DUI & DWI
GAINESVILLE DUI ATTORNEY
If you have been accused of driving while under the influence (DUI) it is critical to take the matter seriously. A conviction can have a serious impact on your life. It can affect your job, your insurance rates, security clearance, driver's license and your criminal record. That’s why it is critical to work with an experienced and knowledgeable DUI defense attorney.
At DeThomasis & Buchanan we handle DUI cases based on a team approach, working together to build strong and effective defenses for our clients. Together, we address all aspects of the legal problem from the initial traffic stop to the collection of blood and breath test evidence. Whether the case ultimately proceeds to trial, is resolved through pre-trial motions to dismiss and/or exclude evidence, or through a reduced negotiated plea or diversion into the DUI deferred prosecution program, our firm has the experience to attain the best resolution for our clients.
Each of the attorneys at our firm have greater than 25 years defending DUI cases. Our complete focus is on defending you against DUI charges and protecting your freedom and driver’s license. Whether the DUI charge is a first offense, repeat offense, or involves accident, injury, or death, our firm is prepared to defend you.
In addition to the criminal law violation alleged in a DUI charge, an administrative action is also initiated through the Department of Motor Vehicles Division of Drivers Licenses. If you are arrested for a DUI offense, the administrative process that could result in a suspension of your driver’s license will begin immediately upon your arrest. The arresting officer will seize your driver’s license at the time of arrest and will issue a 10 day temporary permit via the citation at that time. You will then only have 10 days to decide the best course of action to take in order to maintain your ability to drive. See Understanding the 10 day Rule or How To Keep Driving For Critical Purposes If Arrested For DUI in FLorida.
Due to recent changes in the law effective July 1, 2013, an individual accused of DUI must seek the advice of an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney immediately in order to weigh the options available.
You may choose to request a Formal Review hearing at which time you will have the benefit of your lawyer being able to present evidence and question witnesses while they are under oath and of record. This important process can result in the invalidation of the proposed suspension and also secures sworn testimony which can later be utilized in defense of the criminal case in court.
If the Department rules against the driver after the Formal Review hearing, the driver will suffer a 30 day “hard-time” suspension in which no permit to drive is available (in those cases involving a breath/blood alcohol level >.08) or a 90 day “hard-time” suspension (in those cases involving a refusal to submit to testing). These “hard-time” periods are part of either the six month suspension (in the event of a test result >.08) or one year suspension (in the event of a refusal).
Waiver of Formal Review:
Under the new law effective July 1, 2013, a driver now has the option of waiving their right to proceed to a formal review and instead may immediately request a review of eligibility for a restricted driving privilege.
The benefit of waiving the Formal Review is the avoidance of either the 30 day or 90 day “hard-time” suspension (during which there is no lawful ability to drive). The disadvantage is you will waive your opportunity to set aside the suspension in its entirety and your driving record will reflect a suspension was imposed for having >.08 breath/blood alcohol level or for refusing to submit.
Especially in the case of a refusal which will remain on your driving history, a person accused of DUI must make an informed decision after consultation with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney regarding the best option.
Also, if you choose the option of waiving your ability to contest the suspension in order to obtain a restricted permit to allow you to drive without suffering the “hard-time”, you must do so in person at the DMV Bureau of Administrative Reviews office and must have with you a copy of the DUI citation, $25.00 fee, and proof of enrollment in an approved DUI school. This must be accomplished within 10 days of arrest.
There are several other important changes in the Administrative process which could affect your driving privileges.
The method of enforcing subpoenas, the effect of a witness failing to appear, and the time-frame within which the Department has to schedule a hearing are all parts of the process that have been modified by the new legislation.
If arrested for a DUI offense, you should immediately seek the counsel and advice of an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney who is familiar with these legislative changes. This will allow for an informed decision to be made and acted upon within 10 days of the arrest.
Contact a Gainesville DUI Lawyer at DeThomasis & Buchanan for an experienced, knowledgeable, and effective defense.