As a Jacksonville DUI lawyer, with over 12 years of experience, I have helped many Jacksonville residents navigate the sometimes scary waters of DUI charges, and I know how scary it can be to be facing a potential DUI conviction. Understanding the law is the best way to ensure that a DUI charge, which is a criminal charge with lifelong employment, financial and legal ramifications, is not put on your criminal and driving records. Doing the best things from the very beginning when you are pulled over for a DUI, while you are in police custody and at the first appearance hearing, the hearing you will have prior to being released from police custody, are critical in setting yourself up for the best possible outcome when charged with a DUI in Jacksonville or anywhere else in Florida. During your first appearance hearing, it is highly recommended that you have a qualified DUI Jacksonville attorney to be by your side. If you are unable to contact a DUI attorney, and if you are asked how you would like to plea at your first appearance hearing, we highly recommend that you plea ‘not guilty’ as opposed to ‘guilty’ or ‘no contest’ and here are some reasons why:
#1 You may have a defense.
Many people feel they do not have a defense if charged with a DUI and it is very possible this is not true. You can only be charged with a DUI if the State of Florida can prove that you had a blood alcohol content of .08 or above and if the breathalyzer, urine, blood test or other sobriety test was properly administered. Very often, the blood alcohol content machines are not running properly, or the test was not administered properly and as such, the charges against you can be lessened or dropped.
#2 Put the onus on the State of Florida to prove your guilt.
It is the State of Florida’s responsibility to prove that you were driving under the influence. You are not legally required to give them any information, such as a plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘no contest,’ which would greatly assist them in ensuring you get the most severe penalties possible in connection with the charges assessed against you.
#3 Impairment appearing as driving under the influence can come from prescription drugs.
Jacksonville law enforcement officials, and all law enforcement officers, pull over individuals who, in their opinion, exhibit driving patterns that could be indicative of being under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. At times, prescription drugs can make you behave and drive in a manner similar to those who are driving under the influence even if you have not had any alcohol. You should never have to be faced with charges for a crime you did not commit!
If you were arrested for a DUI in Jacksonville, you need a seasoned Jacksonville DUI attorney to fight for your rights against the potential lifelong consequences of a DUI conviction. Contact us today for a free DUI case evaluation.
Received a DUI in Jacksonville? Educating yourself is critical. Read more about what to do if charged with a DUI in Jacksonville.