The lawyers at Ellis & Bryant represent clients charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We understand how judges, prosecutors, and juries approach these cases and we know how to build strong defenses for the people that we represent. Our attorneys fight these cases head on, whether they involve a first time DUI or repeat offense, working to get charges reduced or dropped if possible. Our attorneys also stand ready to take our clients’ cases through trial when needed. Our Jacksonville DUI lawyers are proud to guide clients through the criminal justice process with experience and personal attention.
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI under Florida law, it is important to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. These offenses can come with serious consequences, both for the person charged and his or her family, and can include possible jail time, stiff fines, and the likely loss of driving privileges.Measuring Intoxication
In Florida, it is a crime to drive while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Law enforcement usually relies on chemical testing in the form of a breath, blood, or urine test to prove drunk driving. A driver with a breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more is deemed intoxicated under state law. Officers can also charge someone with DUI if they believe there is enough additional evidence to prove that the driver was drunk.
Breathalyzers are one of the most common forms of chemical testing used in DUI cases. These devices indirectly measure a person’s BAC by taking a breath sample. Blood tests are considered more reliable because alcohol is absorbed quickly into the blood stream. But these tests also require the actual taking of a blood sample from a suspect. Police officers cannot force a person to take a breath or blood test without their consent.Implied Consent Law
Florida’s implied consent law provides that all licensed drivers in the state agree to cooperate with law enforcement requests for testing to ascertain their BAC. A person who declines to take a breathalyzer test may have his or her driver’s license suspended for as much as one year to 18 months for DUI refusal. However, the law gives you the right to challenge the suspension in court. For example, if the cops didn’t have an adequate legal basis for pulling you over and asking you to take the test in the first place, you can’t have your license suspended for not taking the chemical test.
If you do submit to a breath or blood test, there are a number of defenses against having the results used against you in court. First, the police must have reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed a crime in order to pull you over in the first place. If they don’t, any evidence—including breathalyzer or blood test results—is unlikely to be admitted in court. Additionally, breath and blood testing technology isn’t infallible. These tests often come with all kinds of flaws that can produce skewed results, even when done by the book. An experienced DUI lawyer can bolster your defense by challenging whether the police had reasonable suspicion to pull you over and probing the accuracy of any chemical testing results.Fight Drunk Driving Charges With the Help of a Jacksonville Lawyer
At Ellis & Bryant, our criminal defense attorneys understand the legal issues that often come up in DUI and related cases. Our firm has a strong track record of success for clients in criminal cases, and our attorneys are dedicated to standing beside clients in their times of need. We represent our neighbors in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Jacksonville Beach, Middleburg, and other parts of Clay and Duval Counties. Call us at (904) 551-4120 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a lawyer.