Orlando DUI Attorney: Protect Your Rights
Understanding your Rights:
Ask any Orlando DUI Attorney what the most frustrating thing for a number of their cases is, and undoubtedly a large portion of them will answer that their clients hurt their own cases. The first thing you should consider when you are dealing with a DUI is what your basic rights are, and what your basic rights are not. This is important because people pulled over for DUI don’t want to turn a simple, contestable incident into a much bigger deal than it has to be. For example, there is this “trick card” that circulated around the internet for a while. The card says you are not rolling the window down and you will do everything by showing required documents through the window. The idea was that if you go through a DUI checkpoint that you can simply flash this card and you are immune from rolling down your window or listening to the police. If you resist and refuse to cooperate because of a card, a simple stop could turn into a resisting an officer IN ADDITION to a DUI charge. When in doubt talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney before saying anything to police.
Understand that when you are pulled over for a DUI the police are looking for specific cues of impairment that they can check off. These cues satisfy their test for impairment to effectuate a DUI arrest. Whatever you do don’t make their life any easier. Don’t flee from the police. You should not refuse to open your window. Don’t admit to drinking hoping they will go easy on you. Ask to talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney, don’t confess to a crime, and ask that any field sobriety tests that are taken be recorded (assuming you can actually pass the tests). Understand that field sobriety tests are voluntary tests, they are not forced/involuntary tests that are conducted against your will. Also understand that a refusal on a breath test is not a criminal act if it is your first time refusing. It only becomes a refusal if you have one previous refusal. Be decent, polite, and exercise your rights and a lawyer will have a much easier job fixing your case on the back end.
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When to Hire a DUI Lawyer
The law is a body of recognized principles accepted by people in a given State which are then applied in governing these said people. The ever dynamic nature of the society keeps springing up new reasons why having laws to guide the human behaviour is important. In times past, the cause to worry about people driving under the influence was not as pronounced as it is now; the recent surge has however caused the need to have laws preventing this behavior from harming people.
What is DUI?
DUI simply means driving under the influence. In other words, it can also be regarded as the overt act of operating a vehicle after the intake of alcoholic beverages or other intoxicating substance(s). In most jurisdictions, the offense charged under DUI is often a criminal one. Now, the degree of intoxication is paramount in ascertaining the guilt of a person charged with this offense and the yardstick for measuring a person’s liability is the extent to which the substance or drink affects his sensibilities or impairs his/her cognitive ability to reason. It is agreeable that a drunk who doesn’t even know the difference between his/her left or right arm is very dangerous to the other members of the community around him at that moment.
I drove under intoxication.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the fact that the instant yo.u allow yourself drive under the influence of alcohol or any other dangerous substance, not only do you become a risk to yourself, you also become a risk to other people as well. Perhaps you successfully start your car and were unfortunately flagged down by a cop and you are arrested for driving under the influence, there is a myriad of legal processes staring at you right in the face from that instant! While it is recognized that you have a right and can defend yourself in a court of law, where legal processes are concerned, it would be more natural to engage the services of an attorney (a person who has the requisite knowledge of the law and how the laws of different jurisdictions work).
When do I need a DUI attorney?
Your right as provided by the constitution (under the 6th amendment) allows you to defend yourself in a Court. While most times, it is advisable to get a lawyer to do the job, there are some circumstances where it becomes almost necessary for you to get a lawyer. A large number of DUI cases are managed without the defendant having a legal representation (especially in cases where it is not aggravated). The prospect of getting a DUI is frightening on various levels. While it may just be a one-off offense, sadly, it can be a rude awakening to a more serious drinking problem, or on the other hand, it can be very scary because you’re innocent of the offense. I must, however, reiterate that a DUI charge being criminal is very weighty hence you probably need to seriously consider the option of going for a DUI attorney.
Here are some instances when it might become necessary for you to hire a DUI attorney:
- Where serious bodily harm is caused to some other person as a result of you driving under the influence; Or in some aggravated situations where your actions lead to the death of a person.
- When you have been arrested previously for a DUI offense.
- When you believe that you are innocent and not guilty of the offense you are being charged for.
- Where you am firmly convinced that your charges can be reduced from the offense of DUI to reckless driving.
