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Jacksonville DUI Lawyer
It can be a horrible feeling for a Florida driver when they see the flashing red lights of a police officer pull up behind them.
Suppose the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) levels are 0.08% or higher. In that case, they face criminal charges with driving under the influence (DUI).
A whole host of negative consequences come if these DUI charges lead to conviction. Everything from steep fines to suspending a driver’s license, skyrocketing insurance rates, and perhaps even jail are possibilities.
But there is more hope than defendants may realize. Our Jacksonville DUI lawyer can help you fight the DUI criminal charges.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a DUI in Florida?
The short answer is strongly recommended. While hiring a lawyer is not mandatory, navigating a DUI charge in Florida is complex, and the potential consequences are severe.
An experienced DUI attorney can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Facing a DUI charge in Jacksonville can feel overwhelming, but you don't have to navigate this alone. Our experienced Jacksonville DUI lawyers understand the complexities of Florida's legal system and have your back.
They work tirelessly to protect your rights and future, from fighting to keep your license to exploring defense strategies and potential expungement options.
Don't hesitate to seek their guidance and empower yourself with knowledge during this challenging time.
If arrested for drunk driving in Jacksonville, contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Jacksonville, FL, as soon as possible.
Call our Jacksonville law office at (904) 507-6194 or use our online contact portal to request a free consultation. Consultation by video conference is available. We serve all of Duval County, Florida.
Scott Monroe is the best criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. There were many difficult times throughout the process, in view of the serious accusations, but Scott and his team never quit!- Ben S.
Mr. Monroe was incredibly responsive and took time to explain every step of the process with me. He always returned my calls. His unique work history allowed him to attack my case from all angles.- Lindsey S.
Attorney D. Scott Monroe is one of the best lawyers. He fights day and night for his clients, and he is just a phone call away. Mr. Monroe has a great & devoted team working with him and they are awesome. I recommend this law firm.- Nativita A.
I would like to thank Scott Monroe for everything he has done for me. I had a high profile case and he knew exactly what to do!- Jarvis B.
Is It Worth Getting an Lawyer for a DUI in Florida?
A qualified attorney is essential for DUI cases in Florida. A lawyer can be a good choice if you face high stakes, such as fines on the maximum end of the spectrum. DUI consequences are harsh, and a lawyer can:
- Negotiate reduced charges or dismissals.
- Challenge evidence and protect your rights.
- Reduce stress and guide you through the process.
Weigh the cost against the potential benefits and consider consulting a lawyer. It's a crucial decision.
Our criminal defense attorneys can help you understand your criminal charges, develop a defensive strategy, and negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf.
Defendants may feel there’s no way out if their BAC levels are at 0.08%. It’s quite likely that this is just what the District Attorney’s office wants them to think.
But what an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer knows is that there are several plausible reasons that a BAC test may produce inaccurate results.
It’s even possible that the stop and test itself may fail to pass constitutional muster.
The Importance of Confidential Communication with Your Defense Attorney
In Duval County cases, open communication with your defense attorney is critical. The attorney-client privilege protects your honesty, allowing them to craft the most vigorous defense.
Share everything, no matter how sensitive; it could uncover weaknesses in the prosecution's case or reveal key defense strategies.
Remember, this is a team effort. Withhold information, and your defense weakens.
Embrace transparency, ask questions, and trust your attorney's expertise. Their success relies on your complete confidence and open communication.
How Long Does a DUI Case Take in Florida?
In Florida, most DUI cases (misdemeanors) take 3-6 months to resolve, though they can push seven months for felonies.
It ultimately depends on factors like court backlogs, evidence complexity, and plea negotiations.
Don't Fight Your Jacksonville DUI Alone: Get an Experienced Lawyer at Monroe Law, P.A. on Your Side
Getting representation as soon as possible following any DUI-related charge is the best way to promote a positive result from a subsequent trial. These serious criminal charges can result in expensive fines, losing driving privileges or professional licenses, and even incarceration.
1. The Stop’s Legality
A Jacksonville police officer cannot randomly pull over any car they want to unless it’s a designated sobriety checkpoint. They need to have a credible reason to believe the driver is intoxicated or at least in violation of another law. If a driver rolled through a stop sign too casually or allowed their vehicle to cross the center line, that would qualify as reasonable suspicion.
The legal standard for reasonable suspicion is not high, and it’s possible that the stop was legal. But it’s important for defense counsel to at least challenge the state to produce its reasons for even making the stop to begin with.
2. The Test’s Legality
Even if the stop is legal, the decision to call for a BAC-level test may not be. A Jacksonville officer must still have probable cause to issue the test. If a driver is slurring their speech or stumbling, that can qualify. Open containers in the vehicle can make a test legitimate. But, there has to be a reason, and it bears noting that the officer’s burden of proof at this level will be a little bit higher than it was when making the stop.
Perhaps the officer’s probable cause comes from the driver failing a field test—those drills where the police make a person extend their arm and touch their nose and do other activities to test coordination. These tests must be recorded by the officer’s dashboard video and are subject to review by defense counsel.
What if a person had to undertake the test in rainy conditions or on an uneven surface? What if the person simply struggles with their coordination? The decision as to whether someone “failed” this test is highly subjective, and a Jacksonville DUI defense attorney can contest the officer’s basis for probable cause.
3. The Breath Test
Let’s say both the stop and the decision to take the driver’s BAC level were legitimate. There are still options for the defense. The BAC level that the breathalyzer machine may show isn’t as infallible as some people think. There are a lot of reasons a breath test can come back inaccurately high.
Here are just a few reasons why a breath test may be off:
- The driver consumed sugar or bread along with their alcohol. Is it really difficult to imagine having cake with a glass of wine? Or pretzels along with a beer? Those food products can result in deceptively high BAC levels.
- The driver consumes certain types of medication. It can be something as basic as mouthwash that results in a non-intoxicated driver being wrongly charged.
- The driver has a medical condition that the breathalyzer misreads. Diabetes, acid reflux, and heart problems are all common. They also can lead to deceptively high BAC levels.
Monroe Law reviews all this and more with our clients so that we can pursue all avenues of defense. Remember, it is only necessary to raise a reasonable doubt in the minds of a judge or jury to get someone acquitted of a DUI charge in Jacksonville.
4. The Blood Test
A blood sample is no more perfect than a breath test. To begin with, the needle that draws the blood was quite likely sterilized in alcohol. If this wasn’t done properly, it’s not hard to see how this could lead to a false high on the BAC level.
The sample must also be stored according to strictly defined protocols, lest the blood ferment too long and the reading be inaccurate. Everyone who handles the sample must document it. It is the responsibility of the police department to produce the necessary documentation that their testing meets all legal requirements. It’s the job of your DUI lawyer in Jacksonville, FL, to challenge the authorities every step of the way.
We tailor custom defense strategies for each client's unique situation.
We have experience on both sides of the courtroom.
Don't hesitate! Give us a call whenever you need legal help.
Get started on your award-winning defense with a free consultation today.