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If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol, the State of Florida must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that while you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle you were a) under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a chemical substance to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired or b) had a blood or breath-alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol.

In order to prove the elements of the offense of DUI, the State of Florida will rely upon a number of observations by the law enforcement officers present during their investigation of you for DUI. These observations include their opinion of your physical appearance, driving patterns and your ability to perform field sobriety exercises. In addition to these observations they may have the results of any breath test that you performed. An experienced attorney will have the knowledge to challenge many of the subjective factors involved in a DUI investigation as well as the ability to ensure that the law enforcement officers involved in your arrest complied with the Constitution and state regulations governing the investigative process.

Approximately three weeks after your arrest, your case will be set for an arraignment that you must attend unless you retain an attorney. An attorney, once retained, may file a plea of not guilty and waiver of arraignment on your behalf. Should that occur, you will not be required to attend this hearing. An experienced attorney will immediately begin to investigate your case, demanding that the State of Florida provide the evidence that they intend to use to convict you of DUI.

Should you be convicted of the crime of Driving Under the Influence, a judge may sentence you to fines, imprisonment, community service, a drivers’ license suspension, vehicle impoundment, DUI school, a victim impact panel, probation, counseling, an ignition interlock device, or other sanctions. To ensure that you do not get sentenced for a crime that you did not commit or that you do receive unnecessary sanctions, it is important to retain a local experienced attorney that can fight your case or negotiate your sentence.

In the event that you submitted to a breath test and had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit or refused to take a breath test, your drivers’ license will be suspended within ten (10) day. It is imperative that you discuss your options concerning your drivers’ license with an attorney within this first ten (10) days.

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