Orlando DUI lawyer explains how circumstantial evidence can affect your Orlando drunk driving case.

Circumstantial Evidence in Orlando DUI cases

Orlando DUI lawyer explains how circumstantial evidence can affect your Orlando drunk driving case.

Circumstantial evidence in an Orlando DUI case may mean a dismissal!

There are two types of evidence in any Orlando DUI case:

Direct Evidence
Evidence which straight forwardly shows something, without relying upon inferences or presumptions.

examples
• Eye-witness testimony
• Video tape evidence

Circumstantial Evidence
Evidence which infers or presumes a certain fact, rather that directly proving the fact.

examples
• motive to commit the crime
• opportunity to commit the crime

For most Orlando drunk driving cases, all of the evidence in the case will be direct evidence. This may include eye-witness testimony from an Orlando Police Department officer or Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy describing the physical observations they saw, video evidence of the driving pattern, or scientific evidence such as a blood test or Intoxilyzer 8000 test result.

For some cases, however, the evidence will be circumstantial. For example, if no one sees the person driving or drinking, then the only proof of those elements may be circumstantial evidence.

In Law, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the State must first introduce “competent evidence which is inconsistent with the defendant’s theory of events.” Once they meet that initial threshold burden, then it becomes the jury’s duty to decide if that evidence “excludes every reasonable hypothesis of innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.”

That means that the judge must grant a judgment of acquittal if there is a reasonable theory of the defendant’s innocence and the State fails to present any evidence that (if believed by the jury) would make the defense’s theory impossible. If the State does introduce evidence which makes the defendant’s theory impossible, then the motion for judgment of acquittal would be denied, and the question would go to the jury.

If both sides rely upon the same evidence and circumstances to establish their Orlando DUI cases and two equally probable theories arise from those facts, then the court must grant the motion for judgment of acquittal if one of those theories is consistent with innocence.

If an Orlando driver has been arrested for an Orlando DUI and circumstantial evidence plays a pivotal role in your drunk driving case, the driver’s testimony will be critically important, because the judge must accept the DUI client’s version of events (unless the State can prove that some of the client’s evidence is false). Once the defendant establishes that theory of innocence as a matter of law, the judge must grant the JOA.

Applicable cases:
Orlando DUI circumstantial evidence case: State v. Law, 559 So.2d 187 (Fla. 1989)
Orlando DUI circumstantial evidence case: McArthur v. State, 351 So.2d 972 (Fla. 1977)
Orlando DUI circumstantial evidence case: Crain v. State,, 894 So.2d 59 (Fla. 2004)

About The Author

Elliott Wilcox

Orlando DUI lawyer Elliott Wilcox isn't just a former DUI prosecutor… He's the one who TRAINED all of the DUI prosecutors! Elliott dedicates 100% of his practice to DUI defense. If you've been arrested for an Orlando DUI, call Elliott for help at (407) DUI-HELP.