DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer In Monroe County
One of the unfortunate consequences of the vacation atmosphere of the Florida Keys is the high incidence of drunk driving on the Monroe County roadways. To combat this, police officers in agencies like the Key West Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, and the Florida Highway Patrol have substantially increased efforts to enforce Florida's already strict Driving Under the Influence laws. If you are arrested for DUI, you could be facing jail, fines, a suspended driver's license, and you will incur a criminal record. The Law Offices of W.J. Heffernan, Jr. in Marathon aggressively defends individuals who have been charged with drunk driving and related crimes in the Florida Keys. Contact him immediately to begin working on your legal defense.
An Overview of DUI in the State of Florida
In Florida, if you are operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that's greater than .08, you are considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol. During their investigation, police officers must adhere to a strict set of protocols in order to develop a legally viable case. DUI defense attorney Bill Heffernan has the knowledge and experience to exploit errors in police investigations and beat your DUI charges.
In Florida, all DUI investigations must follow the same steps:
- The Stop – In order for a police officer to stop you, he or she must have articulable probable cause. In DUI investigations, probable cause for a stop can include:
- A police officer observing you commit a moving or non-moving infraction
- Your involvement in a car crash, regardless of fault
- An officer recognizing a driving pattern consistent with drunk driving
- Your being stopped in a legally sanctioned DUI checkpoint
- Physical Observations – As part of their investigation, a police officer must observe and document any physical observations that he or she makes of you during the stop that would indicate drunkenness, including bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteady stance or gait, and the odor of an alcoholic beverage.
- Voluntary Field Sobriety Exercises – Often referred to as “roadsides,” police officers use these drills to determine sobriety. They are usually video recorded for courtroom presentation. Voluntary roadside exercises include the walk-and-turn, finger-to-nose, and the one-leg stand. Experienced DUI investigators may also employ Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) testing, which indicates intoxication by tracking the smooth pursuit of your eyes.
- Implied Consent Reminder – If you are arrested for DUI in Florida, the arresting officer should read the implied consent reminder from a prepared text. This informs you that as a condition of receiving your Florida driver’s license, you agreed to provide a breath or urine sample to police upon request. Refusal will result in a twelve-month suspension for a first DUI, and an eighteen-month suspension for a second.
- Breathalyzer – Unless you refuse to provide a breath sample, you will be transported to a location with a breath-testing machine, observed for a period of at least twenty minutes, and then asked for two samples. If the samples indicate that you were driving while intoxicated, your license will be suspended for six months.
Traffic and criminal defense attorney Bill Heffernan is knowledgeable about police procedures and extraordinarily adept at identifying weaknesses in prosecuting attorneys' cases. Regardless of whether or not you opted to perform roadside exercises, or you consented to a Breathalyzer test, retaining the services of a veteran DUI lawyer开心100彩票网平台—like attorney Bill Heffernan of Marathon — dramatically improves your chances of an acquittal or reduced sentence.
Private Marathon Criminal Defense Attorney for DUI Cases
Bill Heffernan has built a reputation in the Monroe County criminal and traffic courts by successfully defending men and women against DUI and other charges. Don't risk your freedom by using an overworked public defender who is under constant pressure to clear cases. If you've been charged with DUI in the Florida Keys, contact the Law Offices of W.J. Heffernan, Jr. at 305-602-5003.