|Field Sobriety Exercises|
Tampa DUI Attorney / Lawyer continues a look at whether or not Courts view Roadside Field Sobriety investigations as “tests.” One court has instructed the State not to refer to Field Sobriety Exercises as tests and does not allow testimony about whether or not a Defendant passed or failed Field Sobriety Exercises. The only limited testimony will be:
What exercises Defendant requested to perform;
What instructions were read to Defendant;
What physical actions Defendant took in completing exercises.
The court even ruled the State will not be permitted to bolster testimony by again testifying in summary, exercise by exercise, whether Defendant followed the instructions.
Source: State v. Gholston, 4 Fla. L. Weekly Supp.594a (9th Cir. Ct., February 19, 1997).
Another Court has ruled, that the State cannot elicit testimony that a Defendant did not perform FSEs “up to standards.” Mercado v. State, 15 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 125a (11th Cir. Ct., December 13, 2007). Yet another court ruled that an officer’s testimony that there are times when he would NOT arrest a motorist if the motorist performed up to “standard” was improper and found a trial court’s ruling was reversible error.
Source: Mestrealfaro v. State, 16 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 140a (11th Cir. Ct., December 17, 2008).
It is clearly established under Florida law that while observations of an officer are admissible, their opinions based upon Field Sobriety Exercise are quite limited.
If you are a Lawyer or a Defendant, Call Me Toll Free to Discuss at 1-877-793-9290.