Experienced Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers Assisting Pensacola Residents
A DUI is one of the most common criminal charges that Florida residents may face, but this does not mean that it should be taken lightly. The situation can be stressful and confusing, especially if your ability to drive is in danger. Pensacola DUI lawyer Ryan M. Cardoso can assist Florida drivers with protecting their rights and ensuring that their voices are heard during the legal proceedings. He has been assisting people charged with DUIs and other crimes, such as domestic violence, for 15 years. At our firm, we strive to provide each client with comprehensive and meticulous legal representation. You should not wait to contact a criminal defense lawyer about your pending DUI charge—it could make a huge difference in the outcome.
Florida DUI Laws
Under Florida law, a motorist can be charged with DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. (The limit is 0.02% for drivers who are underage.) Although many people assume that you must be actually driving to be charged with a DUI, this is not true. Florida law makes it illegal to be in actual physical control of a vehicle with a BAC in excess of the legal limit. This means that if a motorist has fallen asleep in the driver seat of the vehicle with their car keys in their hand, they may face a DUI charge.
Also, Florida has adopted an implied consent doctrine that requires drivers suspected of driving under the influence to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test for the purpose of determining whether they are intoxicated. The results of these tests are admissible against you to establish that you were driving while intoxicated, as long as they were collected within a reasonable time after you were pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. In some cases, a DUI attorney can help Pensacola residents try to challenge the admissibility of these tests, among other strategies.
Defenses to DUI Charges
The penalties associated with DUI can be severe, with a first offense carrying the possibility of a one-year license suspension. If you are charged with drunk driving, however, there are several defenses that may apply in your case. First, if the authorities did not abide by the procedural rules in gathering evidence regarding your case, the evidence derived from the investigation must be suppressed and cannot be used against you. For example, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence before pulling you over. There are also specific procedures and rules that they must follow when conducting a search of a vehicle during a traffic stop.
Also, a Pensacola DUI attorney might be able to help you overcome a DUI charge by showing that the prosecution cannot establish both elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt: proof that the defendant was the driver and proof that the defendant had actual physical control of the vehicle. If the vehicle was inoperable, the defendant can raise this argument as an affirmative defense. Other possible defenses to a DUI include duress and involuntary intoxication. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer can assist you with analyzing your situation and determining whether you may be able to assert a defense in your case.
Retain a Dedicated DUI Lawyers in the Pensacola Area
At Cardoso Law, PLLC, we proudly serve clients facing a DUI charge for the first time as well as people trying to avoid a repeat conviction. We represent drivers in communities such as Pensacola, Cantonment, Century, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Milton, Navarre, and Pace, as well as elsewhere in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties. Our team can ensure that you understand each phase of the legal process and how it may affect you. We will also work tenaciously to ensure that the procedural rules are followed scrupulously in your case and that any illegally obtained evidence cannot be used against you. Ryan M. Cardoso provides a free consultation to help you learn about your options. Call us now at (850) 466-2073 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We also represent defendants who are facing charges of assault and battery, as well as other Florida and federal crimes.