Florida law enforcement can charge you with DUI even if you hold a valid prescription for a substance causing an impairment. You may, however, assert your right to a defense if your case does not involve bodily injury or property damage.
It is up to the prosecutor to agree to reduce a DUI charge to reckless driving, which generally results in lesser penalties. Some factors a prosecutor may consider include the results of a blood test and whether the officer conducted a lawful traffic stop.
How does a lawful traffic stop lead to a DUI charge?
A Sunshine State highway patrol officer can lawfully pull your vehicle over if he or she observes you violating a traffic rule. You may also find yourself stopped for swerving or hitting objects.
As noted by WebMD, an officer can generally request a field sobriety test if you show signs of impairment, such as slurred speech or red eyes. You may need to prove your sobriety by walking in a straight line or standing on one foot. If you fail at these tasks, the officer may then request a breath or blood test.
How can a defense result in a reduced charge of reckless driving?
A strong defense could persuade the prosecutor to consider the evidence and reduce your DUI charge to reckless driving. If the officer stopped your vehicle unlawfully or if your test results showed borderline results, you may have a bargaining point.
As noted in a reduced-charge case reported by The Villages News, a judge could decide to only impose a sentence of probation. A reckless driving charge, however, may not enable you to avoid any and all penalties.