Have you been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in the Fort Myers, Florida area? If so, you might be wondering whether or not you will need to retain the services of an attorney. While this is a personal decision that each person needs to make on his or her own, you should be aware of the fact that failing to have the proper legal representation can greatly increase your chances of conviction. Because DUI convictions can lead to a number of damaging consequences—such as imprisonment, fines and driver's license suspensions—you will need a strong line of defense.
Our Fort Myers DUI lawyers from Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law have laid out some important information about the benefits of hiring a DUI defense attorney. These are crucial factors to consider when determining whether legal counsel is needed for your DUI case.
If you are thinking of automatically pleading guilty to DUI allegations or of representing yourself in court, you should first review your options for challenging your charges with the help of a strong DUI attorney. Pleading guilty will likely lead to harmful penalties, as well as a conviction that will be on your record for years to come. Representing yourself can be very risk, especially if you do not have an in-depth knowledge of Florida's DUI laws and of the state's criminal justice system. By working with a knowledgeable legal professional, you can take advantage of various defense tactics for challenging your charges—tactics you probably would not have been aware of on your own. Even when there appears to be strong evidence against you and your possibilities seem slim, a strong lawyer will be aware of various ways to refute that evidence and increase your chances of freedom. Here are a few things to think about when considering how a competent DUI lawyer can help you.
Challenges of Evidence: DUI cases tend to have evidence that can be much more straightforward than evidence in other types of criminal cases. Prosecutors often rely on chemical tests, such as breath and blood tests, to show that a defendant had alcohol or drugs in his or her system while driving, or that the person's blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit for driving. While these types of test results have long been accepted as strong proof of DUI, a good lawyer will know various strategies for refuting such evidence. For example, it might be possible to show that there were problems with the machinery used to test the defendant, that the person administering the test made mistakes or that other factors could have led to an erroneous test result. There are also many ways to challenge other evidence, including reports and testimony of law enforcement or field sobriety test results (which are highly subjective).
Complexity of DUI Laws: Florida's laws concerning DUI offenses can be very complex. The state's laws cover various types of DUI offenses, from those involving commercial drivers to those involving individuals accused of boating while intoxicated (BUI). Various factors can affect the type of conviction and penalties you could be facing. Some of these factors include your previous DUI and criminal history, your age and the result of injury or death from the alleged offense. You will need a lawyer who is closely familiar with all the law's nuances so you can accurately determine how the law affects you. Furthermore, it is important to keep up with changes to the state's DUI laws.
Knowledge of the Strongest Defense Tactics: When you are building a defense plan for your case, you should not just choose any defense tactic—you should use the tactic that will best benefit you. Attorneys who have years of experience in their fields know what works and what doesn't work in certain scenarios. They know when it is best to go after a dismissed case or acquittal of charges, as well as when it is more beneficial to pursue reduced charges and plea deals. In some cases, defendants can obtain drug treatment in place of harsher penalties, such as jail or prison time.
At Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law, we have criminal defense lawyers who have years of valuable experience that can truly benefit your criminal case. On our legal team, we have a former prosecutor and a former assistant public defender who is board certified in criminal trial law. We handle various types of DUI offenses in Florida and are fully equipped to provide you with the highest quality of legal services. Contact a Fort Myers DUI attorney from our firm to learn more about how legal representation can benefit you!