DUI Defense

Four Ways To Lose Your Driver’s License

Anyone who remembers how hard it was to wait to turn sixteen and get their driver’s license will probably agree that if you lose your license later, it can be a real hardship. Driving gives you a sense of freedom and independence, but also allows you to get where you need to go. If you are not allowed to drive you have to rely on a friend or family member to take you places, or find an alternative form of transportation. There are several things you can do that put your license in jeopardy, like getting too many speeding tickets and accumulating too many points on your driving record. And, if you get pulled over for DUI there is an automatic suspension of your right to drive. In the instance of a DUI you do have the chance to ask for your license back, but you do have to ask on time. In addition to the automatic license suspension that happens when you get a DUI, there are other things that lead to loss of your license.

Four ways to lose your driver’s license with, or without a DUI are:

  • Being convicted of reckless driving. Most reckless driving tickets are the result of driving way over the speed limit and/or weaving in and out of traffic while speeding. The key here is that the driving pattern puts others in danger.
  • DUI cases that also involve drugs. A common combination is a DUI charge along with a charge for possession of marijuana. This duo, when it results in a conviction, can also result in a loss of your driver’s license.
  • Failing to abide by the terms of probation, especially probation for DUI cases.
  • A DUI that involves an accident, especially one where the other driver or passengers are seriously injured or a death results.

If you have been charged with DUI make sure that you defend your right to drive as well as defend the criminal charges against you. Most people are unaware that a DUI is a two part case, and tend to focus only on the criminal portion of the case. But if you ignore the administrative component to your case, the part where your driver’s license is suspended, you just might find yourself without the right to drive. Call our office for more information, and let one of experienced DUI defense attorneys help you.

For answers to questions about violations of probation, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you today. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

 

DUI Punishment For First And Second Time Offenders

If you get arrested for a crime, there is always the possibility that you might have to spend some time in jail. But depending on the circumstances of your case, you might also be able to avoid any time behind bars. The punishment possible in your case depends not only on the type of crime you are charged with, but also whether you are a first or second time offender.

In a DUI case, the range of punishment can include going to jail, but there are also other possible consequences, depending on whether you have faced these types of charges before or are here for the first time. Here is what you can expect for a first and a second time DUI offense:

  • First time DUI offenders are punished by a monetary fine of up to $500.00 and are also required to pay the court costs associated with the charges. You will also lose your driver’s license for up to 6 months for a first time DUI offense, but do have the opportunity to challenge that suspension. The key is to make a request for a review of the suspension, but it has to be done within the first ten days of arrest. First time DUI offenders should also expect to be placed on probation, which could include community service and the requirement to have an interlock device installed in their car. As long as all of the terms of probation are complied with, most first time cases are either dismissed at the end of the probationary period or reduced to a lesser charge. The benefit of having a DUI reduced to a lesser charge is that there is not notation of DUI on your record, and this helps you keep your insurance rates low and also helps keep your driving record in good standing.
  • Second (and even subsequent) DUI offenders can expect many of the same forms of punishment as first time offenders, but the financial burdens are higher and the length of time your license is revoked is longer. This does not mean that you cannot still challenge the suspension of your license, or avoid going to jail, it just means you have to work harder for those things.

If you are facing a DUI charge, call one of our experienced defense attorneys for help. We have defended numerous DUI cases and can help you too. Call today to find out more.

For help with a DUI, contact our office for help. Call us today schedule an appointment with n qualified criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.

Three Ways To Mess Up Your DUI Defense

Most people are not arrested every day, or even once in their lifetime. So if it happens, it is only natural to be confused and wonder what to do in order to have a good outcome to your case. If your case is a DUI there are a few things to consider, so you can continue to drive and keep harmful information off of your criminal record. One of those things is to make an immediate request that the suspension of your driver’s license (that happens when you are arrested for DUI), be reviewed. First time offenders are likely to be granted a provisional license, which is a limited right to drive. The provisional license will let you drive to and from school, work, Church, doctor’s appointments, and to Court. It will be important for you to have the continued ability to live your life without interruption to your schedule, so asking for a review within the first ten days of DUI arrest is a must. If you do not, you will not be given this limited license.

