Frequently Asked Questions
At Parks & Braxton, PA we have spent more than 40 years in the field of criminal defense, aggressively representing defendants who've been arrested and charged with a DUI. Now, our clients can benefit from a legal team with nearly four decades of professional experience and a wealth of knowledge in all matters related to DUI offenses in the state of Florida.
The hard-hitting facts and honest answers you need as you attempt to understand your DUI arrest and the charges that you face can be found from the committed team of Miami DUI lawyers at our firm. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, we make ourselves available to take your phone call, thus enabling our team to answer your questions as quickly and efficiently as possible.
To further help DUI defendants with questions, we have also provided a subset of answers to the questions that we receive most frequently from current and potential clients of the firm. We encourage you to read through the FAQs listed below to gain a better understanding of the DUI process in Florida. In doing so, you could find answers to some of your questions before you ever speak to a member of our legal team.
Even though I was drinking earlier in the night, I don't think I was drunk when I was pulled over and arrested. Is there any point to fighting my charges or is it a lost cause?
We would argue that there is still good reason to fight your charges. It is against the law to drive drunk; however, it is not against the law to drink and then drive after you've sobered up. Plenty of evidence has been found that suggests that the standard methods used to determine intoxication (i.e. field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, etc.) are prone to yielding inaccurate results.
Whether or not you were drinking earlier on in the day should not determine whether or not you choose to fight your case. If the DUI investigation was not conducted properly or a sobriety test was not administered correctly, you might have been wrongly charged. Don't back down prematurely. We are here to help you fight.
How long will it take to complete the legal processes involved in my DUI case?
At Parks & Braxton, PA we are committed to doing everything in our power to expedite the DUI process as much as possible. That being said, there are certain legal formalities that cannot be avoided. While every case is different, DUI defendants can generally plan on the process taking at least a few months before being fully resolved. Depending on the complexity of your DUI, however, it could take longer. We will be able to provide you with a more definitive answer after meeting with you to review the specific circumstances of your particular case.
Is it true that I can refuse a breath or blood test?
Technically, youare allowed to refuse an officer's command to take a chemical test such as a breath or blood test; however, there can be repercussions for doing so. Drivers who refuse to take a chemical test at an officer's command could have their driver's license suspended for up to a year. In some cases, if the refusal is documented in a written complaint against the individual, there could be a mandatory jail sentence as well.
What is a law enforcement officer looking for when they make an arrest for DUI?
Law enforcement officers are specially trained to look for a very specific set of physical and mental signs that have been identified as symptomatic of a driver who has been drinking. If you were arrested for a DUI in the state of Florida, the law enforcement officer must have had reasonable cause to do so.
Among the behavioral symptoms that are looked for in order to make an arrest are: alcohol on the breath, flushed / red face, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, poor balance, aggressive attitude, lack of comprehension, confusion / disorientation, struggle to retrieve your license, and an inability to follow directions.
These are only some of the many conditions that officers look for when making an arrest for DUI, so make sure that you speak with an attorney before challenging an arrest or the allegations that have been made against you.
Will it hurt my case that I refused to answer when the law enforcement officer asked me if I had been drinking?
The short answer to this question is "no." By law, a driver cannot be forced to answer any question that could later be used to incriminate him or her. Along the same lines, anyone who is pulled over and questioned about their sobriety has the right to ask to speak with an attorney before answering any questions.
Do I have to go to court?
Whether or not you will have to go to court will depend on the specifics of your particular situation. Although we cannot answer this question until knowing the full details regarding your case, we can say that we are committed to doing everything possible to helping you stay out of court at all costs. In some cases, we might be able to appear in court on your behalf and resolve the issue without your actual presence. We will be in a better position to make this determination after meeting to review your case.
If the officer who made the arrest didn't read me the Miranda warning does my case have grounds for dismissal?
Unfortunately, no, a case cannot be dismissed for this reason. A law enforcement officer's obligation to advise you of your Fifth Amendment rights does not have to be fulfilled until after an arrest has been made.
As experienced DUI defenders with decades of practice, at Parks & Braxton, PA we know that the answers provided above might not fully satisfy all of your questions. Therefore, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with an associate at the firm. When we meet with you in person, we can provide answers to any questions that remain unanswered, all while advising you on what to expect as you proceed through the legal process of a DUI in the state Florida. For more answers to your questions, don't wait tocontact us today.