Destin Drunk Driving/Boating Arrest Attorney
DUI and BUI laws impose severe sanctions that must be imposed if you are convicted. Jail, fines, a suspended license and impounded vehicle make fulfilling your daily responsibilities, such as holding a job or going to school, nearly impossible. Without the ability to drive and a lack of mass transit available locally, a DUI conviction means family and friends, or taxis for the more affluent, are the only way to work, shop and attend the programs the State requires before you can get your license back. But many DUI or BUI arrests are iffy as the attitude of law enforcement is often "if in doubt, arrest, and let the Judge sort it out." You can rarely go back years later when the full impact of a DUI conviction is known (one study put the cost over a lifetime at $35,000) and try and undo it. You need a good attorney and the sooner he is involved the more he can help you.
Your license will be suspended in 10 days unless you or your attorney files a request for the DMV to review the suspension. This automatically gives you an additional 30 days to continue driving and make arrangements, in case the suspension is upheld, to get alternative transportation. It also buys you time to get started in DUI school and do the other things needed to qualify for a hardship license and get some of your driving privileges back. It is often the only time your attorney will have a chance to hear from the arresting officer and gauge his testimony. But miss that 10-day deadline and the opportunity to do all of these things is lost.
Know that, if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the odds are stacked against you. Field sobriety tests are really coordination tests and are designed to create failures. Ironically, the more practiced one is at taking the test, the better he or she will fare, meaning a first time offender is at a real disadvantage. One advantage for the first time offender is he does not commit a crime by refusing to cooperate with a Breathalyzer or other test of your blood alcohol content (BAC). But for people who have refused before, the "refusal" can be punished by up to a year in jail, just like a second DUI.
BUIs are a very difficult case for the State to prove, because many reasons why people may not do well on field exercises exist, such as fatigue, motion sickness and the like. However, even though a BUI will not result in your driving license being suspended, it does count as a prior DUI if you are ever arrested for one. This means your first driving offense could expose you to a five year license suspension and a minimum of 10 days in jail. Make sure pleading guilty to that BUI charge is the right choice, consult an attorney.
It is critical that you have experienced criminal defense representation to help you protect your rights. The system is not on your side. We are.
Refusals have other consequences, it can lengthen the time a first time offender must wait to be eligible for a hardship permit (3 months instead of 30 days).
At the law firm of Ledbetter and Associates, our Destin DUI/BUI defense attorney is a former prosecutor with the State Attorney Office. John Ledbetter is a former felony division chief in Jacksonville. Attorney Ledbetter prosecuted hundreds of misdemeanor DUIs before becoming a felony prosecutor and playing a role in DUI manslaughter, and other serious driving offenses. He has been defending those charged with DUI and BUI for more than twenty years.
If you are facing charges of DUI or BUI, you need to secure experienced and effective criminal defense representation as quickly as possible. For representation that can protect your rights and fight a driver's license suspension, turn to the experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer of Ledbetter and Associates. To schedule an initial consultation, call 850-312-4052, toll free at 888-398-9952, or simply contact us online.