Three other ways you can harm your DUI defense are to:

  • Assume you cannot win your case: while not every case will end up being dismissed, there are plenty of other outcomes that are short of a guilty conviction. You can challenge the breath test results, and if successful you may be able to have the charges reduced.
  • Drive while your license is suspended: this is a crime in and of itself, and will also get you in big trouble during your DUI case because if you agree to go on probation to resolve your DUI, driving without the right to do so is also a violation of probation. This spells trouble any way you look at it, and can be avoided by simply finding alternative forms of transportation.
  • Trying to talk your way out of a DUI: if you try to convince the officer you have not been drinking and that you should be free to go, chances are the officer is going to push even harder for a conviction. Remember, you do have the right to remain silent and if your words will only incriminate you, it is better to keep quiet than to try and talk your way out of a ticket.

DUI’s are serious business and can have serious consequences, but they can also be successfully defended and those consequences minimized. If you have been arrested for DUI, act fast by calling us for help. We will fight hard to maintain your right to drive, and will also aggressively defend the criminal charges against you.

For questions about DUI cases, call us to schedule an appointment. Let one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you with your case. Your first visit with us is a free initial consultation.

 

Four Suspicious Driving Patterns That Can Lead To DUI

In order for an arrest to be made and a crime prosecuted, the State has to have some sort of evidence that the defendant committed the crime. A DUI arrest is made when a driver has a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, which is 0.08%. In order to make this determination, an officer who pulls over a car will give the driver a breath test. But the breath test is only given if the arresting officer reasonably suspects the driver is driving while intoxicated. There are some physical signs the officer can observe once the car is stopped, such as bloodshot eyes or an odor of alcohol, but in order to make the stop in the first place the officer has to have a good reason.

The most obvious reason for pulling over a driver is if they are speeding. We are all required to drive no faster than what the law allows, and even if alcohol is not involved it is still against the law to driver over the speed limit. But driving too fast is not the only thing that will get you pulled over, here are four suspicious driving patterns that can lead to a DUI arrest:

  • Driving too slow: that’s right; it is also against the law to drive slower than the speed limit. Just a few miles under the limit will not be suspicious, but if you are going significantly slower than what is allowed it looks suspect. A lot of drivers think if they just don’t speed on the way home from a night out of drinking they are in the clear, and so will drive much slower than the limit. But this raises an officer’s eye and can get you pulled over on suspicion of DUI
  • Disregarding traffic signals and signs: running a red light, or rolling through a stop sign are certain signs that you are not paying attention to your driving and in some cases this is the result of mere inattentiveness, but in others it is due to having some drinks before driving.
  • Weaving in and out of traffic: when you change lanes quickly, or too close to the car in front of you, it is a sign you a driving while impaired.
  • Having an accident: anyone can be in an accident at any time, and it does not take alcohol to cause an accident. But if you happen to have been drinking and do get in an accident, the officer on the scene will probably give you a DUI ticket and arrest you.

If you have been arrested for DUI, call our office for help. We have experience with defending DUI cases of all fact patterns, and know how to investigate each case to find the facts that will lead to the best possible defense.

For more information about DUI defense, call our office. Schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Five Steps To Every DUI Case

Being pulled over and charged with DUI is no fun. But even when you have made the best of plans for a safe ride home, things happen and you might get pulled over after having a few drinks. Everyone reacts differently in this situation, and the way you respond might impact your case down the road, but the blueprint of how the case proceeds is typically the same for all cases. Of course there are always cases with extraordinary circumstances, but by and large every DUI case takes the same path. And, knowing what that path is can help you to prepare an effective defense and maybe even save your right to drive.

Five steps to every DUI case include:

  • A traffic stop and an arrest. At the time of the traffic stop; which can be for any good reason such as speeding, running a light, weaving in and out of traffic, or any other suspicious driving pattern, if the officer suspects the driver has been drinking the driver can be asked to submit to a breath test. This is the normal protocol on the side of law enforcement, but each driver reacts differently to this request. Whether you refused to take the breath test, or submitted to it will affect the type of defense you offer. We can help in either case because we have experience defending both instances.
  • Your first court appearance after bonding out of jail will be the arraignment. This is the time to advise the Court if you will be entering a guilty or not guilty plea.
  • Depending on how to plan to plea, after the plea is entered it is necessary to investigate your case further and make any motion with the Court to keep certain evidence out of the Courtroom. Once all of your pretrial motions have been decided on by the Court, you will be in a good position to begin negotiations with the prosecuting attorney.
  • During the negotiation phase your attorney will argue for the most lenient outcome, whether that is probation or an outright dismissal of the charges depends on the evidence in your case.
  • Sentencing is the last part of your case and this comes after an agreement is made through skilled negotiations with the prosecution, or after a trial to the Court. Most first time offenders can expect to be sentenced to a term of probation, and if successful on that probation the charges will be reduced.

