We urge you to follow the advice of our criminal defense attorneys to help minimize the consequences of a DUI mistake in Pinellas County; it could save your future in driving, employment, housing, education and the military.
We welcome you to contact our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.
1. Contact a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney
The number one best thing to do to minimize the consequences of DUI mistakes is to work with a professional. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys regularly help people who have made one-time mistakes to minimize the impact on their lives.
We have a strong standing in the local Pinellas County court system and know how to win you some leniency. A solid defense can be the difference between minor penalties and life-changing penalties. In ideal scenarios, we can even get your charges dropped entirely.
If you don’t hire an attorney, your chances of avoiding a severe penalty are extremely limited as you’ll be representing yourself.
2. Try to Get Your Charges Dropped
All is not lost just yet, as sometimes DUI charges are dropped if the arrest was not lawful or if the evidence simply doesn’t stack up. For example:
Law enforcement should only stop you if:
- They had reasonable suspicion that you committed or were committing a traffic violation
- They had reasonable suspicion that you were committing or had committed a crime.
Therefore, speeding or dangerous driving would warrant a traffic stop. But, a random stop based on discrimination would be illegal. Similarly, your Miranda rights should have been read to you.
We will review the circumstances of your arrest and determine if it was lawful. If it wasn’t, we can push for it to be dropped entirely.
Another potential escape from the consequences of DUI mistakes is to question the evidence. One common argument is that the breathalyzer test should be invalidated.
Breathalyzer equipment should only be used under strict regulations, including operation and maintenance. If the equipment was used incorrectly or incorrectly calibrated, then the results can be disregarded.
Field sobriety test results can also be questionable if you didn’t understand the instructions due to language barriers or if you performed the test poorly due to an injury or condition.
As you can see, there are routes to getting your charges dropped and our DUI criminal defense lawyers always look at these possibilities with our clients.
3. Reduce Your Charges
Another way to minimize the consequences of a DUI mistake is to try to reduce your charges. This is a wise option for those who have genuinely made a drunk driving mistake.
In Pinellas County, first-time DUI offenders can do this via The Pinellas County DUI Diversion Program (D.R.O.P).
- By entering into the D.R.O.P program, your charge is reduced to the far less severe ‘Reckless Driving’ charge.
- If your case is a ‘Tier One’, then you will not be convicted for any criminal offense.
- Your probation period will be far shorter.
- You won’t receive a court-ordered suspension of your license.
- You’ll get back on the road sooner and avoid rocketing insurance costs.
- You may potentially get reduced fines.
There are also cases where you can get your charges reduced without the D.R.O.P program, we have done this many times and urge you to contact our Pinellas County DUI defense lawyers.
To qualify for the Pinellas County D.R.O.P Program, your case must:
- Have been your first DUI offense;
- Your BAC level was recorded as under 0.15%;
- There was no serious crash.
4. Save Your License
One of the most immediate consequences of a DUI arrest is that your driver’s license will be suspended immediately.
To minimize this consequence of a DUI mistake, you should:
- Challenge the suspension, to obtain a ‘42 day hardship license’ (to allow you to drive to work).
- This challenge must be made within 10 days from the date of your arrest.
- If needed, we will also appeal a license suspension via the Pinellas County Circuit Court.
- How to Save Your Future as a Driver After a Dui Arrest in Florida
- What Happens to Your Out-of-State Driver’s License After a Florida DUI?
5. Take Responsibility for Drinking Habits
Do not plead guilty or admit fault to the police, without contacting a criminal defense lawyer first.
You can potentially gain considerable leniency from the judge by taking responsibility for any addictions or bad drinking habits.
This is a very effective way to minimize the consequences of a DUI mistake as it shows you are already on the right track, and may not need to face the maximum possible penalties
For example, if you go to the court and we explain that you’re already enrolled in an alcoholics group and/or counseling then the judge is likely to apply softer penalties.
You will also gain respect from the judges if you arrive with the support of a respected criminal defense lawyer.
Other Tips After a DUI Arrest
We advise you to follow these other tips to minimize the consequences of a DUI in Pinellas County:
- Do not plead guilty.
- Remain calm and do not resist arrest.
- State ‘I would like to speak to my lawyer first’, when asked any questions or to give a statement.
- Do not make social media posts about your arrest.
- Try to remember everything that happened, including what was instructed to you by law enforcement.
- Contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.
DUI Defense Lawyer in Pinellas County, FL
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI offense in Pinellas County, please contact our criminal defense lawyers for a swift and aggressive response.
Our experienced team regularly helps people charged with both unlawful arrests or in need of a strong defense, to gain a future free from the consequences of prison and a criminal record.
Our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300