Being pulled over and arrested for DUI is a serious matter, even if it is a first offence. If there is no evidence that your BAC was above the legal limit or the officer who stopped you carried out their duties in an improper way, you should hire a lawyer. Jax Criminal Defense Attorney handles cases like yours all the time. You should not risk trying to defend yourself against a DUI charge. You should seek the advice and representation of a legal professional.
A professional lawyer is someone, who solves almost any such legal issues for you without any fuss. In reality, being on the verge of a lawsuit, most do not know where to find a lawyer, how much it costs and how to distinguish a good specialist from a bad one. Compiled detailed search instructions.
When an Attorney is Needed?
The moment of thought” maybe I need a lawyer? and there is a signal that it will not be possible to resolve the situation without the help of a professional lawyer. Of course, now on the Internet you can find samples of any statement of claim, complaint, and independently send them to court. And people who follow this path are easy to understand – I do not want to spend money on a standard process. This is the same as going to a paid therapist for cold medicine.
The advisability of contacting a lawyer should be considered on the basis of the advisability of contacting a doctor. On the Internet there are many folk remedies and technologies for local drug treatment. Someone goes that way. Someone does not take risks and immediately seeks the professional help of a doctor. Are you ready to take on the risks that arise in the process of self-medication or do you still need to consult a specialized doctor? The same thing with a lawyer!
A first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor in the state of Florida, and the courts tend to hand down a standard sentence. The BAC limit in Florida is .08%. If there is evidence that you were above that when you were stopped, that you were driving erratically, and that you failed field sobriety tests, you may be pressured into pleading guilty and accepting the judge’s sentence.
However, there is no such thing as evidence that cannot be challenged. And if you know that the accusations against you are false, then you should hire a lawyer and fight them.
Should I Fight or Plea-Bargain?
You know what you did and did not do. And even if the evidence seems to be against you, it is possible to examine closely the facts that the prosecution has against you. There are factors that can create doubt about your arrest. They include:
- Inaccurate or questionable field sobriety test results
- Malfunctioning breathalyzer (they are after all machines and machines break)
- Procedural problems with your arrest
Your attorney will have the right to review and assess the evidence that police have against you. They can have the machine used to measure your BAC level looked at by their own technical experts. They can also interview the officer who arrested you and review body camera footage of the incident.
Your lawyer will also seek out people who witnessed the stop. They may give testimony that contradicts the statements made by the arresting officer. If, for example, you were driving within the speed limit and in a calm and normal way and you were pulled over for no reason at all, the field sobriety test can be considered a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights to be protected against illegal search and seizure, and the judge may throw the case out. If you were arrested without being read your Miranda rights, your attorney may also get the charges against you thrown out.
If You Are Guilty
Everyone makes mistakes. And if you did drink excessively before getting behind the wheel of a car, and it is your first time doing so, then you may want to seek a plea deal. It is possible to do so on your own. However, you are likely to get a much better outcome if you work through an experienced attorney.
Judges have a great deal of discretion in sentencing first-time DUI offenders. One of the greatest advantages of hiring an attorney is that they will probably know the judge who you must appear before. They will know what the judge will want to hear in order to give you a reduced sentence.
If there were aggravating circumstances in the DUI, then it can be elevated to a felony. The kind of circumstances that would put you in this situation include:
-A child was in the car
-A very high BAC
-An accident that caused injuries
What to pay your attorney?
The work of a lawyer consists of three main stages, each of which can be used separately:
- Preparation of documents, including claims, claims, applications for examination, etc.
- Representation in court
The trial in the first instance often does not end, and it may be followed by an appeal of the decision / sentence of the court and maintenance in the appeal, cassation, and supervisory instances. As a rule, such work is paid separately.
Also, if you want to save some payment you can do some things yourself: take the documents to the court and hand them over to the office, familiarize yourself with the case materials. But in general, we can say that the legal aid agreement – just like any other civil law agreement – is similar to the Lego constructor – it depends on you what will be written and how. Experts advise to pay for services in stages. Especially, if you first encountered your lawyer.
If you are facing a felony charge, then you will certainly want to hire a DUI lawyer. It is the only hope you have of avoiding the harshest sentence allowed by law and be actually worry free to get yourself out of such a situation.