My first DUI – do I really need a lawyer?

I SHOULD HAVE HIRED A LAWYER

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned that a few years ago he had been arrested for DUI. He was young, decided to handle it on his own, and took a plea deal at his first court date. The more we talked about the more I began to realize that he had made a mistake not hiring a lawyer.

In his case the officer said he pulled him over because he did not use his blinker when he was changing lanes. The next thing I asked was “what else did he say you did?” The reason was this – under Florida law, you do not have to use your blinker to change lanes if you are not affecting any other traffic. Either the officer didn’t know this, or just didn’t care. In order for law enforcement to stop you they have to have probable cause that you committed a traffic offense, or probable cause to believe that you are impaired. If the officer pulls you over without a legal reason then everything that happens afterwards gets thrown out of court. This includes any observations made by the officer (smell of alcohol, blood shot eyes, slurred speech, etc.), field sobriety exercises, and the results of your breath test. Long story short, no reason to stop you equals no case for the government.

DUI is a serious crime in Florida. The punishments are severe, you’ll lose your driver’s license, you cannot get the charge taken off your record, and you better believe that your insurance rates are going to skyrocket. Any job that may involve a company car or driving a company truck will be next to impossible to get. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer could save you not only the embarrassment of having a DUI record, but it could save you thousands in long-term costs. If you are thinking about hiring a DUI lawyer make sure that they know the law on traffic stops, how field sobriety exercises are designed to gather evidence against you (not for you to prove that you’re okay to drive), and how the breathalyzer machine works (you can’t beat it unless you truly understand it). Call us today for a free consultation.

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