A driving under the influence (DUI) charge is scary. It’s even scarier after you’ve heard horror stories—many of which are probably untrue—about DUI cases in Florida. When it comes to your individual case, we can help separate facts from fiction under Florida law. Here are some of the most common misconceptions heard by our St. Petersburg legal team when it comes to DUI charges.
Myth: You Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test if Asked.
This is not true. You are under no legal obligation to comply with an officer if he or she asks you to take a Breathalyzer. You can politely decline the test, no matter how much pressure the officer puts on you to take it. However, it’s important to remember that your refusal to take the Breathalyzer test may have other consequences further down the road. However, taking the Breathalyzer test and failing will eliminate many defense strategies that your attorney may wish to employ.
Myth: It’s Safe to Take a Breathalyzer if You’ve Only Had a Couple of Beers.
Many people assume that a few beers won’t push them over the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent. There is no way to know for sure, though, unless you have your blood alcohol content tested. Some beers have an alcohol content that is much higher than you may realize, so just a few bottles of some beer may push you over the limit. It may be in your best interest to refuse a Breathalyzer instead of assuming that you are safe after a few beers.
Myth: You Have to Answer Questions That a Police Officer Asks You.
It’s always in your best interest to be polite to the officer who pulls you over. However, you do not have to answer any of the questions that they ask. In fact, it may be in your best interests to decline to answer without a lawyer present. Even answers to simple questions—like where you were prior to being pulled over and where you are going next—could reflect negatively on you later in court.
Myth: A DUI Conviction Will Definitely Result in Jail Time.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the sentence for a DUI conviction. First-time offenders in Florida could theoretically receive up to six months in jail, but there is no guarantee that you’ll do time. The circumstances of the arrest, your previous record, and in-court testimony could all help reduce the severity of your sentence.
Myth: It’s Too Expensive to Hire a DUI Lawyer.
Being charged with a DUI often comes with a big price tag, particularly if you want to aggressively fight the charge. But the cost may be even greater if you don’t have the right representation. An experienced DUI lawyer may be able to help reduce your sentence or get a case dismissed altogether. It’s important to discuss your case with a DUI lawyer as soon as possible following your arrest to determine how he or she may be able to help you. In the long run, it may be less expensive to pay for legal representation than it is to move through the justice system on your own.
Contact the Khonsari Law Group today to Fight Your DUI
Are you searching for an experienced DUI lawyer in the St. Petersburg area? Call the Khonsari Law Group today at (727) 269-5300, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team.