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Hiring a DUI attorney in Clearwater, FL is an important decision. That’s where DUI Legal Help can assist. We’ve screened and identified the best Clearwater DUI attorneys who can provide you with legal assistance immediately. Collectively, our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of individuals who have been charged with driving under the influence. Call today and speak with a DUI lawyer in Clearwater.
If you have recently been arrested or charged with a DUI offense DUI Legal Help will connect you with a top rated Clearwater DUI attorney prepared to help you. A DUI conviction can result in fines and jail time, as well as a criminal record that makes it difficult to travel, get hired or even keep your job. An experienced DUI lawyer may be able to reduce the severity of your charges, block incriminating evidence against, negotiate the lightest possible sentence or help you get through this free of charge.
Getting arrested for drunk driving in Clearwater can seem daunting. Knowing the legal process is vital to putting yourself in a position to achieve a positive outcome. The following are the six main steps involved in the DUI process.
During the arrest phase an officer in Clearwater will ask you to take a preliminary breath test. You will then be taken to a hospital, police station or jail where they measure your blood alcohol level through either a blood test or a breathalyzer. Next your license will be taken from you and you will be given a temporary license that will expire in 30 days.
The sooner you find a lawyer, the better it will be for your case. Start looking for lawyers immediately after your arrest. Here’s where DUI Legal Help can assist. We’ll connect you with a top rated Clearwater DUI legal specialist immediately. You’ll work with a team that intimately understands what you’re going through and the road ahead.
“Administrative Suspension” requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to have your license suspended immediately after your arrest. This can be fought by filing a request for a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of the arrest. You’re Clearwater DUI lawyer will make a case in favor of “no suspension”, so that you can keep your license.
The first legal proceeding in your court case is called an arraignment. This is when the prosecutor and your lawyer will be required to present their case in front of the court. During the arraignment you will enter a plea of guilty, no contest or not guilty. Your DUI lawyer will likely compel you to plead not guilty. The arraignment is not a trial and there is no jury at this time, so the proceedings are relatively short.
During the pre-trial phase, the prosecutor must provide your Clearwater DUI lawyer with all of the evidence against you. This gives your lawyer the a chance to investigate the information and find opportunities for a strong defense: Were your rights honored throughout the process? How was the evidence collected? Are there any red flags with regards to the blood test/breathalyzer test? During this stage, all cards are laid out on the table DUI cases are generally resolved.
If your case doesn’t seem to be getting resolved during the pre-trial phase, your Clearwater lawyer will recommend going to trial. At trial, both sides have an opportunity to present their cases. Entering a court trial can be risky because the outcome is either winning or losing. Your lawyer’s job is to raise doubt in the jury’s mind and help you receive an acquittal.
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Once you have made the difficult decision to file for DUI, there are things you will need to do in order to proceed in a positive way. A basic overview of the DUI process, from filing for DUI to rebuilding your credit and moving forward after DUI are discussed below.
When a police officer in Clearwater pulls you over in suspicion of driving under the influence, they may ask questions such as “How many drinks have you had tonight?” or “How many drinks did you say you had?” Your statement can ultimately used against you in court. In order to avoid incriminating yourself, you should provide no information when questioned by police and request to speak with a lawyer.
You will be asked to take 1 of 3 tests if you decline a field sobriety test. Breath-testing or breathalyzers is the most common way law enforcement officers estimate blood alcohol content (BAC) because they are lightweight and portable, as well as provide immediate results. The second most common type of test is a blood test. Refusing a mandatory blood test could lead to consequences such as losing your driver’s license.
Clearwater law enforcement officers are trained to note any physical or behavior signs that may indicate you are driving under the influence. Some common behaviors include difficulty getting out of the vehicle, lack of balance and coordination, difficulty reaching for your drivers license/car insurance, or inappropriate behavior towards a police officer (being aggressive, irritable, sobbing or crying etc.).
If the officer observes signs of DUI, they will most likely ask the individual to perform a DUI field sobriety test (FST) to determine if they are actually drunk. An example of this may include blowing into a breathalyzer or reciting the alphabet backwards. These procedures are voluntary and the individual is welcome to decline if they wish.
The National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration board (NHTSA) has identified 24 “cues” that tend to be associated with a DUI. The most common causes directly correlated to DUI cases include extensive weaving, swerving, and driving over/under the speed limit by a significant amount. In Clearwater DUI cases, evidence against you will likely include the officer’s testimony about mistakes you made while driving.
Frequently asked questions about DUI law.
Yes. Legal representation is fundamental to success in your DUI case. For those who have never been in legal trouble before, it is understandable to feel unsure about whether or not hiring a lawyer for your first DUI will be worth the cost. A professional Clearwater DUI attorney will be able to help the defendant in court by avoiding consequences and getting the best chances of winning.
There are several reasons that a DUI case may be dropped depending on if the police followed proper procedure. DUI charges should be dropped if:
A charge reduction may be possible if you can successfully plea to a lesser charge such as Reckless Driving. This will only be available in certain circumstances and depends on your past criminal history, particularly in relation to DUI charges. To find out more about charge reductions in Clearwater call now and speak with a DUI legal specialist in Clearwater.
DUI stands for driving under the influence. The type of substance may be illegal, prescription, or an over-the-counter medication. DWI stands for driving while intoxicated or impaired. The specific definition differs from state to state. Charges of DUI or DWI arise when a law enforcement officer thinks you were too impaired to drive. Common causes are alcohol, drugs, and sleepiness.
Consulting with a DUI lawyer in Clearwater costs anywhere between $700 and $1,500. DUI cases that go to trial can cost upwards of $10,000 depending on the complexity and severity of the case.
Yes. It is always worth fighting a DUI. A DUI can cost you your driver’s license, high fees and fines, and even put you in jail. Plus, depending on each state, it can stay on your record forever.