The Prosecutor's Burden In A Tampa DUI Case

What Does The Prosecutor Have To Prove In A Tampa DUI Case?

To prove the crime of DUI in Tampa, Florida, the prosecutor must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

First: the defendant drove, or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

Second: while driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, the defendant was either:

Under the influence of alcohol or another substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired; or

The defendant had a blood alcohol level or breath alcohol level of .08 grams or more.

Normal faculties include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.

Impaired means diminished in some material respect.

Actual physical control of a vehicle means the defendant must be physically in, or on, the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he or she is actually operating the vehicle at the time.

Under a theory of actual physical control, the police can arrest a person for DUI even when that person was not even driving.For example, let's say someone goes to a party, drinks too much, and becomes impaired. Rather than drive home, the person decides to do the responsible thing and sleep it off in their parked car. Even though the person did not drive the vehicle while impaired, if that person had the car keys in his pocket, under Florida law he would be guilty of DUI.

However, cases that turn on actual physical control are good candidates for reduction to reckless driving, as a prosecutor may not want to go before a jury with a case in which a defendant that had too much to drink prudently decided not to drive.

Are you looking for the best DUI lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former DUI prosecutor that now represents persons accused of DUI. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling all types of DUI cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, reach out to Attorney David C. Hardy. He has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.