A dinner party with friends, a cocktail party to celebrate a promotion, a wedding celebration, a graduation party: all of these are examples of get-togethers that can end in DUI despite the best of intentions. For instance, if you have a glass of wine at dinner, you can be pulled over for DUI, whether or not you actually register as being legally intoxicated. If you appear to be intoxicated, the law enforcement officer who pulled you over can place you under arrest for DUI. These types of arrests, and those following a BAC/BAL register of .08 or above, happen far more frequently than one might think.

Local law enforcement officers set up checkpoints and set themselves up in unexpected locations waiting for one wrong move – a justifiable reason to pull someone over. Once they are at your vehicle, whether they pulled you over for swerving or failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, they can initiate a DUI arrest given your appearance, response to questions and/or performance on physical sobriety tests. When this occurs, a Ft Lauderdale DUI lawyer should be consulted as soon as possible. An experienced defense attorney can not only work to mitigate the damage of your offense but also to protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Local Nuances in Ft. Lauderdale

Ft. Lauderdale laws and law enforcement officers treat a person the same as to whether they are caught or charged with driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level or driving under the influence to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired. The legislature is tough on DUI enforcement and has passed strict DUI laws in Florida. Additionally, if someone is in a parking lot with the keys in the ignition and falls asleep in their vehicle and is not driving, that type of case is prosecuted the same someone who was actually driving while under the influence. Those two cases are prosecuted the same way and are both the same type of DUI.

Ft. Lauderdale does not make the distinction between DUIs that some other states make. When someone is charged with a DUI in Florida and has a prior DUI from another state, even though it is considered a lesser type of DUI, Florida does not recognize the distinction. Florida treats any out of state DUI, regardless of what it is called or what level it is at, as if it occurred in the state of Florida. Florida is very tough with its own laws and with respect to how they interpret other state DUI laws.

Building a Defense

The DUI defense lawyers in Ft Lauderdale are former local prosecutors; as such, they have an inside, working knowledge of how prosecutors bring charges against defendants in Broward County.

Unlike many other forms of criminal activity, driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs/medications (DUI) usually does not involve a conscious effort on the part of the driver to willfully engage in criminal activity. Ft Lauderdale DUI attorneys know that most criminal cases, if they can be successfully prosecuted, involve intent to hurt, steal, damage or destroy, etc. Unlike so many other types of criminal cases, the typical individual accused of or charged with DUI has no other criminal history and is otherwise a productive member of society, whose actions were not representative of their personality and were not carried out with the intention of harming anyone or anything.

Nevertheless, because the state government has increasingly been imposing stricter penalties for the offense of DUI, coupled with the driver’s license implications of being arrested for, charged with and/or convicted of DUI, it is imperative that someone seeks the representation of a Ft. Lauderdale DUI attorney with extensive experience working within the confines of the criminal justice system in the US.

Contacting a Ft. Lauderdale DUI Attorney

The time to contact an experienced Ft Lauderdale DUI attorney is not once your trial date is nearing —  you should contact an attorney for a free consultation immediately after being released from jail after being arrested for DUI. You can legally drive for the first ten days following your arrest. Your traffic citation for DUI states that unless your license was already suspended prior to your arrest, “this citation shall serve as a temporary driver’s license and will expire on midnight on the tenth day following the date of your arrest.” The “10-day” clock begins ticking on the day of your arrest, not the day of your release from jail (which could be the next day).

Losing your license can be a serious inconvenience. It can make it impossible for you to commute to work, to go grocery shopping, to pick your child up from school, etc. You must take action with help of a DUI lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale within the first ten (10) days following your arrest in order to protect your ability to obtain a temporary driver’s license and exercise a challenge to the suspension of your driver’s license.

A person with a DUI should get an experienced and knowledgeable Ft Lauderdale lawyer in order to obtain the best DUI defense possible. They should look for a lawyer with a passion for what they do, who listens to what their clients have to say and takes the time to answer their questions. The person should make sure that the attorney they hire is the attorney they are going to go court with. Unfortunately, many times individuals think they are hiring a particular attorney for their case only to find out in court that somebody else is handling their case. They have never met with that lawyer or spoken to them and the lawyer knows very little about them or their case. Ft Lauderdale DUI attorneys do not engage in those practices, and the attorney they meet with will be the one who handles their case from start to finish.