When & Why You Need A Florida DUI Lawyer
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
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When you've been arrested for DUI (driving while under the influence) in Florida, having an experienced DUI lawyer on your side is more than just practical; it's smart. So, when and why should you contact a Florida DUI attorney?
When should you contact a Florida DUI Lawyer?
According to William D. Umansky, a Florida lawyer with over 15 years of experience whose practice focuses in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense, you should contact a DUI lawyer as soon as you get out of jail. He explained, "The reason you should contact an attorney is because you want that attorney to apply for a hardship license and work permit within ten days and also to get your first court date covered so that you do not have to take off time from work to be there."
Why should you contact a Florida DUI Lawyer?
Hiring an experienced DUI attorney, someone who has prosecuted DUI cases, has gone to DUI training classes and is familiar with defending the multitude of issues that come up in these specialized cases, gives you an advantage as the attorney knows how the process works and may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped. Umansky says, "Experience matters because if a person does not have experience in prosecuting or handling DUI cases, they may miss a number of legal issues, including evidentiary issues related to the following:
- why the police pulled you over in the first place
- whether the police were allowed or had the right to make you step out of your car
- whether the police had the right to ask you to do field sobriety tests
- whether those field sobriety tests were adequately or competently administered
- whether the police Mirandized you (read you your rights)
- whether the police lawfully arrested you
- whether the police had enough evidence to arrest you
- whether the police had the right to ask you to do the breath test
- whether the police adequately informed you of your rights should you refuse the breath test
- whether the breath test was adequately administered
- whether the breath test machine was adequately working
- whether the breath test machine was inspected regularly
He says that these are just some of the many different issues that only an experienced Florida DUI attorney would know about.
Don't hire just anyone
Before hiring any lawyer, Umansky says that it's important to ask the attorney questions - especially in a DUI matter - which is a very specialized area of the law. He says that potential clients should ask an attorney the following:
- how many DUI trials they've done
- how many years of experience they've had as a prosecutor
- what their success rate in general has been
- whether they've been able to get DUI cases reduced
- whether they're willing to go to trial
- whether they're willing to negotiate the case and resolve it so that you're not stressed
- whether their law firm is AV rated by Martindale Hubble
How are Florida DUI attorneys compensated?
Some Florida DUI attorneys charge as low as $500 and some up to $15,000 or more depending on the severity of the case. Umansky says, "You want to hire someone affordable, but not necessarily cheap, as many attorneys who charge less will run a mill of cases whereby they have too many and can't pay particular attention to your case. That being said, paying the most for a DUI attorney does not necessarily mean that you are hiring the best in all cases; however, you stand a better chance of hiring someone who is more competent and going to have lower volume of cases in order to give your case particular attention."
He told us that you should first come in and meet with the lawyer to get a feeling about the person individually and his or her firm and whether you are comfortable with that lawyer's ability to handle your case. He stressed, "Make sure you are not being sold a bill of goods or being deliberately scared, but rather are being given straight forward and honest advice about your case and your options. Remember, this is about you!"
If you have a DUI issue, contact an experienced DUI lawyer to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.