One moment you’re enjoying a fun night out with friends and the next you’re staring directly into the beam of a police officer’s flashlight. How did you get here? Your intention when you got dressed up was not to end the night in the back of a police car, but here you are. Unlike reckless and distracted driving, where drivers make a conscious decision to endanger themselves and others, alcohol impairs your judgment, which can influence you to make decisions you otherwise wouldn’t.
Driving under the influence is a serious offense in the state of Florida. DUI charges alone are enough to badly damage your reputation. If you’re convicted, however, your situation can become even worse since you’ll face penalties that have the potential to drastically alter your life.
Although you’ve been arrested for a DUI, all hope isn’t lost. You still have rights. A seasoned criminal attorney can ensure those rights are protected every step of the way. Trust a Lake County DUI lawyer at The Umansky Law Firm to help mitigate your DUI case and help you return to life before this incident.
Driving drunk isn’t the only reason you can be charged with a DUI in Lake County, Florida. According to the law, a DUI can be issued when you’re caught operating a motor vehicle under the influence of any illegal substance. Therefore, the most common reasons why DUIs are issued in the state of Florida include:
The best way to ensure your safety and the safety of others is to never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or being under the influence of drugs. If you do, your best chance at mitigating the charges is with the help of an experienced lawyer.
Whether it’s a routine traffic stop or a DUI checkpoint, there’s an expected procedure that law enforcement officials follow when they suspect an individual of drunk driving. During this process, police officers often knowingly violate the rights of the accused if they suspect the individual of being inebriated. One can expect the following when stopped for a DUI.
The first thing an officer will do when they pull you over is request that you provide your license and registration. Then they often ask questions like “Where are you coming from?” and “How much have you had to drink tonight?” This is all done to gather as much information as possible. The officer can use whatever you tell them as “incriminating statements” to assist their efforts in getting a DUI conviction.
It’s vital that you don’t disclose any unnecessary information since you’re only obliged to provide your license and registration. The officer can use any admission of drinking alcohol as grounds to investigate the matter further.
A police officer can legally ask you to step out of the vehicle if they suspect you of driving drunk. The ensuing request will likely be to participate in a field sobriety test. The only purpose of these tests is to establish probable cause for the officer to legally arrest you for a DUI. The officer will also request that you take a breathalyzer test to gauge your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Under implied consent laws, you must submit to both requests. Failure to do so can result in jail time and license suspension. However, an officer can’t force you to take part in a field sobriety test. These tests are subjective, and officers often implement tests that are not standardized to get a desired result. These include:
If the officer believes you “failed” a field sobriety test, he or she can arrest you and cite you for driving under the influence.
If you’re convicted for driving under the influence in the state of Florida, the penalties you face are steep. Specific penalties, however, are highly dependent on the details of your case. For example, the more DUI arrests you have, the more severe your penalties become. A first DUI offense is always considered a misdemeanor. Second offenses and beyond are considered felonies. In the state of Florida, all DUIs are subject to these penalties:
In addition to the number of DUI offenses you have, if your BAC is over .15 you will face elevated penalties.
In Lake County, a DUI lawyer is your best chance at a reduced charge or alternative penalties. If you plan to fight your DUI, timing is everything. The longer you wait to obtain a lawyer, the less likely the chances of influencing the outcome of your case will become. Therefore, the first thing you want to do after you’ve been arrested for a DUI is to hire a trustworthy and aggressive DUI attorney.
Seeing that officers can easily outwit unknowing drivers into a confession or performing unnecessary tasks, it’s vital that you have a Lake County DUI lawyer in your corner to help protect your rights. William Umansky with The Umansky Law Firm is that attorney.
At The Umansky Law Firm, our attorneys have more than two decades of experience representing Clermont and Lake County commuters. Our team is recognized among Florida’s Super Lawyers and are highly rated on avvo.com. Featured on media outlets such as ABC, NBC, and FOX, William Umansky and his team of DUI attorneys can provide aggressive and thorough legal representation for your DUI case. Contact us today or fill out our online form for a free consultation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys