Getting arrested for a DUI is a serious event. Driving under the influence is a crime that can lead to fines, license suspension, or even jail time.
It’s important to know what steps to take if you find yourself in this situation. Being proactive and handling the situation correctly from the start is how you can get the best possible outcome.
If you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Florida, take these steps to protect your case and yourself.
#1) Cooperate with police — but know your rights.
If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, you are going to be asked to cooperate with the officer’s initial investigation. They are going to ask questions that assess the situation and gather evidence.
Always cooperate with police officers while keeping in mind that you need to protect yourself. Be mindful of any statements you make. A dashcam is almost always filming the encounter, so any action you take can be recorded and used during your case.
#2) Keep your comments to a minimum.
While you should corporate with police questioning and requests, provide the bare minimum of details. You don’t want to inadvertently admit to anything that can be used against you or provide law enforcement with any more evidence than they already have.
#3) State your limitations.
During the first few moments with officers, let them know about any limitations that you have that could impact their assessment of the situation. Inform the officers if you have any disabilities, injuries, or illnesses that could prevent you from performing or impact your ability to perform a field sobriety test.
For example, if you have a knee injury, an officer could mistake a limp for evidence that you are under the influence. Provide any information that could add context to how you perform during the field sobriety test.
#4) Consider skipping the sobriety test.
In some situations, it may be in your best interest to skip the sobriety test altogether. If you believe that the DUI charge has merit and that you will fail the test, it can benefit you to refuse it.
It’s important to note that refusing to take a sobriety test — whether it is a field sobriety test or a chemical test — has consequences. You will likely lose your license and may receive additional charges.
But, if you know that you will perform the sobriety test poorly, you may give the state more evidence against you by taking it. If you are certain that you will not pass the sobriety test, respectfully refuse it.
#5) Once charged, invoke your right for an attorney.
Once the officers decide to arrest you for a DUI, they will read you your constitutional rights. Miranda Rights provide your right to remain silent for the rest of the encounter. You can remain silent to prevent providing any additional evidence against you.
If you are arrested for a DUI, refuse to speak to anyone else and request to call an attorney.
#6) Request a DMV hearing.
When you are charged with a DUI, you immediately lose your license. You have ten days to request a DMV hearing and file for a hardship license. A hardship license gives you the ability to drive while waiting for your case to be resolved.
To get a hardship license, you must apply within ten days of a DUI arrest.
A failure to do so will waive your right and prevent you from being able to get a license throughout the duration of your case. It’s essential that you request a DMV hearing and apply within ten days of being charged with a DUI.
#7) Start your defense right away.
Whether this is a first-offense DUI or you have been through this experience before, it is imperative that you contact an experienced DUI attorney and start your defense right away.
A DUI can stay on your record for 75 years in Florida. It can result in your losing your license, and it can lead to thousands of dollars in fines. To decrease the impact that this event can have on your life, talk to an attorney right away.
An experienced DUI attorney can help you look at your case and find ways to produce the best possible outcome. They can work to reduce your charges, lessen the impact of your charges, or even clear your record.
If you feel you were unjustly charged with a DUI, it is even more imperative that you talk to a criminal defense attorney right away. If there was an unwarranted stop or a mishandled case, you need someone who can fight for your best interest from day one.
Arrested for a DUI in Florida? Get Advice Today.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida, don’t wait to get legal advice. Each day that passes is one day less for you to put together a defense for your case.
Don’t wait. Talk to an experienced DUI attorney today. Get your free consultations with TJ Grimaldi. Request your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.