Getting pulled over for a DUI can be a very scary and disconcerting experience. A DUI on your record can mean serious fines, insurance premiums increases, difficulty keeping or obtaining a job, community service, mandatory driving school, mandatory alcohol awareness school, prison time and more. The more information you have about your rights when pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Jacksonville, or anywhere in Florida, the more likely you will be to have your DUI charge lessened or dropped.
Here are the seven things you need to know to help keep a DUI conviction off your record.
1. You have the right not to take the breathalyzer test, blood test or urine test.
If this is the first DUI you have been charged with, you will lose your license as a result of not taking the breathalyzer test, but you will be able to obtain a hardship license to drive to work, school and religious services within 90 days of your driver’s license being suspended.
If this is not the first time you have been pulled over for a DUI, you have the right to refuse breathalyzer, blood or urine blood alcohol content tests as well, however, your driver’s license be suspended for one year and you may still be eligible to obtain a hardship license from the DHSMV.
However, a driver’s license suspension for any period of time will cause serious logistical setbacks and inconveniences to your daily life for a time. A DUI conviction on your permanent criminal record can have lifelong criminal, employment, financial and personal implications. As a Jacksonville DUI attorney, we highly recommend you politely refuse to take any blood alcohol content tests and ask to have an attorney.
2. You have the right to have an attorney present at any time the police will be questioning you.
In our years of experience as Jacksonville DUI lawyers, what we very often find is that people try to talk themselves out of being arrested and charged for a DUI and in the process end up giving the police and the courts enough information and evidence to convict them of a DUI. To avoid the extremely unfortunate situation of giving police evidence to convict you, we recommend you request an attorney immediately upon being arrested and do not answer police questions until you have called a qualified Jacksonville DUI attorney to be at your side.
3. You have the right to remain silent.
At all times within police presence, when you are pulled over, when you are in police vehicles, when you are in police custody, you have the right to remain silent. As seasoned Jacksonville DUI attorneys, we highly recommend you do so. Similar to the reasons you need a DUI lawyer present when police are questioning you so as to not provide law enforcement any information to help them convict you, you do not want to provide any information to law enforcement, at any time, that would allow them to use it as evidence to convict you.
4. You have the right to require police to produce a warrant to search your belongings or vehicle if there is not probable cause for them to do so.
Police have to have probable cause to search your vehicle without a warrant, i.e. they need to be able to see drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol bottles, etc. to search your vehicle without a warrant. If probable cause is not present, then they are required to get a search warrant to inspect your vehicle and the belongings within it.
5. You have the right to have an attorney present at the First Hearing, which is the hearing you will have the morning after you are arrested.
In order to be released from police custody, you must attend the First Hearing. The First Hearing is when you will face a judge, will find out if there is required bail for your release, will receive an official date for your arraignment and will be asked if you would like to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. As this is the first time you will be facing the courts in regards to your DUI charge, it is highly recommended that you have a qualified Jacksonville DUI attorney with you at this time. Many of the first conversations and interactions you will have with law enforcement and the State of Florida courts can be significant indicators of the ultimate outcome of the case and as such, you should have a seasoned DUI attorney at your side at all times when interacting with police and court officials
6. You have the right to drive for 10 days after you were arrested.
For 10 days immediately following your arrest, your driver’s license remains valid. After 10 days, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of time based on the DUI charge against you.
7. You have the right to request a hearing to obtain a hardship driver’s license within 10 days of your arrest.
If this was your first DUI charge, or the first time you refused to take a breathalyzer, blood or urine test, you are eligible for obtaining a hardship license. To obtain a hardship license you need to request a hearing with the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within 10 days of your arrest. As every case is reviewed individually and as your driver’s license is essential to everyday life, work and family tasks, it is highly recommended that you hire a DUI attorney to be at your side and guide you to set place you in the best possible position to obtain a hardship license to travel between home, school, work and religious activities.
If you have been charged with a DUI, you need the seasoned Jacksonville DUI lawyer to be at your side at all times. If you want to set yourself up in the best position to have the DUI charges against you lessened or dropped, before answering any of Jacksonville law enforcement questions or facing the State of Florida Court system, call the DUI lawyer Jacksonville trusts.
Call 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.