Any DUI offense is a significant charge. Being accused of driving under the influence is more than a glorified traffic ticket. A conviction for drunk driving is entered on your driving record and can be used to enhance future charges. In Florida, prosecutors will likely pursue a felony DUI charge is a driver arrested for drunk driver has two prior DUI convictions on his or her record in the prior decade. Conviction is an operative word in this situation.
Take for instance the recent problem an assistant city attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida, is facing. An officer claims the lawyer was swerving, crossing the double-yellow line on several occasions before the police officer pulled over the attorney in his BMW. After a roadside investigation, law enforcement claims the driver refused to submit to a breath test at the station.
Authorities say that the same man was pulled over in February 2006 and charged with DUI. He resolved that criminal case with a reckless driving conviction and his license was suspended for a year. In Late 2008, he was pulled over again. In that incident, he pleaded no-contest to DUI. in each of the prior cases, the attorney refused to submit to sobriety tests, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
He now faces a misdemeanor DUI and test refusal charges in Pinellas County. The first charge did not result in a DUI conviction.
If you are charged with DUI, whether for a first-time or repeat offense, it is in your interest to have the representation of a skilled DUI lawyer. A criminal defense attorney may scour the case for weakness and flaws to challenge the charges. Resolving a DUI with a reduced charge may be an appropriate way to protect rights in an individual case.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “St. Pete assistant city attorney accused of DUI for third time,” Kameel Stanley, Dec. 2, 2014