Orlando DUI Frequently asked questions
DUI cases should never be handled by general criminal practice attorneys. It takes years of DUI practice and specialized DUI training to properly represent the rights of a client arrested for DUI. Attorney N. Fleetwood Tilden is in his 15th year of criminal DUI practice and is a former Central Florida DUI Prosecutor and has handled over 1,000 criminal DUI cases.
Orlando DUI lawyer N. Fleetwood Tilden, founder of Tilden Law, is frequently asked questions regarding driving under the influence charges, DUI penalties and DUI defenses. We are happy to offer a free DUI case evaluation and answer your questions directly when you contact our office, but we have also included some frequently asked questions below, for your convenience.
What should I do if I’m arrested for DUI in Florida?
A DUI arrest occurs once your freedom to leave has been eliminated or you are placed into custody. If you’re arrested for DUI, make sure you immediately request to speak with an attorney and respectfully decline to answer any questions from police. You are not required to sign any sworn statement and you should decline if you are asked to do so. Remember, anything you say can be used against you in court.
What if I am involved in an accident and being asked questions by police?
You should answer only questions for purposes of the accident investigation. Once the police have completed the accident report and read you your rights, respectfully decline to answer any further questions without a lawyer present.
How can an attorney help me?
A skilled DUI attorney will immediately request a formal review hearing to overturn your license suspension with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) Bureau of Administrative Reviews. An attorney will be able to give you advice on what to do and what not to do during the Administrative driver license process and criminal process. Your lawyer will also serve to protect your rights and your interests and may be able to help you avoid a conviction or have your charges dropped altogether.
How can an attorney help get my driver license back?
An administrative driver license suspension is triggered upon either a driver’s refusal to blow into a breath test machine or if the driver’s blood alcohol level is over the legal Florida limit of .08%. A qualified DUI lawyer who is skilled in the Administrative driver license process will be able to examine your case to determine how best to attack your driver license suspension and either overturn the suspension or get a hardship license for his clients. Remember, you have only the first 10 days after your arrest to file for a hearing and get a hardship license.
What is the legal limit in Florida?
In Florida, the legal limit is .08%. This means that if your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher, you are determined to be driving under the influence and can be charged with DUI. If you are under 21, you cannot have a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or above.
What penalties may I face if accused of a 1st DUI offense?
If convicted of a 1st DUI, you will face a county jail sentence of up to 6 months (1 year in some cases), license suspension of up to 1 year, and fines of up to $1000.
Do I have to submit to blood and breath testing?
No. However, your refusal can be used against you in court and will result in an automatic 1 year suspension of your driver license. If you have refused any time in the past, it is a separate crime for a second refusal and will be prosecuted as a 1st degree misdemeanor.
Do I have to submit to field sobriety tests?
No, field sobriety tests (FST) are voluntary and you should be informed by the arresting officer of such. However, refusal to submit to FST’s can be used against you in court if the officer properly cautions you of that fact and you knowingly refuse. Refusal to submit to field sobriety tests cannot be used as a basis to suspend your driver license.
What if I am questioned by the officer about how much I’ve been drinking?
You are not required to answer any such questions. Remember, you may ask for advice of a DUI attorney once you have been arrested and prior to answering any questions.
Contact Central Florida DUI defense firm Tilden Law today.