Driving Under the Influence in Florida

Attorneys at Jordan Law have spent part of their careers as government lawyers, practicing Criminal Law. We understand what the state will use against you when working to prosecute your DUI charge.

Since opening the firm the lawyers of Jordan Law have handled thousands of in cases throughout Florida. Whether this is your first DUI or your fifth, our attorneys can help you get the best result possible.

Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you on your case and prove that the best defense is a good offense.

Myths about DUIs:

You Do Not Have to be Driving To Get a DUI

The State of Florida has what is called “actual physical control.” This means that if you are capable of operating the vehicle and driving, you can get convicted of a DUI. This situation typically arises when someone is asleep in a running car, sleeping in the backseat with the keys on them, or wandering around the vehicle with their keys available.

You Do Not Have to be Drunk to Get a DUI

In Florida, the State can prove you were over the limit or they can prove that your normal faculties were impaired. Normal faculties are your ability to see, walk, judge distances, etc. This is why the officers will have you do the field sobriety exercises (FSEs) where you follow a pen with your eyes, walk a line or stand on one leg.

FSEs Are Voluntary

Walking a line to prove you are sober is not required in the state of Florida. This and the other FSEs that officers will tell you to do are supposed to be voluntary. You do have the right to refuse to take them. However, this will usually result in the police giving you a breath or blood test.

You May Not Lose Your License If You Don't Blow

Typically in you refuse to do FSEs, blow, or provide urine or blood when stopped for a DUI, then Florida usually takes your license for a year or more. However, if your attorney requests a hearing within ten (10) days of the stop, this may be overturned.

Minimum Penalties:

This means you HAVE to be adjudicated as a criminal if you plea to a DUI, and just the criminal penalties for Driving Under the Influence can run you upwards of $10,000.  There are also additional insurance issues that arise in the form of an SR22 that can cost you THOUSANDS of dollars more.

Ways to Prevent Having a DUI on your Record:

Pre-trial Motions.  Depending on the facts of your case, there might be a valid motion to suppress.  This would force the State to prove that the Officer could stop you, request FSEs, and arrest you.  If we win this motion the Judge can limit the evidence the state has to present against you.  There can also be other specific motions we file that seek to throw out the breath test, the blood test, anything you told the officer while he was investigating an accident, etc.

Reckless driving charge.  Often times the penalties for this will be higher than the DUI minimums, but a reckless driving allows for a withhold of adjudication (which means you aren’t a convicted criminal), and that can let you seal the case from your record. Also, a reckless driving will not have the same impact on your insurance and other non-court related consequences of having a DUI conviction.

Diversion program.  If that is an option you would go through most of the same penalties as a DUI (fine, community service, DUI school, etc), but at the end of it the state would drop the case or give you a reckless driving instead of having a DUI on your record.

Trial.  At trial the state has to provide a witness who saw you driving (or in actual physical control), they have to prove your normal faculties were impaired, they cannot have their case based solely upon your statements.  Whether there are breath tests or blood or not, whether there is video or not, whether the officer is a rookie on his first DUI stop or a seasoned DUI cop, it can be tough for the state to prove the case against you.

Also, there are defenses to a DUI that we can raise like the car being un-operable or that someone spiked your drink and you didn’t intend to be drunk.  If a jury finds you not guilty because the state did not prove their case or there is a specific defense that applies to you, then you will not have a DUI conviction and will not have to do any of the sanctions mentioned above.