- Where you operate as a commercial driver for a living ( truck driver, delivery, bus driver, etc.).
Considering the serious nature of a DUI offense, these are just but few of the reasons why it might become essential for you to get a DUI attorney. Other reasons may include, the fear of sentencing, the long-term effects (like the conviction being on your records), in some jurisdictions like Montana, once a person is convicted and a DUI is on imputed on your record, it will remain forever and cannot be taken off. The complexity of the legal process involved is also a reason why it is desirable for you to get a DUI attorney.
Why should I hire a DUI attorney?
After having known the circumstances when you need to hire a DUI attorney, it is only appropriate for you to know the reasons why you need them. It is a given that you don’t need an attorney for most DUI offenses, these are however reasons why you should hire an attorney for your defense:
The ability to bag a reduction of the charged offense from DUI to Reckless Driving. In cases where your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) read very close to the legal limit, there is a possibility that your DUI attorney knowing the intricacies of the law might be able to argue that there’s a possibility the breathalyzer used in measuring your level of intoxication was incorrect. This simple argument could help get your DUI charges reduced to “reckless driving” and in instances where a conclusion is made that as the defendant. You had alcohol in your system but wasn’t an illegal amount; you might be charged with a “wet reckless” driving offense which in the long run might be a better option than being convicted for DUI.
The following do not form part of the penalties a court can grant for “wet reckless driving.”
- Jail time or an elongated DUI class attendance
- A permanent revocation of your driving license or a suspension
- An expensive fine
If you are however convicted successfully under a wet reckless driving charge, regardless of the drastically reduced charge, some insurance companies will still see the conviction like one under a DUI arrest and may adjust your premium insurances accordingly.
In cases where it is determined that you were not in fact under the influence of alcohol or the influence of any other intoxicating substance, you may most likely be charged with reckless driving only.
A plea bargain is gaining more credence as the day goes. Hiring a DUI lawyer might also help in having your sentence reduced by negotiating a plea bargain by cutting an agreement that you plead guilty to some or all of the charge to get a reduced sentence. DUI lawyers are competent to advise you accordingly, carefully weighing options that are available to you in instances where you are found guilty.
While plea bargain may be a very attractive route to take, it is not applicable in all instances, and its application definitely might be useless. Here are some instances where taking the option of plea bargaining may be advised:
- When your blood alcohol concentration level is higher than the legal range on examination.
- Where you were discovered to have driven under the influence of substances other than alcohol (like drugs)
- Where grievous bodily harm was caused to someone, or someone died as a result of your DUI.
The sad reality like this is these instances above are very serious, and there is the very high probability of defendants serving jail time, having driving licenses revoked for a long time or in the alternative paying very hefty fines.
A DUI lawyer can help get your charges dropped. It takes only a person who understands the law to be able to interpret and apply it correctly. There are mammoth sized instances where and why your DUI charge may be completely dropped and what is required in all of the instances is a very strong understanding of laws and legal precedents which might be accessible only to a seasoned DUI lawyer. You can seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer, and they can even show you why you have no reasons to worry!
What to watch out for in a DUI Attorney
Here are some pointers you should look out for when making a decision on which DUI lawyer can best help you:
How versed the lawyer is with your DUI state laws: You have to be able to establish that they are versed in the DUI laws guiding your state. The laws governing different offenses differ from states to state. The fact that he is a successful DUI attorney in Florida might not necessarily translate to him being a fantastic DUI attorney in California.
The direct involvement of the lawyer in your case. You need someone you can talk to and not someone who has so swamped with work and delegates his duties at every turn.
Here are just a few factors to consider, it may become more important to weigh your options where you have the luxury of making choices. Depending on your financial situation, however, you may decide to opt for the services of a public defender.
For every offense recognized by law, there is always a stated penalty. And so is the same for the offense of DUI. The following are the conditions to be weigh in:
- An earlier criminal or traffic record
- Whether the defendant is a first-time offender
- The level at which the alcohol affected the defendant and;
- The peculiar facts of the case at hand
In their instance, they may be required to attend AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) meetings or special lectures while in some other cases, a breathalyzer (A device which helps to estimate the blood alcohol content (BAC) taken from a breath sample.
Conclusively, it is best to get a DUI lawyer to help cover bases you might have not even seen coming.