DUI Attorney in West Palm Beach
Intoxicated driving is a serious offense, and its consequences can be life-changing. A conviction results in a permanent criminal record that cannot be expunged, along with fines, loss of driving privileges, and possible jail time.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, DUI lawyers in West Palm Beach can help you navigate the process, explain the possible consequences, and provide the support you need. For passionate DUI representation, call the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll.
How Does a DUI Case Work?
A driver who is suspected of drunk driving may be required to take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test when pulled over by police.
Breathalyzer tests measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath, which indicates how much alcohol is in their blood. Florida’s legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%, so drivers who exceed that limit will be arrested and charged with DUI.
Field sobriety tests assess a person’s coordination, balance, and other physical abilities to determine whether they are physically and mentally capable of operating a vehicle. A police officer typically asks the subject to perform a series of tasks and looks for signs of impairment in their performance, such as slurred speech or difficulty following instructions. If drivers fail either of these tests, they may be arrested for DUI.
After the arrest, the defendant will be required to appear in court and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the DUI charges. If the defendant pleads guilty, the court proceeds with sentencing. However, if the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to trial. A prosecutor must establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
During the trial, both the prosecution and the defense will present evidence. The prosecutor will present evidence to support their case, while the defense will try to cast doubt on the evidence and advocate for their client’s innocence.
In a jury trial, the jury will deliberate and decide whether the defendant is guilty; in a bench trial, the judge will decide. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will impose a sentence.
Penalties for a West Palm Beach DUI Conviction
The penalties for drunk driving in Florida usually depend on the facts of your case and if you have prior DUIs on your record. Common penalties for a first-time DUI offense may include a combination of the following:
- Fines between $500 and $1,000
- Incarceration of up to six months
- Minimum driver’s license suspension of 180 days
- Probation for up to one year
- 10-day vehicle immobilization
- Mandatory DUI school
- Community service
- Ignition interlock device
- DUI school with possible follow-up treatment.
These penalties can increase if the case involves an accident, property damage, or injury to another person. It is also possible for first-time offenders to qualify for DUI diversion programs that minimize their criminal and driving records. It is best to consult with your experienced attorney to discuss your eligibility for any diversion programs, as the requirements are strict, and only some counties offer them.
Second, third, and subsequent DUIs carry higher penalties based on when the offense occurred and how close it was to a previous conviction. If you are arrested for a third or subsequent DUI, which is charged as a felony DUI, you could face a maximum of five years in prison.
Under Florida’s implied consent laws, you can also face a 6-month license suspension simply for refusing to take a breathalyzer.
So it cannot be overstated how crucial it is to secure legal representation as soon as possible in order to increase your chances of success. Call the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll today.
DUI Defense Strategies We Can Use In Your Defense
Although there are multiple defenses to DUI, mounting a successful traffic and DUI defense without the aid of a knowledgeable attorney, mounting can be challenging. This is mostly because the laws surrounding traffic and DUI are complex. So, the sooner you hire an experienced DUI lawyer, the better your chances are.
Hiring a DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A., can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome. We can raise the following defenses:
Illegal traffic stop: According to the Fourth Amendment, police must establish probable cause before making an arrest, searching a person, or securing a warrant. The term probable cause refers to the reasonable suspicion a police officer has to witness before initiating a traffic stop, DUI investigation, or arrest for drunk driving. In the absence of probable cause, we can argue that the entire case should be dismissed.
Inaccurate field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests aren’t always reliable indicators of intoxication. Natural physical coordination, nerves, fatigue, clothing, and flat feet can affect a person’s balance and coordination during FSTs. As a result, these tests can be challenged for their validity and accuracy.
Inaccurate blood test results: BAC tests are usually very accurate in determining a person’s BAC, but there are some instances when they may come out higher than they really are. The results may be incorrect in several situations, including when the driver has a medical condition like diabetes, when the driver takes cough medicine, when blood samples are stored for a prolonged period of time, or when labeling errors occur at the lab.
The officer’s failure to comply with blood and breath testing regulations: The blood and breath tests must be conducted according to specific regulations. Failure to follow these stipulations invalidates them. Among these are a 20-minute observation period of the driver by the officer at the traffic stop and properly trained personnel administering the tests. The regulations also require proper collection, storage, and handling of blood samples (including the chain of custody), as well as regular maintenance and calibration of breath test machines.
Raise alternative explanations for observed behavior: We can provide alternative explanations for your behavior, such as medical conditions or fatigue, which may explain the appearance of intoxication.
Hiring an experienced lawyer is the first step in mitigating the consequences of DUI arrest and safeguarding your rights. Schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney at our law firm today to get started on your defense strategy.
Call the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A.
The penalties imposed for DUI convictions under Florida DUI laws are among the harshest in the country. It is essential to seek the assistance of a skilled DUI attorney if you intend to effectively navigate the legal complexities of a DUI case in Palm Beach County.
At the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, we are committed to providing exceptional legal representation. We can build a strong defense for your case with our knowledge of DUI laws, effective defense strategies, and the local court system.
We have handled DUI cases in counties all over Florida and have experience negotiating favorable pleas and resolutions. We also have extensive experience fighting cases with motions and taking them to trial.
Getting professional legal assistance tailored to your specific needs is as easy as contacting the Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll! We can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights and increase your chances of success.
Get in touch with us as soon as possible!