Orlando DUI Lawyer
In the old days, Driving Under the Influence was little more than a traffic ticket. But the old days are over. Today, DUI is probably the most serious misdemeanor in Florida. A conviction usually means stiff penalties, both now and in the future. Given the extreme short and long-term consequences, it’s important that an experienced Orlando DUI attorney is on your side during this time.
At Sercombe Law, our legal team has the experience you need. Both as a prosecutor and DUI defense attorney, Dan Sercombe has tried hundreds of DUI cases to verdict. He knows how to break down the state’s case and give you the edge. He is also a shrewd negotiator who knows the strengths and weaknesses in his case as well as the state’s case. During pretrial negotiations, just like during DUI trials, he puts all his experience to work for you.
DUI Offenses in Orange County
Several years ago, Florida lawmakers changed Section 316.193, which is the state’s primary DUI law. Under the broader version of this law, prosecutors may use both direct and circumstantial evidence to establish intoxication.
Typically, if the defendant’s BAC was above the legal limit, which is .08 in most cases, the defendant is guilty of DUI as a matter of law. There may be some defenses in these cases, as outlined below.
If the defendant did not provide a chemical sample, prosecutors must convince the jury that the defendant had lost the normal use of his/her physical faculties. Prosecutors normally use field sobriety test results to establish such a loss.
There are other DUI-related offenses as well. For example, Florida has a refusal-to-submit law. Drivers who refuse lawful requests to provide chemical samples may be guilty of a separate criminal offense.
Potential DUI Penalties in Florida
Many crimes, such as sex crimes, have both direct and collateral consequences. DUI is much the same. The direct consequences include jail time, even for a first offense, high fines, and extended court supervision that’s laden with conditions.
Furthermore, many DUI defendants lose their drivers’ licenses. An assertive Orlando DUI defense attorney may be able to prevent license suspension. Additionally, DUI causes auto insurance rates to skyrocket, in most cases.
Orlando DUI Attorneys and Possible Defenses
Many cases involve technical defenses. For example, the defendant must be driving or operating the vehicle in a public place. Driveways, parking lots, and private lakes are not public places. On a side note, almost any vehicle qualifies as a motor vehicle under the statute, which is why you may need a BUI (Boating Under the Influence) lawyer in Orlando.
The field tests, such as the walking-a-straight-line test, are based on shaky scientific principles. Additionally, the environmental factors, such as a dark sky and flashing police car lights, often affect test outcomes. Finally, people with pre-existing conditions usually cannot complete the field sobriety tests whether they are intoxicated or not.
Breathalyzer tests are based on shaky science as well. Especially in borderline BAC cases, an Orlando DUI lawyer can bring up Breathalyzer flaws. For example, if the defendant burped before the test, the elevated mouth alcohol level may skew the test results.
Serious DUI charges require serious representation. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orlando, contact Sercombe Law.
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