DUI in West Palm Beach conviction can be a heavy burden
Getting charged with a DUI can be scary, don’t do it alone. Seek experienced counsel to help you through this process. Every action you take from the moment you are pulled over can directly impact your case. What should you do after you have been cited for a DUI? Every state has slightly different laws regarding procedure and penalties for a DUI. Once you have been booked and charged, follow the tips below as your first steps after being charged with a DUI in West Palm Beach.
- You need to contact an experienced attorney. A skilled attorney can not only provide moral support but can also help you navigate the many steps on the road ahead. Your attorney will investigate your case and strategically put together a defense. Your attorney can also work to negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf. A lawyer can and will advocate for you and has the experience and resources to make a difference in the outcome of your case. The potential consequences of a DUI conviction are steep, do not face them without the assistance of an attorney.
- Discuss the circumstances of your case in depth with your attorney. Every persons experience will be different. The details of your DUI are important. Be sure to discuss your specific set of circumstances with your attorney and be as clear and detailed as possible. Did you submit to field sobriety tests? Did you take a breathalyzer? What did the officer say when he or she pulled you over? These are all details that make a difference. You need to be your own advocate and make sure that you are giving your attorney all the information that is needed to mount a proper defense.
- Lean on your financial and moral support system. You may find yourself in jail immediately after you have been arrested for a DUI. Use your phone call to contact someone that will take your call and post bail. The website: http://dui.findlaw.com/dui-cases/dui-booking-bail.html describes posting bail as, “A DUI suspect or the suspect’s friends and family may put up the full bail amount as set by the court, or a “bond” may be posted in lieu of the full amount. A bond is a written guarantee that the full bail amount will be paid if the suspect fails to appear as promised. Bonds are usually obtained through a bail bond agency that charges a fee for posting of the bond (usually about 10 percent of the bail amount). Bail bond agencies may also demand additional collateral before posting the bond, since the agency will be responsible for paying the full bail amount if the suspect “jumps bail” and fails to appear as promised.” If convicted of a DUI you will have a number of additional financial obligations possibly including: fines, court costs, the cost of an ignition breathalyzer, additional insurance expenses, and mandated therapy or classes. This process can be emotionally exhausting and a DUI conviction can be quite costly.
- Do your part. Don’t be afraid to do research and put together a list of questions for your attorney. DUI laws can vary from state to state and while your lawyer will walk you through the process; it is important that you understand the process and how your actions impact your case. For instance, whether or not you submitted to a field sobriety test and/or breathalyzer is important. In West Palm Beach, Florida this is important because of the implied consent law. The website, http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/dui-refusal-blood-breath-urine-test/florida.htm describes this law stating, “Florida’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC) or for drugs.….Once you are arrested, the officer should tell you that if you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended and that your refusal can be used against you in court. The officer should also tell you that if you have had your license suspended before for refusing a chemical test, then this subsequent refusal counts as a misdemeanor in addition to having your license suspended again.” It is important that you understand how your actions at the time of your alleged DUI can impact your case. Your lawyer needs all pertinent information to best strategize how to move forward with your case.
- Weigh the consequences. You will need to work in conjunction with your attorney to weight the consequences of a guilty verdict versus a plea bargain versus the strength of your case. It is important that you know what the possible consequences are in each scenario so that you can make the best decision for yourself. If you, and your attorney, believe you have a strong defense that will result in a not guilty verdict than a plea bargain may not be the right choice for you. However, if your set of circumstances does not provide a strong legal defense a plea bargain may be more manageable. In Florida, a first time DUI conviction, according to dui.drivinglaws.com can include, “fines, license suspension, vehicle impoundment, having to install an ignition interlock device (IID), and jail time. Enhanced penalties might apply where the convicted motorist had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or more, was involved in an accident that resulted in injuries or property damage, or had a passenger in the car who was under 18 years old.” The consequences for even a first time offense can be severe. Be certain that you understand the possible consequences if found guilty and discuss all possible outcomes with your attorney.
A DUI conviction can be a heavy burden. If you have been charged with a DUI use every available resource to fight your case. Be aware of your options and possible consequences and assemble a team of moral and legal support. Follow these steps after a DUI in West Palm Beach for the best possible outcome.