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DUI FAQ

Polk County DUI Defense Attorney

After you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence, our firm understands that you need answers- and fast. At Ayo & Iken, PLC we pride ourselves on possessing the answers you are looking for and we would be happy to counsel and guide you through this scary situation. For answers to commonly asked questions about DUI in Polk County, see below:

What should I do after being arrested for DUI?

The time period immediately after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence is an important window of time and your decisions during this time could significantly impact the outcome of your case. The first step that is recommended is to hire a DUI attorney immediately. You do not have to give the police any information until you have legal representation on your side and it is always advised that you exercise your right to "remain silent" so that you do not make any incriminating statements that could jeopardize your case. It is recommended that you hire a lawyer before 10 days after your arrest has gone by, as this is also the window of time in which you can request an Administrative Hearing, which will provide you with the chance to fight for your driving privileges. A DUI lawyer can not only represent you in court, he/she can also represent you at your DMV hearing.

What are the penalties for a first DUI offense?

If you are convicted of a first time DUI, your license could be revoked for 180 days to one year. You could be fined up to $2,000 and you will be put on probation for one year and have to complete 50 years of community service. You will also face a sentence up to 9 months in jail. You will also face other adverse repercussions such as an increased insurance premium and a tarnished record that could affect your chances of securing educational and vocational opportunities.

Should I schedule a hearing with the DMV?

Scheduling a DMV hearing cannot hurt your odds, it can only increase them. If you schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest, you will get the opportunity to fight for your driving privileges. Being charged with DUI is scary and inconvenient enough, why not control what you can? We understand that losing your driving privileges affects you, your livelihood and your family so it is important that you request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you fail to do so, your license will be automatically suspended.

How long does a license suspension last?

It depends on the circumstances surrounding your case: is this your first time facing DUI, did you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, was there a minor in your car, etc. If you take the breathalyzer test and you are convicted of your first DUI, your license could be suspended for 6 months to one year. On the other hand, if you refused to take the breathalyzer test and this is a subsequent offense, your license could be suspended for 18 months. As each situation varies, it is important that you speak with a DUI defense attorney today to receive the advice that best pertains to your circumstances.

Why should I hire an attorney?

After being charged with DUI, you will need to schedule a DMV hearing, arrange for your possible release from jail and prepare for criminal court proceedings. These are all situations that should not be entered into alone; securing legal representation on your side can go a long way towards protecting your rights and will increase your chances of having your charges dismissed or reduced. Without legal representation on your side, you could make decisions that could adversely affect your case, which is why it is wise to secure the legal aid of a DUI expert immediately. At Ayo & Iken, PLC we are well versed when it comes to DUI laws, penalties, proceedings and so forth. When you have questions, visit a firm that has the accurate answers you can rely upon. Securing competent legal assistance will go a long way towards alleviating your concerns, fears and confusion.

Can I refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test?

Implied Consent Law states that by accepting Florida driving privileges, you agree to take the breath test. As a result, under Florida law, your license can be suspended if you refused to take the breath test.

If you refused to take a breath, blood or urine test, your license will be suspended for 12 months if it's your first refusal or 18 months if you have previously refused to take a breath test. The DMV takes care of the administrative suspension and thus this has nothing to do with your criminal case.

On the plus side, when you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, the state attorney cannot use the test results against you. On the other hand, by refusing to take the breath test, law personnel will sometimes infer that you have something to hide, and are thus guilty.

Whether or not to submit to a breath test after a DUI arrest depends on each situation. Keep in mind that if you blow over .15, you will face enhanced jail time and will be forced to have an ignition interlock installed. If you have never refused to take a breath test, however, you will be eligible for a hardship license in Florida after 90 days. Whether you took the breath test or not, you should speak to a competent DUI attorney and get advice about which steps to take next and which defenses might best apply to your case.

Under what conditions can a police officer legally pull me over?

If a police officer violated your rights and illegally pulled you over, we can file a motion seeking to suppress or exclude some or all of the evidence (for example, your field sobriety and breath test results) against you. Except in the case of a checkpoint, an officer can only pull you over if he/she has "probable cause." Probable cause includes the following:

  • He/she saw you break a traffic law (run a red light or stop sign. for example)
  • You exhibited erratic behavior that led the officer to believe you were drunk (if you were swerving, for example)

After lawfully being pulled over, if the police officer notices an open alcohol container, smells alcohol in the vehicle or obverses strange behavior of the driver, he/she is then authorized to begin a DUI investigation. This means that he/she can ask you to take a field sobriety test and breath test. You can only be arrested and charged with DUI if there is considerable evidence that you are intoxicated.

If your rights were violated and probable cause did not exist before you were stopped, we will show this and the prosecution's case will be much weaker as a result. The burden of proof lies on them!

Does a DUI conviction affect your insurance rate?

After a DUI conviction, you must obtain a FR-44 form from your insurance company to reinstate your license. After you take this step, your insurance company will learn of your DUI conviction. As a result, your insurance company will most likely render you a "high risk" driver and will either drop or increase your coverage.

The FR-44 form requires you to obtain increased liability limits of 100/300/50. In other words, you must obtain a minimum coverage of $100,000 per bodily injury, $300,000 minimum coverage per accident and $50,000 minimum coverage for property damage. You will also have to pay a reinstatement fee.

Contact our office today!

If you have been charged with DUI, get the legal expertise of a firm with more than 35 years of combined legal experience on your side! If you have further questions, we would be happy to answer them for you today. Call us now at (863) 949-0388 for the counsel and guidance you need and to schedule your free consultation!

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