If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Jacksonville, Florida, contact the defense attorneys at Hussein & Webber, PL for a free consultation. DUI is a serious criminal offense that may carry misdemeanor or felony penalties, depending on the number of prior convictions and whether the incident caused death or serious bodily injury. A conviction will affect not just your criminal record, but your liberty, your financial well-being, your reputation, insurance premiums, and driving privileges for the long-term.
Under Florida law, DUI is defined as the act of driving (or being in actual physical control of a vehicle) while a person is impaired beyond his or her normal faculties, or while he or she has an unlawful blood alcohol level.
To prove the crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Florida, the prosecution must establish that:
- The defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle, and
- While driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, the defendant either (a) was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances (such as prescription medications), or controlled substances to the extent that his/her normal faculties were impaired, or (b) had a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Thus, under Florida Statutes Section 316.193, driving under the influence may be proven either by demonstrating that a defendant’s normal faculties were impaired or by demonstrating a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher. “Normal faculties” include, but are not limited to, the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.
Defenses to DUI
DUI is one of the most complex practice areas in all of criminal law, and numerous defenses exist to contest the charge and avoid or minimize its harsh consequences. Some of the more common defense strategies include:
- Contesting whether the defendant was in possession his or her “normal faculties;”
- Challenging invalid results and procedures used in breath tests, urine tests, or blood tests;
- Suppressing evidence due to invalid traffic stops or requests for field sobriety exercises;
- Suppressing evidence due to lack of implied consent warnings;
- Suppressing evidence due to improper testing;
- Contesting the State’s evidence regarding the identity of the driver, or whether the driver was in “actual physical control” of the vehicle;
- Identifying improper administration of field sobriety exercises;
- Challenging improper requests for blood or urine tests;
- Exposing bias and inaccuracies of investigating police officers;
- Excluding certain types law enforcement testimony from trial;
Hiring an Attorney
The ability of the State of Florida to prove even the most basic elements of a DUI charge should never be assumed. Every element should be contested on both legal and factual grounds. In some cases, even the seemingly simple issue of whether the Defendant was the driver can be called into question. For this reason, retaining an attorney is critical. An experienced DUI attorney can thoroughly evaluate your case and identify defense strategies that can be used to minimize or avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction. Even where no viable defenses exist, the penalties can often be significantly lessened through skillful negotiation with the State Attorney’s Office.
At Hussein & Webber, PL, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver aggressive and cost-effective representation for individuals accused of DUI in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Our attorneys understand the high stakes involved in DUI litigation, and approach each case with a determination to out-work and out-think the prosecution, and achieve optimal outcomes for our clients. Contact our firm today to discuss your case.