If you have recently been arrested for driving under the influence, you likely have many questions. This can be particularly true if this is your first DUI offense. The Orlando DUI lawyers at Ali & Blankner have over 50 years of collective legal experience on our side. With this experience, we fight for those who have been arrested for various drinking and driving charges and assist them in getting their charges reduced or dismissed. Listed below are frequently asked questions about the DUI process and DUI laws in Florida provided by the DUI attorneys at our firm.
What do police look for in drunk drivers?
Police will try and observe any erratic or reckless driving on your part before pulling you over. Law enforcement is required by law to have probable cause to stop you, which means they are not allowed to pull you over merely on a hunch or by picking your car at random. A knowledgeable Orlando DUI attorney can challenge even the grounds of your DUI stop in court to have your arrest thrown out.
Do I have to take a
breath or blood test?
Yes—refusing will invoke the implied consent law which you agree to tacitly just by driving. You need to provide a sample to the officer when asked or your driver's license will be immediately suspended. A refusal also will look bad to a jury if and when your case goes to court.
Can police ask me questions after pulling me over but without reading me
Depending on your situation, if police ask you questions during a stop, you are not technically in custody and therefore do not need to be read your rights. Once you are arrested, police do need to read them to you if they proceed to interrogate you.
What should I say to an officer if I'm stopped?
You do not have to answer any questions which could be potentially incriminating. You could politely inform the officer that you do not wish to answer questions without a lawyer present. At the same time, admitting to having a drink or two if asked can help explain any alcohol on your breath since having a drink or two does not necessarily constitute intoxication.
What do officers look for when they stop me?
There are numerous signs police are trained to look for when making a stop including flushed face, slurred speech, staggering when exiting the vehicle, inability to follow directions, alcohol on the breath, and other indicators. These "symptoms" can be disputed in court, however by your attorney.
What is the first step I should take after a DUI arrest?
After a DUI arrest, you will be held until you can appear before a judge and you may be able to post bail until your next hearing. It is important to remember that anything you say can be used against you in court, so one of the things you should do right away is contact an attorney for legal counsel.
What happens at a DHSMV hearing and how is it different than my criminal hearing?
A DHSMV hearing (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) is the administrative hearing that simply deals with the state of your driver's license. Your criminal hearing happens in a courtroom setting before a judge and a DHSMV hearing will actually take place at the DHSMV. After a DUI arrest, a person only has ten days in which they can request the administrative hearing. Failure to do so will cause your license to go into automatic suspension.
I believe I was unlawfully pulled over and arrested, what can I do?
Unlawful police stops and unlawful arrests are both actually common reasons for getting DUI charges dismissed. Law enforcement must have probable cause in order to pull you over. Stopping and searching a vehicle or a person requires probable cause, or else it is a violation of the 4th amendment "unlawful search and seizure."
Even if the officer had probable cause to pull you over, the evidence from the field sobriety tests may not have been enough to warrant an arrest. These tests are up to the interpretation of the administering officer, making them subjective. They can also be administered improperly. If either happened in your case, you absolutely have the right to seek attorney counsel in hopes of proving an unlawful arrest or police stop.
I was arrested while on vacation in Orlando. What can I do?
If you are not a resident of Orlando or even a resident of Florida, you can still secure representation from an Orlando DUI lawyer like one from our firm. If you are simply on vacation in Florida and cannot stay in the state for an extended period of time, we may even be able to handle your case while you are not present. To learn more about out of state DUI, call us directly.
I heard I could be arrested for having prescription drugs in my system
while driving. Is this true?
Yes. In many cases of DUI and drugs, the arrestees were actually arrested for having prescription drugs in their system. Even if the drugs were properly prescribed and the individual was taking them properly, an officer or judge could still determine that the drugs were the reason for the reckless driving, accident, etc. DUI involving prescription drug arrests are typically founded on urine test evidence.
If you still have questions about drunk driving arrests, the law and how it applies to your situation, please do not hesitate to contact an Orlando DUI attorney from our firm. We provide free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose!