When police stop someone because they suspect a case of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the suspect occasionally responds with hostility and threats instead of cooperating with the police. These intemperate responses often result in more serious criminal charges. The recent arrest of a man from Altamonte Springs on charges of DUI demonstrates how the suspect’s behavior can go off the rails and significantly worsen the legal situation.

The incident began when a Seminole County police deputy saw the suspect arguing with a woman in a pickup truck while stopped in a parking lot. The truck left the parking lot, but the driver did not turn on the lights. According to the arrest report, the deputy followed the truck and allegedly saw it drift into the oncoming lane of traffic. The officer stopped the truck and attempted to administer a series of field sobriety tests to the driver. The driver allegedly had difficulty with the tests and fell asleep during one such test.

The deputy placed the man under arrest and drove him to the Seminole County Jail. During the trip to the jail, the suspect addressed several racial and homophobic slurs to the deputy and told him that “I just want to beat the f—- out of you.” The suspect also allegedly said that he wanted to “stomp” the deputy and that he wanted to murder a deputy. The suspect was charged with DUI and threatening a law enforcement officer.

The suspect in this case obviously did himself no favors by ranting at the arresting officers. Nevertheless, he is still entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing similar charges may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide a useful evaluation of the case, suggest potential defense strategies and assist in negotiating a favorable plea agreement.