on its four corners. In other words, they cannot rely on evidence other than the affidavit to determine whether there is reasonable cause. It must determine whether there is a reasonable possibility that evidence of a crime will be discovered if the warrant is granted based on the affidavit. Unless there is a blatant abuse of discretion, a finding of probable cause and issuance of a warrant should not be overturned. When the trial court allowed the defendant’s request, it failed to give the magistrate the deference that was due. As a result, the trial court’s decision was overturned.

Speak with a Reputable Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney

DUI convictions can jeopardize your freedom while also affecting your relationships, reputation, and employment. If you’ve been charged with DUI offense you should speak with an attorney to discuss your rights. The experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorneys of Hanlon Law are well versed in what it takes to achieve successful results in criminal cases, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. ¬†You can contact Hanlon Law via the online form or by calling 727-897-5413 to set up a conference.

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