Driving Under The Influence – DUI Defense in Daytona
The days in which courts treated Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as a minor offense are gone. Even a first DUI conviction in Florida is a serious business. At the minimum, you’ll have to pay substantial fines and live with a year’s probation. You could also go to jail for up to 180 days, and you’ll lose your driving privileges for up to a year. The penalties get even stiffer for additional offenses.
It may be possible to get a Daytona Beach DUI charge reduced or even dismissed. However, even if you plan to plead guilty, you should contact an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
Be sure to answer all of your lawyer’s questions honestly and completely. This is because a big part of what she will do is look for helpful facts in your case.
Florida DUI Drivers License Suspension
We have ten days from the date of your arrest to challenge your Administrative Drivers License Suspension. If you fail to challenge the suspension within the 10 day period, your license will be suspended for either six months, one-year, or eighteen months if you refused to submit to a BAC/BAL test, or if your BAC/BAL was over .08. As such it is critical to contact me during this 10-day period in order for me to obtain a temporary driving permit from the DHSMV while we await the hearing to challenge the suspension.
Elements of a Florida DUI Case
The prosecution must prove that you were “in actual physical control” of a vehicle and that you were impaired. Being in physical control means only that you were in a position to actually control a motor vehicle. It is not necessary to show that the car was moving or even running.
Assuming you’re in control of the vehicle, you’re subject to arrest if a law enforcement officer determines that your “normal faculties are impaired” by alcohol. However, even if you’re not visibly impaired, you can still be convicted if a breath or blood tests show that you had a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.08%, the legal limit in Florida and most other states.
Establishing Reasonable Doubt
The prosecution must prove both elements of the crime of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. Many DUI defenses are therefore aimed at establishing such doubt. We’ll explore whether any of these may apply in your case.
No Probable Cause for Arrest
Police need probable cause to stop your vehicle and to arrest you for DUI. If the police pull you over without a legitimate reason evidence against you may be thrown out of court.
Failure to Provide Necessary Warnings
It’s simple: say nothing if you’re stopped for suspected DUI. However, once you’re in police custody, you’re entitled to receive the so-called “Miranda” warnings about your right to an attorney and to remain silent during any questioning. Failure to provide these warnings may mean that any incriminating statements you might happen to let slip can’t be used against you.
The Importance of Effective Legal Representation
As we have stressed above, even a first time DUI charge can have serious consequences. An experienced lawyer can help you mount an aggressive defense in order to get the best possible outcome. It’s in your best interest to get legal counsel as soon as possible after you’re charged. Jessica Damoth is a criminal defense attorney in Daytona Beach. She specializes in DUI defense for clients accused of driving under the influence. Also check out our information on Florida BUI cases. Call our office today at (386) 846-6043 to schedule a free consultation.