An arrest for DUI can be an overwhelming and confusing time as one is confronted with the criminal and civil process simultaneously.

If you have been arrested for DUI, you may want to consider your legal options and understand the criminal and civil process prior to going to court. A DUI conviction may lead to a suspension of your driver’s license, criminal penalties, and an increase in your car insurance.

When defending a DUI case, I treat each case differently, as no two cases are alike. Each case contains separate facts and circumstances which may be imperative in the defense of your case. DUI cases are fact specific and paying attention to the details is vital.

DUI Flowchart

Contact: If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) this may be your first contact with law enforcement, the jail, meeting with a lawyer, and the criminal justice system.

Suspension: The first issue one is faced with is the suspension of his or her driver’s license. Undoubtedly the question arises how will I drive now that my license is suspended?

When a driver is arrested for DUI or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level or breath alcohol level above a 0.08 the law enforcement officer per Florida law shall suspend the driver’s license.

10-day permit: The officer will take driver’s license and issue a 10-day temporary permit. The 10-day permit begins on the date of issuance and expires at midnight of the 10th day following the date of issuance of the suspension.

Suspension Review Hearing: Before the expiration of the temporary permit the driver can request a formal review hearing or can waive the formal review hearing to determine eligibility of a business purposes only permit.

Formal or waiver of review hearing: You should consult with an attorney to determine if you should request a formal hearing or waive the hearing.

What Is Driving Under the Influence?

For the State of Florida to prevail in a case of Driving Under the Influence the State must prove either:

  1. The defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

  2. While driving or in actual physical control.

Was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, chemical substance, or controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired and or had a breath or blood alcohol level .08 grams or above.

DUIs can be classified as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the severity of the crime. It's important to fully understand what you're up against. Whether you're facing a first-time DUI charge or going up against a felony DUI offense, contact an attorney to exercise your rights and build a robust defense.

How are normal faculties defined?

The Florida Supreme Court Jury Instructions defines normal faculties as:

“Normal faculties include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.”

If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence you should speak with an attorney about your case to determine;

  1. What to expect in court;

  2. What possible defenses you may have;

  3. What the possible outcomes may be;

  4. What you can do to get started in the case.

As part of the DUI consultation it is important to gather all the relevant facts leading up to the initial contact with law enforcement and identify potential legal issues. Such facts and issues may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Why did the officer conduct the stop?

  2. If the driver was in actual physical control of the vehicle how did the officer, contact the driver?

  3. Was the driver involved in a traffic crash?

  4. If the driver was involved in a traffic crash was the driver or anyone else injured?

  5. Were there any mechanical problems with the vehicle before the traffic stop or crash?

  6. What did the officer tell the driver as to the reason for the stop?

  7. What statements did the driver make to the officer?

  8. Did the officer ask the driver to check his or her eyes?

  9. What exercises did the officer ask of the driver?

  10. Did the driver have any medical conditions or injuries?

  11. Did the officer ask the driver about his or injuries before the field sobriety exercises?

  12. Did the driver consent to the breath test?

  13. What were the results of the breath test?

  14. Did the driver blow .000 on the breath test?

  15. Did the driver have any previous DUI convictions?