It is also important to remember that there is an administrative part to your case as well, and you will have to act fast regarding this portion of the case or you might not be permitted to drive. The administrative portion of your case deals with the revocation of your license, and if not challenged within ten days from the date of arrest you will not be granted any driving privileges. But if you do seek a review within those first ten days, a first time offender is likely to be granted a provisional license so they can still go to school and work.

If you have questions about DUI defense, contact us for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Three Good Reasons To Hire An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney

Most of us are familiar with the right to represent oneself in Court rather than hiring an attorney, and most of that familiarity comes from the movies or from television. But what you seldom see on the big screen is how hard it is for a non-lawyer to handle a case for themselves, and obtain a satisfactory result. This is generally because non-lawyers do not know all of the ins and outs of the Court’s procedures, lack the professional relationship that so many attorneys build up over time with opposing counsel, or simply do not have a firm understanding of how to apply the law to their case or get evidence introduced. When your right to drive and your right to stay out of jail are on the line, it is never a good idea to try and tackle the legal world on your own.

Three good reasons to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney if you have been arrested for DUI are:

  • When a DUI arrest is made the officer takes the driver’s license away from the driver. If you do not know how to ask for this suspension to be challenged, you will lose your right to drive, and the time frame depends on whether you are a first time or subsequent offender. But a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney knows that your very short 10 day window is about to close, and will make sure a request for an administrative review of your license suspension is made so you can fight for your license, or at least for partial driving privileges
  • Most people are nervous about taking a breath test and when the results lead to DUI can feel as though there is no good way to attack those results. But the truth is there are several challenges that can be made to the breath test results, you just have to know where to look.
  • Plea negotiations usually go smoother when the defendant is represented by counsel rather than acting on his own behalf.

We have handled more DUI cases than can be counted, and know the ins and outs of the judicial process as well as have a working relationship with most of the prosecuting attorneys. Let us put our experience to work for you; call us for help with DUI defense or with any other criminal defense question on your mind.

If you questions about DUI defense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.

Five DUI Defense Myths To Avoid

Being arrested for DUI can lead to loss of your driver’s license, time spent in jail, high fines and costs, and the need to comply with strict probationary requirements. So it should come as no surprise that when some people are pulled over after they have been drinking, they will try anything to avoid being arrested and charged with DUI. Unfortunately, not many of the more popular DUI myths really work, and in most cases you can end up in more trouble than if you had not tried to out maneuver the arresting officer.

Five DUI defense myths that simply do not work and should be avoided are:

  • Timing your drinks, so that you only have one beer or other alcoholic beverage at a set interval. While it is true that as time passes the alcohol you have consumed has a decreased impact on your system, there is no way to tell how the specific chemical make-up inside your body will react to drinking.
  • Using breath spray or chewing gum to mask the smell of alcohol also does not work. In fact, some breath sprays or mouthwashes may contain a small concentration of alcohol and add to the overall level of concentration in your body.
  • Driving slower than the speed limit, so you are not pulled over for speeding and then questioned about your activities. It is not only against the law to driver faster than the law allows, but also to drive too slowly. The reasoning is because when you drive too slowly, you can cause traffic to back up or to cause an accident. If your driving pattern is suspicious, regardless of how fast or slow you are going, you can be pulled over and ticketed.
  • Lying to the officer about what you have been doing and how much you have had to drink. Of course it is a good idea to keep your answers short and provide no more information than what has been asked, but it is never a good idea to try and pull the wool over the officer’s eyes.
  • Sucking on a penny or other copper object will not cause the breath machine to give a lower BAC reading. This is because the breath measured by the machine is not just from your mouth, and you are usually required to take a deep breath before blowing so the measurement is from a deeper breath.

Getting a DUI ticket is undoubtedly a difficult situation, but you do have defenses that can be raised, and presenting a well thought out and clear defense is always better than trying to “beat the system”. We have experience, let us help you.

If you have questions about criminal and DUI defense, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Three Possible Consequences Of Refusing A Breath Test

Most DUI cases are filed after the police pull you over and have you submit to a breath test. The law implies that a breath test is the State’s right, because you have taken advantage of the laws that allow you to drive, so the State should be able to give you a breath test if an officer of the law believes one is appropriate. But taking a breath test after you have had too much to drink will almost surely show that your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit, so it is natural to wonder if you have choices. While you do have the right to refuse to take a breath test, knowing the possible outcome of doing so is good information.

