Getting stopped for a DUI in Florida can be an incredibly tense and stressful experience. For many, a DUI stop could be their first significant run-in with the law. As a criminal charge, a DUI can have much more severe consequences than a typical traffic ticket. While the situation can be harrowing, what you do during the stop and after your arrest can make or break your case. Responding to the situation the right way can help you protect yourself from consequences like losing your driver’s license or even jail time.
If you have been stopped and arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, hiring a skilled DUI defense attorney is the best way to protect your rights and interests. An experienced lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes after a DUI arrest and build the best defense strategy possible for the charges you face.
Top 5 Most Common Mistakes After a Florida DUI Arrest
While not drinking and driving is the best way to avoid the consequences of a DUI stop, mistakes can happen. If you find yourself pulled over for a DUI in Florida, try to stay calm and keep the following common mistakes in mind, so you know what to avoid.
Failure to Request a Hearing
If you fail a breathalyzer test or refuse to take one during your DUI stop, your driver’s license will likely be immediately suspended. However, many people are unaware of their right to an administrative hearing to potentially get their license reinstated. You have ten days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing. After the deadline passes, you cannot reinstate your license until the suspension has ended.
Assuming You Are Going to Be Convicted
Even if a test showed that you had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above, it might not mean that you are facing an automatic conviction. The prosecutor for your case must prove your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Field sobriety tests can malfunction or fail if the officer is not adequately trained to administer them. Depending on the details of your case, these factors may cast reasonable doubt on the validity of the sobriety test in question.
After being arrested for a DUI, you may think that it is in your best interest to cooperate with the police and answer their questions. Many individuals arrested for DUIs think talking to the police may lessen their charges. However, this is rarely the case. Anything you tell the police could be used as evidence against you. After an arrest, it is always in your best interest to assert your fifth amendment right to remain silent and only speak to the police if you have a lawyer present.
Forgetting to Request a Copy of the Police Report
Police reports are critical pieces of evidence for criminal cases, including DUIs. A police report can often be the foundation of a winning defense strategy. Collecting a police report and witness testimonies or contact information could be essential to proving your innocence.
Not Partnering With a Skilled DUI Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a DUI charge, it is critical to retain the services of a seasoned lawyer with a proven track record of success as soon as possible. Choosing an exceptional attorney, like Robert H. Hanaford of the Law Offices of Robert H. Hanaford, can help you prevent making mistakes after your arrest. If you have already made a mistake, all hope is not lost, and your lawyer will work with you to develop a solid defense for your case.
Contact a Highly-Qualified Florida DUI Defense Attorney
A DUI conviction can carry severe consequences and significantly impact your life. If you are facing DUI charges in Florida, it is essential to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and advise you on the best path forward. Attorney Robert H. Hanaford of the Law Offices of Robert H. Hanaford has dedicated his career to providing superb legal services to his clients in Florida. Attorney Hanaford is committed to getting to know you and your case to craft the best possible defense strategy for your DUI case. To get started and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at (239) 315-9750 or complete our contact form today.