Florida DUI Guide
Advice You Can Use From A Florida DUI Law Firm You Can Trust
Knowing what to do if you are stopped by a police officer for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida can be very confusing. That's why the experienced legal team at Aguilar & Sieron, P.A. has put together this guide as part of our DUI overview section.
Florida has one of the most complex legal systems when it comes to drunk driving. If you've been arrested, it's smart to talk with a Florida DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer who understands Florida's DUI laws and how the legal system works here.
Attorney Mark Sieron has been helping people charged with drunk driving fight for their rights for more than three decades. A former Florida prosecutor, attorney Mark Sieron can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us and schedule an appointment right now.
What You Need To Know
Innocent mistakes can have serious consequences, especially when you're dealing with a DUI arrest in Florida. If you don't fully understand your rights, you could say or do something after a police officer stops you that could result in a DUI conviction.
Being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida can have serious consequences. You could lose your driver's license, be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars and even sentenced to several days or years in jail. Don't underestimate the seriousness of your DUI charge. Contact our law firm.
Why You Need Us
There are many reasons why you need Aguilar & Sieron handling your case. For example, we can:
- Review your arrest report - Did the police officer follow Florida's DUI laws?
- Review DUI blood test samples - Were they stored properly?
- Review the inspection and maintenance record of the breathalyzer in your case
- Apply for a temporary driver's license on your behalf if your license was suspended
- Contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license
- Interview or take the sworn testimony of critical witnesses
- File motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the charges, when appropriate
- Appear for you in court
- Take your case to trial, if necessary
We understand the seriousness of your case and we're here to help. We have handled DUI cases every day for over three decades in Clay County and throughout Northeast Florida. We can work with you every step of the way, from the moment you have been charged to appealing a conviction for DUI. You can contact our law firm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mistakes Drivers Make
When a police officer stops you in Florida because they suspect you're driving under the influence of alcohol, it's important that you don't do or say anything at the scene or in the police station that could make your situation worse. Some of the most common mistakes drivers make after being stopped or charged with DUI include:
- Saying you had too much to drink - Just because you had a few drinks does not mean you were legally impaired.
- Joking around with the police officer - Being stopped or charged with DUI in Florida is a serious matter. Take your matter seriously right from the start.
- Talking too much to the police officer - You might not think it's a big deal, but everything you say to the police officer can later be used against you in court.
- Taking a field sobriety test - These tests are completely voluntary in Florida. Always politely refuse to take a field sobriety test. Taking the test will only provide more evidence for police to arrest you.
- Posting comments on social media about your DUI - What you say or post on social media websites about your DUI arrest matters. Prosecutors and police officers can use such information against you, especially if you admit you make incriminating admissions.
- Accepting the State Attorney's first offer - After your arrest, the State Attorney in the county where you were arrested may make you an offer to settle your DUI arrest. Don't agree to anything until you talk with a lawyer. What might seem like a good offer could be far worse than you suspect.
- Failing to appear in court - Make sure you appear in court for every legal proceeding associated with your DUI arrest. Failure to do so could automatically result in your conviction and perhaps even increase the penalties for your arrest. One of the services our firm provides is appearing on your behalf in court, allowing you to move on with your normal activities.
- Not hiring a lawyer - Even if you know you didn't do anything wrong, don't try to tackle your DUI case on your own. The State will have a trained prosecutor to present the case against you and seek a conviction. Make sure you have an experienced Florida DUI lawyer in your corner, fighting for your rights.
Mistakes Police Make
Police officers are human beings who often make mistakes when stopping or arresting a driver for DUI. We know this because our law firm has been challenging DUI arrests in Florida for decades. Some of the most common mistakes police officers make include:
- Stopping a driver on a hunch - Police officers need to have a legitimate reason to stop someone they suspect of driving under the influence. Officers cannot stop a driver just because they think the driver may be drunk. They need reasonable suspicion.
- Stopping a driver based on an anonymous 911 call - Police officers must personally observe the driver driving under the influence of alcohol before stopping them. Officers cannot stop and arrest someone based solely on an anonymous tip.
- Stopping a driver for DUI for driving too slow or too fast - Police officers cannot stop drivers and charge them with DUI just because they were driving too fast or too slow. Officers need another reason to charge a driver, such as a positive breathalyzer test.
- Administering a breathalyzer test wrong - Some police officers fail to administer a breathalyzer test properly. As a result, the test results cannot be used to charge someone with DUI.
- Using a defective breathalyzer - DUI testing equipment must be in proper working order. If not, the test results will not be accurate - and cannot be used in court to prosecute someone for DUI.
- Not reading you your Miranda rights before arresting you - Based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, if the police officers intend to question you while you are in custody, they must read you your Miranda rights, also sometimes known as a Miranda warning. If they fail to do so and you make incriminating statements, those statements cannot be used against you in court.
- Improperly storing blood or urine test results - Results from a DUI blood or urine test must be stored properly. This includes having the test samples sealed and stored in a secure, temperature-controlled environment. Otherwise, the test samples can be affected.
- Arresting a driver who's not impaired - Mistakes happen all the time, including arresting someone who was not legally impaired at the time. That's why it's critical that you contact a lawyer right away if you believe you were not legally impaired at the time of your arrest.
There are so many myths and misconceptions when it comes to DUI arrests in Florida. Some of the most common DUI myths include:
- If you fail a DUI breathalyzer test, there's nothing you can do - There are many reasons why you can have an unlawful breathalyzer test deemed inadmissible in court, such as defective equipment or failure to administer the test properly.
- You can trick the breathalyzer machine - Don't believe those urban legends that you can outsmart a breathalyzer test by using mouthwash or eating mints. Such things might actually increase your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL).
- You can wait to hire a lawyer if you're charged with DUI - Strict deadlines exist when it comes to being charged with DUI in Florida. You often only have a few days to apply for a temporary license or to appeal your conviction. That's why it's critical that you contact our law firm as soon as possible.
- You can drive to work even if your driver's license has been suspended for DUI - If your driver's license is suspended, you cannot drive anywhere for any reason. There are certain types of licenses - such as hardship licenses - which allow people charged with DUI to drive for limited purposes, including work. But you need to apply for such a license right away, and you can't drive until you actually get it.
- You cannot get your driver's license back if it's revoked for impaired driving - You can appeal your license suspension. You can also apply for a temporary or restricted driver's license, especially if you need a car to get to work or educational classes. You have options - and we can help!
- All lawyers are the same when it comes to DUI cases in Florida - We believe there's a difference when it comes to hiring a lawyer to handle your DUI case in Florida. Experience matters and Mark Sieron has been contesting DUI cases for over 30 years. That experience is why we're eager to meet with you and fight for your rights.