People in Jacksonville and throughout Florida, often make the mistake of thinking that because they were arrested for a DUI, they will be convicted of a DUI. However, having the right information when you are initially pulled over for a DUI, coupled with the right Jacksonville DUI attorney, can create a very strong possibility for your DUI charge to be lessened or dropped. There are however, a few things you should know to better prepare yourself to assist you in avoiding the severe fines, penalties and potential jail time if convicted of a DUI.
#1. Do not take the breathalyzer test, a blood test or a urine test.
Being pulled over for a DUI in Jacksonville can be a very scary thing. Often, people make many mistakes when pulled over for a DUI. One of which is doing everything that is asked of them by law enforcement so they appear cooperative. However, in the process of trying to be cooperative, people often agree to take the breathalyzer test. In taking the breathalyzer test, you are providing law enforcement officials with data related to your blood alcohol content, which can be used later to convict you. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, and if this is your first DUI, your license will be suspended for 30 – 90 days. However, you will be eligible for a hardship license within one to three months of being charged with DUI, and in refusing to take the breathalyzer test, you have not given Jacksonville police evidence to convict you. The right Jacksonville DUI lawyer can attend the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Hearing with you to fight for your hardship license. So, when asked to take the breathalyzer test, politely say no and indicate you would like legal representation.
#2. Do NOT take the field sobriety test.
Field sobriety tests are subjective tests that Jacksonville law enforcement officials use to determine if you show signs of intoxication. THESE TESTS ARE NOT REQUIRED BY LAW AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THEM. THERE IS NO PENALTY FOR REFUSING THE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS! Any of the observations made about you during these tests will be used in convicting you. To avoid providing law enforcement officials with information and evidence which could lead to severe DUI penalties and a conviction, as one of the leading Jacksonville DUI attorneys, we recommend that you politely decline and request to have legal representation.
#3 Call a lawyer as soon as you are able once in police custody
Everything you say and do while in police custody can be used to convict you of a DUI, and as such, it is highly recommended that you have a Jacksonville DUI lawyer with you at any time when the police are questioning you.
You will not be released until you have your first appearance. During this first appearance you will be asked how you would like to plea. Your response to this question will have severe lifelong consequences, and it is highly recommended that you have a Jacksonville DUI attorney with you at this first appearance to advise you on the best response.
#4 Remember you are being video taped.
It is highly likely that when you are pulled over, while you are in the police vehicle and while you are in police custody that you are being videotaped. During this time you should be alert, quiet and act respectfully as the video recordings of your behavior and language can be used to convict you.
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.