How to Handle DUI Cases in West Palm Beach

by | Jul 29, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a criminal offense. People who are found guilty of DUI face serious consequences including losing their driver’s license, heavy fines and increased insurance premiums.

DUI cases in West Palm Beach can be challenging to prosecute. The defense attorneys at Norvell Law protect their clients by examining the facts and looking for every opportunity to reduce or dismiss the charges they face.

Probable Cause

In order to conduct a DUI stop or investigation, law enforcement officers must have probable cause. This means they must observe specific, identifiable physical signs of intoxication like red eyes, puffy skin, slurred speech, or the odor of an alcoholic beverage.

Whether a first-time or repeat offender, a DUI conviction can mean serious penalties, including license suspension, jail time, fines and community service hours. However, there are ways to challenge these penalties.

Our West Palm Beach DUI attorneys can examine the details of your arrest and determine if police made errors that can lead to reduced charges or outright dismissal. Our team can also review your case to see if you qualify for the DUI diversion program.

Field Sobriety Tests

Officers often use field sobriety tests (such as the one-leg stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus test) to establish reasonable suspicion that a driver is intoxicated. They also may use them as a way to gain a person’s cooperation in administering a chemical test.

However, a person is not required to perform these tests and may choose to respectfully decline their request. Failing these tests can give the officer further reason to arrest you and they are notoriously difficult for sober people to pass. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand the implications of refusing these tests and how they might be used against you in court.

Breath Tests

In Florida, it is against the law to operate a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level (BAL) of 0.08% or higher. A person can also be arrested for DUI if their normal faculties are impaired by alcohol or any chemical substance.

A skilled Palm Beach DUI attorney can examine all the evidence available regarding your breath test results. For example, putting gum in your mouth can affect the results because gum retains alcohol.

Every driver in Florida has agreed to implied consent to submit to breath and blood tests upon being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence. However, you can refuse the test if advised to do so by your attorney.

Arrest

Once the officer has read your Miranda rights, you may be required to provide a breath sample. If you refuse, your license will be automatically suspended.

First time DUI offenders will have to attend a 12 hour alcohol or drug abuse education program. Following that, a substance abuse evaluation will be performed to determine whether further treatment is recommended.

A DUI conviction carries serious penalties. Your West Palm Beach lawyer will examine every detail to build a strong defense and try to reduce the charges or get them dismissed. If convicted, you will need to enroll in a DUI school and install an ignition interlock device. You will also have to serve probation and complete community service.

DMV Hearing

Many people who find themselves facing DUI charges in West Palm Beach did not intend to break the law. After all, they were just having a good time with friends and thought they were sober enough to drive.

When you are charged with DUI, you must request a DMV hearing within 10 days or your license will be automatically suspended. A qualified DUI lawyer will know how to request this hearing for you.

At the hearing, a non-attorney DMV judge will decide whether your driver’s license should be suspended. The right attorney can use evidence gathered from an in-depth investigation to prove why your license should not be suspended.

Punishment

A DUI case can result in severe fines, jail time, license suspension, probation, community service and alcohol abuse treatment. Our firm has the experience, knowledge and dedication needed to fight for the best outcome in your DUI case.

First-time offenders often qualify for the DUI diversion program. This is a chance to get your DUI charges dismissed if you agree to attend a rehab program and submit to random drug testing.

However, you may not qualify for this program if you had minors in the car or your blood/breath alcohol level is above 0.15 %. Contact us to see if we can help you avoid DUI penalties.

Do you want to get help from an experienced lawyer? Find one today.