Defending Your Rights
DUI: Driving Under the Influence
A DUI arrest is many times the first brush with the law for those facing the charge. If that happens, you need experienced Jacksonville DUI Attorney skilled in investigating every detail – from the traffic stop to the field sobriety tests to any breath, blood or urine tests that were conducted. A DUI conviction will stick with you – on you criminal record and in your pocketbook when it comes to auto insurance rates.
Often times, the Jacksonville DUI attorney at The Mussallem Law Firm, P.A., can get the charge reduced to reckless driving – dramatically dropping the penalties and long-term damage. Other times, our attorneys have gotten charges dropped outright.
Many times, your defense will center on how the arrest was made and how the tests are conducted. A DUI always starts with a traffic stop and the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you’re committing a crime or traffic infraction before he or she even approaches your vehicle. After the officer makes contact with you, he or she must see or detect more suspicious activity before asking you to perform field sobriety exercises. The typical reasons our Jacksonville DUI Attorney has seen in police reports through the years are: red or watery eyes, a subject smelling like alcohol, slurred speech or the person swaying when her or she stood or walked.
If an officer feels you have shown one or more of those signs, it is very likely he or she will ask you to perform field sobriety exercises. The exercises are designed to determine if you are too impaired to be driving. The officer will likely ask you to walk in a straight line and turn around; stand on one leg; stand with your legs together to test your balance; move your arms to touch your finger to your nose and recite the alphabet or a series of numbers in order (Rhomberg Alphabet). Each individual test has various indicators of impairment and, if you reach a certain number, you do not pass and will be arrested for DUI in Jacksonville.
From there, you’ll be taken to the police station and start another process all persons arrested for DUI in Jacksonville go through. You will be asked to blow into a Breathalyzer machine. If you have agreed to take the test, our Jacksonville DUI attorney at The Mussallem Law Firm, P.A., will conduct a step-by-step review of the process. If that test is not administered properly and in adherence with state law, it cannot be used as evidence against you.
Jacksonville is no different that many American cities. Its residents rely heavily on driving to get to and from work, school and places in between. When someone is arrested for DUI, often times one of the first concerns is when they can drive again. Outside of the DUI penalties, the Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your license – even if your DUI is dropped or lowered to a lesser charge. Our DUI attorney at The Mussallem Law Firm, P.A., can help arrange a temporary license while our attorneys investigate in advance of your “Formal Review Hearing” before the DMV. You have 10 days from your arrest to request and reserve your right to a hearing. If at that hearing the DMV finds the suspension invalid, your license will be fully restored administratively – and your criminal DUI case is also helped significantly.
A DUI is a criminal offense with far-reaching consequences if convicted. The Jacksonville DUI Attorney at The Mussallem Law Firm, P.A., will thoroughly investigate each step of your arrest and aggressively defend your rights in court.
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