DUI / Drunk Driving
A DUI arrest often evokes strong emotions and concerns. Many have feelings of confusion, anger, and most have fear of the unknown.
Questions such as “am I going to jail” or “will I be able to drive” cause a great deal of anxiety. Mr. Deckard has many years of experience defending and advising those charged with DUI and he can quickly put your mind at ease. When you feel as if the entire world is upon your shoulders, there is nothing more comforting than an experienced and caring attorney to answer your questions and provide a vigorous defense to protect your rights.
During your free consultation, Mr. Deckard will explain the steps we take to protect your legal rights. Mr. Deckard will also analyze all of your options and walk you through the steps of the judicial process so that you will know what to expect.
As with most other charges, DUI investigations and arrests are not perfect. DUI officers are human and they make mistakes. This is also true for those who administer the breath test and for those who are responsible for maintaining and updating the equipment used to measure your blood alcohol content.
In Florida, the law considers a person guilty of the offense of DUI if the individual is driving or is in “actual physical control” of a vehicle within the state of Florida at the time that individual is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or under the influence of a controlled chemical substance to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.
A blood alcohol content of .08% and greater is considered evidence of DUI. A blood alcohol content of .15% and greater carries enhanced penalties upon conviction. Having a minor in the car with you when arrested for a DUI carries an enhanced penalty and often results in the additional felony charge of child abuse. This is especially true when the minor is a young child.
This means that a DUI charge may result from the use of a prescribed medication as well as alcohol. In addition, “actual physical control” such as sleeping in your car while inebriated with the car key in your possession or in the ignition can result in a DUI charge.
Riding a bicycle or operating a golf cart while under the influence can result in a DUI arrest. This is also true of the operation of a motorized shopping cart at the grocery store while under the influence.
Driver’s License Implications
At the time of your arrest your license will be automatically suspended.
Contact the Law Office of Joshua W. Deckard and his staff immediately following your DUI arrest. You only have a ten-day window to initiate the fight to retain your driver’s license, or in the alternative, sign a waiver to immediately receive a restricted hardship license to drive for business purposes and other qualified purposes.
Due to the efforts of lobbyist such as MADD, the penalties for DUI enacted by the legislature are rather complicated and in some cases include severe penalties. The penalties imposed include driver’s license suspensions and the rules will vary from case to case. Suffice it to say, if you’re arrested for DUI and either refused or failed a chemical test, time is of the essence to consult with a qualified and experienced lawyer who is familiar with all the complicated nuances of DUI law and DUI defense.
Arraignment quickly follows an arrest and you should be informed of your rights and options before deciding how to plea. In most cases, Mr. Deckard enters a not guilty plea on behalf of his clients. You should absolutely consult with an attorney prior to making a plea decision. The decisions you make on a DUI charge should be made only after serious contemplation and counsel since a DUI conviction will negatively impact many facets of your future life. Penalties are enhanced for subsequent DUI offenses.
We have vast experience and knowledge to fight your charges in court or to fight to disqualify admissibility in court including:
- Illegal search and seizure: Was the police officer justified in stopping you and requiring a drug or alcohol test?
- Improper test administration and handling: Was the officer properly trained to administer the test, or was the test equipment improperly calibrated? Was your test mishandled, not administered with care or attributed to someone else?
- Was your field sobriety test conducted improperly?
- Do you have any medical conditions that could have impacted your sobriety tests?
All DUI cases are complicated, but become more so if this is not your first arrest. Whatever your situation, our job is to protect your rights each step of the way. We will explore every detail of your case with the goal of avoiding conviction.
Penalties for DUI
In Florida, a DUI conviction on a first offense results in a minimum fine of $500, court costs, a minimum driver’s license suspension of one year, fifty hours of community service, probation, twelve-hour DUI class, a substance abuse evaluation to determine whether there is a need for substance abuse treatment, a ten-day impoundment of your vehicle and a potential term of imprisonment up to one year depending upon the circumstances.
DUI penalties can increase steeply, depending on the severity of the crime and the number of prior convictions. Severe DUI offenses may involve property damage, personal injury, repeat offenses, serious bodily injury, manslaughter, and vehicular homicide.
Joshua W. Deckard represents people charged with DUI along the Treasure Coast and statewide. Mr. Deckard has the knowledge, skills and experience to mount a strong, viable defense at every stage of the criminal proceeding. Mr. Deckard successfully negotiated a probationary sentence for an individual charged with both DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
Those booked into the county jail and charged with a DUI offense must meet certain conditions prior to being released from jail on bond:
The person is no longer under the influence; and
- The person’s normal faculties are no longer impaired;
- The person’s blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; or
- Eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.
Finally, even a first conviction will result in mandatory DUI school. Your driver’s license reinstatement will not be granted until the class is completed. Contact the Law Office of Joshua W. Deckard for additional information.
An arrest or conviction for DUI can result in fines, prison time, and the loss of the right to drive. If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, contact the Law Office of Joshua W. Deckard for an aggressive and experienced defense.
DISCLAIMER: THE HIRING OF A LAWYER IS AN IMPORTANT DECISION THAT SHOULD NOT BE BASED SOLELY UPON ADVERTISEMENTS. BEFORE YOU DECIDE, ASK US TO SEND YOU FREE WRITTEN INFORMATION QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE. EVERY LEGAL MATTER IS DIFFERENT. THE OUTCOME OF EACH LEGAL CASE DEPENDS UPON MANY FACTORS, INCLUDING THE FACTS OF THE CASE.