Not all impaired drivers are easily distinguishable. Many times in Jacksonville, police officers are so focused on catching people driving drunk, that they see an impaired driver on the road, when actually that driver is sober. Furthermore, that eagerness to make an arrest may lead to mistakes in proper arrest procedure. Drivers who face unreasonable DUI charges should contact an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.
According to WESH Orlando, Donald Forrest Geraghty has been charged with an aggravated DUI resulting in bodily harm upon a police officer. Geraghty’s arrest came after he hit a police officer with his vehicle while driving drunk through a DUI checkpoint in Osceola County. Geraghty’s vehicle was stopped about five miles away, where he proceeded to run on foot, until eventually being caught with help from a police K-9.
Drinking can seem to take stress off, and when the weekend arrives, many go to bars, restuarants, and other places that serve alcohol. When coupled with driving, drinking can lead to serious legal consequences, consequences that one will be sure to face in a DUI checkpoint. Most people, when confronted with the many penalties, fines and other problems associated with their first DUI in Jacksonville will never do the crime again.
A first conviction for a DUI carries a fine of between $500- $1,000. If the driver’s blood alcohol level is 0.15 or greater or there is a person under the age of 18 in the vehicle, one will face fines between $1,000-$2,000. Furthermore, a first-time conviction requires that the offender complete 50 hours of community service or pay ten dollars for each hour of required community service. Furthermore, a first conviction can bring a maximum of six months in prison. If the driver’s blood alcohol level is greater than 0.15 or greater or there is a person under the age of 18 in the vehicle, the maximum sentence elevates to nine months. If there is damage to property or person the maximum sentence is a year in jail.
The best way to avoid being accused of DUI is to not drive if you plan to drink. If you do end up being pulled over by police who suspect that you are intoxicated, remember if a police pull you over to determine whether you are driving impaired without probable cause for that traffic stop, such as a violation, swerving, or other conduct suggesting criminal activity, is a violation of your rights. If you refuse to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended and the refusal may be used as evidence in criminal proceedings. However, an experienced attorney can petition to get your license back within ten days of the suspension
Passing or failing a field sobriety test is determined by the officer. Such a subjective observation is not reliable evidence, especially if that officer is looking for a DUI arrest. Though a police officer may say your refusal can be used against you in court, an experienced attorney could make the officer admit in court that the tests are not only not required but also questionable in their reliability, and therefore should not play a factor in your case.
Nobody plans to get a DUI. Most people are just trying to get home. The best advice any lawyer can give is to not drive after you have consumed any alcohol. Find another way to get home or stay off the roads. One’s best advice is to never drive when one has consumed alcohol.
The only logical choice in this situation is to fight. One needs a knowledgeable and experienced Jacksonville DUI defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected. Do not allow a DUI charge to ruin a bright future, away from the troubles of the legal system.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Sources: Vehicle hits deputy at DUI checkpoint, WESH.com