Florida has harsh laws for people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. First offenders can face a range of penalties including fines, probation, community service, the suspension of a driver’s license, and the possibility of jail time. Repeat offenders, like this Florida woman who was arrested three times in one week, face higher penalties. Knowing what to do after you are pulled over can sometimes help you avoid these harsh penalties.
From the second you see an officer put his lights on to pull you over, you need to focus on your defense. In order to convict you of a DUI, the state will have to prove every part of its case beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the right to remain silent and do not need to answer any questions before you speak to a lawyer.
Police will typically ask you to submit to a breathalyzer and a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST). By obtaining a license, you have given your implied consent to these tests. Your first refusal to take these tests generally carries a penalty including the suspension of your license for a year. You will be forced to quickly decide whether to submit to these tests. If you believe your blood alcohol level (BAC) is above 0.15, refusing these tests may carry less of a penalty than a DUI conviction. Unfortunately, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test could disqualify you from a pre-trail diversion program. These programs, which are available only in certain counties, allow first offenders to avoid a DUI conviction by taking required classes, submitting to future urine testing and paying fines.
After an arrest for DUI, the police will generally hold you. They will keep you for eight hours or until you are no longer impaired. It is essential that you contact an experienced Florida DUI attorney as soon as possible to begin crafting your defense. In order to achieve justice, your attorney will look for any flaws in the state’s case. This means examining all of their evidence, as well as the procedures police followed, and even questioning the reliability of breathalyzer machines.
While you should never drink and get behind the wheel, even drivers who have had a few drinks have rights. Contact an experienced Citrus County DUI attorney at Largey Law online to start an aggressive defense of your rights.