It seems like common sense that you would want a lawyer to represent you if you are charged with a crime. It is not for nothing that the Constitution provides a right to be represented by counsel in a criminal case. However, for a variety of reasons, many people seriously consider representing themselves. Some simply do not trust lawyers, others are concerned about the expense, and yet others feel that their case is a simple matter they can handle themselves. While these feelings can be valid, there are several strong reasons that legal DIY is not a good idea.
If you should have the misfortune of being charged with driving under the influence, your whole life could be turned upside down. Even a single charge could result in a loss of your driving privileges. But if you should be arrested multiple times within a certain time frame, you will be facing a number of possible penalties that include a license suspension.
Florida's job market can be very competitive. And even if you have spent years in school or on the job acquiring your work credentials, there will always be others who have equally impressive resumes. So when an employer is considering which candidates to interview or hire, the decision could turn on a single item in a background check; a criminal record.
Many people have heard of and are familiar with the breath test as conducted by law enforcement at the time of a traffic stop where suspicion of driving under the influence is a factor. Many people have also heard the test can be inaccurate and unreliable. And then, in some cases, a breath or urine test may be deemed impossible or simply impractical and a blood test is instead ordered when law enforcement suspects a person of operating their vehicle while under the influence. The blood test is used to determine to presence and content of alcohol within your blood and possibly any controlled or chemical substances in the blood. But what if you don't trust the test performed on you or think the results are inaccurate?
When you are navigating the roads at night, you are not always able to see with the ease you have during the day. Sometimes there are no streetlights, other times a car may not have its lights on, and sometimes people wear dark clothes and nothing reflective to catch your car's lights and alert you to their proximity. Even still, lights from other sources when directly in your line of vision can make it difficult for you to see and provide moments of uncertainty and panic.
When you receive your first-ever driving under the influence charge in Florida, you are going to have a lot of questions. Some of the most intrinsic to carrying on your daily routine revolve around what will happen to your license. This is a major concern, as public transit and ride-sharing may only be tolerable for a short period of time before greater changes may become necessary in order to make your situation work.
Alcohol-related driving charges are worrisome and carry negative outcomes that begin immediately. If you are convicted, things only get worse. You may see your criminal history cause hardship on your life in such ways as losing the potential to get a coveted job you have worked toward, not getting a credit application or home loan approved, not being approved to lease a property and seeing higher payments for insurance. But what happens when your alcohol-related charge is amplified? What if your charge of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated becomes a charge of aggravated DUI or DWI?
Did you know it has been estimated that every year 1 in every 135 people will be arrested for driving under the influence? And without sealing or an expungement, your record could reflect this criminal conviction for three-quarters of a century. Few, if any, people are driving before their teenage years, so that essentially means that your record will reflect a mistake for the rest of your life.
Drunk-driving related charges come with serious consequences. While most cases are not felonies, many convictions have the potential to haunt you for a number of years and cost you in lost opportunities. But do they cost you in other ways? For instance, will insurance rates go up and how will insurance even know you have this on your record if they are not routinely running your license?
Late in June, the Supreme Court established new legal parameters for testing the blood alcohol content (BAC) of persons suspected of drunk driving. Namely, they ruled that individuals may refuse warrantless blood tests and suffer no punishment, but that the refusal of a warrantless breathalyzer test can land one in jail.
The decision hinges on the Justices' interpretation of the Fourth Amendment - the statute that protects American citizens from unlawful search-and-seizure. Simply put, in the vast majority of situations, police need to obtain a warrant if they want to search an individual's property or person. Yet in cases where an individual is caught "red-handed" while committing a crime, the law states that authorities may not need a warrant.