Jacksonville DUI defense lawyers dedicated to clients' rights
DUI Defense Lawyers in Florida Providing Full Criminal and Administrative Defense
An armed state officer who has the power to take away your liberty and your driving privileges pulls you over. The officer may be polite. He may say he is there to help. What all officers have in common during a DUI investigation is that they are looking for evidence to arrest you. They ask you to perform certain exercises to prove you are not impaired. You agree, and they read you your rights, handcuff you and drive you to jail. Police also commonly search DUI suspects and have them blow into a machine to decide impairment. Finally, law enforcement officials warn you that failure to obey means immediate suspension of your license — and your refusal or the test results will be used against you in court.
Obtain legal support as soon as possible
Contact us. A Jacksonville DUI defense lawyer at Fallgatter & Catlin, P.A. can sort out the whirlwind of events. Law enforcement has told you that because you drank and drove, you are a criminal. Nonsense. Impaired driving is a crime. Having a drink or two over a couple of hours is not.
You have rights. You have options and choices. Do not assume that because they smelled alcohol on your breath, you have lost — or that because you did not walk that line in that unnatural position, you have no legal alternatives. An experienced Jacksonville drunk driving defense lawyer at Fallgatter & Catlin, P.A. can identify many options available to you.
The first steps in fighting DUI charges in FL
The first thing to know, after a DUI arrest, is that you are on a 10-day clock. You can drive for 10 days after your arrest, and you can request a Formal Hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. That is a key time period. You need to drive, and you need that hearing. Many lawyers miss that important chance both to fight for your license and to extend your driving privileges. Having that administrative hearing accomplishes both of these goals and gives your attorney a chance to pin the arresting officer down, under oath.
Understanding the administrative component of DUI charges
DUI charges also have an administrative component, and you can fight your license suspension. A good DUI lawyer handles both the criminal part and the DMV part without charging extra fees. Each Jacksonville DUI defense attorney at Fallgatter & Catlin, P.A. represents clients in both legal areas for one flat fee.
DUI is not an open-and-shut case
Although the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles reported 33,625 DUI convictions in 2011 alone, DUI is not an open and shut case. There are many requirements of proof and issues of evidence that the state must overcome before a defendant should plead guilty. An improper police stop can result in the exclusion of all evidence that came from that stop. Many times, officers claim that a driver failed the field test, but we review the video and prove them wrong — this happens in up to 50 percent of cases. Breath tests can also have many flaws, and because law enforcement often administers these tests several hours after you last drove a vehicle, many defenses exist against a failed breath test.
If you did plead guilty that first morning in court, do not think it is too late to get help. We can also assist in withdrawing your plea under many circumstances and fighting your case. Discover your options. The only way you are sure to lose is if you do not understand your rights.
Representation for a full array of traffic violations
Many times police issue other traffic tickets along with a citation for DUI. Or else it may be that you simply got traffic tickets and no DUI. We can help there, too. Tickets can mean points on your license, and like a DUI, they can mean more expensive (or unavailable) insurance — often for years. If you got a ticket for being in an accident, a conviction may prevent you from denying fault if you are sued.
Contact us for full defense
Know your rights. Insist on them. Find a lawyer who fights for them. Fallgatter & Catlin, P.A. provides the full protection you need. Contact us for a free consultation. Make the informed, intelligent decision. Take back the power, and make the state answer to you.