As one of the leading Jacksonville DUI attorney’s I believe in making sure the citizens of Jacksonville and the State of Florida are well educated regarding their rights and the best course of action if pulled over for a DUI by Jacksonville law enforcement. Have another question I didn’t answer regarding Jacksonville DUIs? Contact me for a free DUI case evaluation.
What is a DUI?
DUI stands for “driving under the influence”. To be considered driving under the influence, you need to have a blood alcohol level of .08 or over.
What do police look for when trying to determine if a driver is intoxicated?
Weaving, significant changes in speed such as going from 30 mph to 50 mph to 30 mph without cause, not having headlights on when they are needed, not following traffic signals, the inability to find required documents when pulled over and the traditional thick tongue, slurred speech, bloodshot and watery eyes, unsteady on your feet and other indicators.
When should I call a DUI lawyer?
Timing is of the essence when trying to get the best possible outcome when charged with a DUI. As such, you should call a DUI lawyer when you are in police custody. You will not be released from police custody until you have your first hearing which happens the morning after your arrest. To ensure the best outcome for your case, it is best to have a DUI lawyer with you at the very beginning of the legal proceedings during the first hearing. Everything you say and do while in police custody and during your first hearing can be used against you in future legal proceedings. As such, it is best to have the advisement of a DUI lawyer in all legal situations beginning with the first hearing and to remain quiet while in policy custody.
When is my attorney allowed to be with me?
Your attorney is allowed to be with you at any point when the police or other officials are questioning you.
Are the police allowed to search my vehicle without a warrant?
The police need a warrant to search your car and in order to receive a warrant they need to prove probable cause. It is only mandatory to allow police to search your car after a warrant has been issued.
What if I am asked to take a urine or blood test?
We recommend you do not take any urine, blood or breath tests without contacting a DUI lawyer first. Any tests you take only help the police in convicting you.
Do I have to wait to get to the police station to call a lawyer or can I call a lawyer when I got pulled over?
The police will most likely not allow you to telephone an attorney during the police investigation for a DUI. However, you should immediately request your attorney, and the police are supposed to stop the investigation since you have requested counsel.
Do I have to answer any of the questions I am asked by police when I am pulled over for a DUI?
No. You should only politely ask for an attorney and refrain from any other conversations, comments, questions or answers. Anything you say can be used to convict you and, as such, you should remain silent.
Do I have to take the breathalyzer test?
No. You do not have to take the test, but it is required by law. If you do not take it, the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license for 12 months. However, you will be able to get a hardship license that will allow you to drive to work, school and other essential life activities 30 – 90 days after your license is suspended if this is your first offense. If it is not your first offense, the timeframes could be longer.
Why shouldn’t I take the breathalyzer test?
If you take the breathalyzer test and your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit, it is assumed you are impaired. Getting a hardship license 30 – 90 days after your license is suspended for not taking the breathalyzer test is a better outcome for you than the penalties and consequences of giving law enforcement evidence to convict you of a crime that will be on your permanent record.
Can I refuse to take a breathalyzer test more than once?
If you are pulled over for a DUI more than once you can refuse the breathalyzer both times. However, if you have refused to take the breathalyzer test two or more times you will not be eligible for a hardship license and will have your driver’s license suspended for 12 months. If you refuse the breathalyzer test more than once within a 12 month period, the State of Florida can charge you with a misdemeanor offense of refusing the breath test.
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