Understanding the DUI process is the first step in building a winning defense.
Initial Police Contact
Let's start from the beginning. When you were pulled over by the police, this likely happened because of manner in which you were driving. Police are trained to spot ‘suspicious behavior’ on the roads. They often look for excessive or underwhelming speed, swerving, and other signs that a driver is not fully in control of his or her vehicle.
Upon stopping you, the officer likely walked up to your vehicle and gave you a brief interview. Throughout this interview, they are looking for probable cause. If the officer can detect empty alcohol containers, red eyes, sluggish responses to commands, and other indicators that you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she may request that you be tested.
Remember, the police must ask you for your permission before any testing can be done; you may also say ‘NO’ (if you do, the police should inform you of the adverse consequences that can result from a refusal to take a blood-alcohol reading).
After the officer conducted a field analysis of your situation, he or she likely concluded that either:
After reaching this conclusion, the officer likely put you under arrest. As he or she put handcuffs on you, your Miranda rights should have been recited. If the officer did not recite your Miranda rights during the arrest, contact your Tampa DUI lawyer immediately. While the officer’s exclusion of your Miranda rights will not necessarily get your case thrown out, it can help eliminate key evidence in your case.
Chances are, you've been through this already. But it's important to know how its supposed to be done.
After the initial arrest comes the booking. The usual procedure in most cases involves being put into a jail cell over night before being released the following morning. This is where your decisions become very important. After receiving your court date, you must act quickly to avoid severe consequences for your arrest.
Unlike the criminal courts, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your license without a trial.
In fact, from the date of your arrest, you will have 10-days to request a hearing in front of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you or your lawyer fail to request such a hearing, your license will be suspended for 6, 12, or even 18 months. It's important to follow through on this step - especially if you have to commute to work.
Time to lawyer up. This is where we can help. Get in contact with us right away and we'll help you build a case that wins in court. Just give us a call or write us in our 'contact us' section. We'll respond in person on the phone and reply within one business day for write-ins.