Three possible consequences of refusing to take a breath test when pulled over for DUI include:

  • Loss of your driver’s license for up to an entire year.
  • The fact you refused the test can be used as evidence against you in the criminal portion of your DUI case in Court.
  • Loss of your driver’s license for a year and ½ if you have refused a breath test in the past.

No two cases are the same, and it is important to review every fact of your case when coming up with a defense that fits. Even if you submitted to the breath test, you do have a defense to the charges. Not all tests are given properly, and if that happened to you, you might be able to successfully claim the test results should not be admitted in Court. Or, you may have evidence of another reason for the test result, like a prescription or other legal substance in your system. So, if you decided to take the breath test because the possible consequences seemed too harsh, do not think that means you do not have a defense. Our team of DUI defense attorneys has seen it all, and can go over your case with you to identify which facts will help your defense and let you know what you can expect. If you have been charged with DUI, whether you agreed to take the breath test or exercised your right to refuse, call our office to find out what to do next.

For more information about DUI defense, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We work with you to tailor a defense that fits the specific facts of your case. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to helping you.

Four Things To Expect With A First Time DUI

No one plans to get a DUI, but it does happen. And if this is your first time, the experience can be not only scary, but also confusing. It is hard to know what to do or where to turn when you are faced with a new experience, but help for DUI cases is not far away. And when you enlist the help of a qualified DUI defense attorney, you can minimize the impact of some of the more harsh possibilities getting arrested for DUI can bring.

Four things to expect with a first time DUI arrest include the following:

  • Revocation of your driver’s license for 6 months. But, know that you can take steps to challenge that revocation and ask to have your driving privileges reinstated. Many first time offenders are given at least partial rights, and these are usually enough to get you to all of the important places you need to go; like to school or to work, to a doctor’s appointment, to go to Court, and to meet with your attorney to strategize over your case.
  • Attendance in a drug and/or alcohol treatment and assessment program.
  • Installation of an interlock device in your car, which requires you to blow into the device before starting your car and if your BAC is over the legal limit your car’s ignition will not start.
  • A term of probation rather than jail time, where some of these other requirements (like Court ordered treatment and the requirement that you have an interlock installed in your car), are made a part of that probation.

Generally speaking, if you agree to go on probation for a first time DUI case, you can expect to have the charges reduced at the end of your probationary term. This is, however, provided that you abide by all of the rules and regulations while on probation. If you are able to do this, which always includes a requirement that you do not get any new tickets or arrests, you can expect to receive the benefit of whatever bargain was made on your behalf when the probationary terms were negotiated. Allow us to help you see your way through a first time DUI, and take the pressure off your shoulders. We have experience in this area of criminal defense, and can help you today.

If you have been arrested for DUI, call our office for help. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.

Two Things To Watch Out For When Labeling A Case As DUI Versus DWI

To most people the terms DUI and DWI are interchangeable. That could be because most of us think of these as being criminal charges against a person who was driving while drunk. But there is a difference between a DUI, which is driving under the influence and a DWI, which is driving while impaired. Because the punishment for these two crimes is not the same, it is good to know what types of factors are at play in each instance.

Two things to watch out for when thinking about whether a case should be a DUI or a DWI are:

  • A DUI is not limited to being under the influence of alcohol; other substances such as drugs can also lead to a charge of DUI. In some cases, you can even get a DUI if the substance in your system is a medication and not an illegal drug.
  • A DWI is simply a charge that can be brought if you are found to be driving while “impaired”. This can be read to mean that the driver is impaired by anything, and it might not be alcohol or drugs. Anything that causes you to not be in control of your vehicle can impair you, and cause you to be charged with DWI.

In both types of cases criminal charges are the result, and in both types of cases you might lose your right to drive. In order to protect your driver’s license, keep your car insurance rates low, and minimize the amount of jail time (if any) you will need to allow a qualified DUI defense attorney to handle your case. Our office has experience with all sorts of driving offenses, including DUI and DWI, and can help you too. If you have been pulled over and arrested for one of those harmful traffic related cases, call us for assistance. We know what to do to help you maintain your driving privileges, and to stay out of jail while serving your “sentence”.  We also know what challenges are likely to give you the results you need, and will talk over every aspect of your case with you so you feel comfortable with the defense approach being taken.

 

For more information about DUI cases, call us today to schedule an appointment. One of our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast is here to help you and your first visit is a free initial consultation.

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