Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

Jacksonville, FL DUI Attorney

Being arrested for driving under the influence can be an extremely unnerving experience. First-time offenders risk having their licenses suspended, paying fines, or even facing a short jail sentence. When someone makes this mistake multiple times, the possible penalties they could face multiply and become more severe, such as higher fines or spending an even longer period in jail. To avoid facing unnecessary penalties, talk to a Jacksonville DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

At Kevin A. Raudt, P.A., we have proudly built a strong reputation by serving the Jacksonville community through DUI cases. We have personally witnessed how stressful these charges can be for our clients and are dedicated to providing you with superior support throughout your legal proceedings. We take the time to assess your case and look for the strongest resolutions possible, all while fighting for your interests and protecting your constitutional rights.

Best Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

What Is the Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit in Florida?

Like in most other states, it is illegal to drive in Florida with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If caught with a higher figure than 0.08%, it provides law enforcement the authority to accuse an individual of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

You should note that this number is reduced for the state’s commercial truck drivers as a reflection of the increased responsibility these professionals have to keep everyone in their surroundings safe on the road. The limit for any individual operating a commercial vehicle is 0.04%, and even then, an officer may still have the right to arrest you if you’re clearly impaired. Because these vehicles are much larger, they can cause more damage than a traditional car.

How Can Your Attorney Defend You During a DUI Case?

While it may seem like the cards are not in your favor, it’s important to remember that being accused of driving under the influence does not automatically mean you are guilty. Each case brings its own set of facts that need to be independently reviewed by attorneys, a judge, and a jury if the case goes to court.

However, the quality of your defense strategy can influence the likelihood of your charges being dropped or reduced. By working with a skilled Jacksonville DUI attorney, you can work together to build a strong defense strategy that advocates for your interests. Some of the most commonly employed DUI defenses seen in Jacksonville include:

  • The BAC Test Results Were Inaccurate. One of the first things your DUI attorney will look at is whether the BAC test results from your arrest were reliable. They can assess whether the device was calibrated properly or if it malfunctioned in any way, as well as look to see if it was used improperly. Maintenance records could also raise doubts about the device’s ability to produce accurate results if there are any discrepancies in how often the device was assessed and maintained for quality.
  • The Traffic Stop Was Illegal. Another common strategy employed by defense attorneys is questioning the validity of the traffic stop. Law enforcement officers in Jacksonville must have a legitimate cause for pulling someone over. If it can be shown that they did not have a justified reason, any evidence they collected during the interaction could be inadmissible in court. This would include the BAC test results, which is often what a prosecution’s entire case relies on.
  • The Validity of Field Sobriety Tests. In addition to the BAC test, a DUI attorney will look into the details of any other field sobriety test that was administered during the interaction. Some common alternatives to BAC testing include activities like walking in a straight line, standing on a single leg, following an officer’s finger with your eyes, or reciting the alphabet backward.If a defense attorney can raise doubts about the accuracy of these results, it can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case. For example, if their client has a certain physical or mental disability that would make it difficult for them to walk in a straight line or recite the alphabet backward, even when sober, this can drastically impact their case.
  • There Are Issues With Chain of Custody and Evidence Handling. A defense attorney can also spend time looking into law enforcement’s chain of custody and how any evidence they collected at the scene was handled. During this assessment, an attorney is trying to find any issues, evidence of misconduct, or other negligent behavior that may make evidence against you invalid.For example, if the evidence was contaminated, labeled incorrectly, or mishandled between offices in any way. Pointing out any of these instances could question the evidence’s integrity and require a prosecutor to find other ways of proving the defendant is guilty.
  • The Defendant Was Not Driving. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged DUI scene, a defendant could take the position that they were not actually driving a vehicle when approached by law enforcement. This could be true in scenarios where the individual was found in a parked car with no clear evidence they were originally driving the vehicle.However, you will want to see if a prosecutor is able to access evidence that would disprove this defense strategy. For example, they will tap into a cop’s body camera footage to see if there is any video evidence to put the defendant in the driver’s seat.
  • Questioning a Law Enforcement Officer’s Testimony or Conduct. After a DUI accusation, law enforcement officers will be required to not only document their observations in an official police report but also testify in court. This is a critical piece of evidence for a DUI defense attorney to scrutinize. This is because law enforcement is seen as a highly credible source of information, and if an attorney can point out glaring inconsistencies in their account of what happened, it could have a dramatic impact on the case.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for DUIs in Florida?

A statute of limitation is a specific law designed by each state that sets a deadline for any individual to pursue a personal injury case. Once this deadline is passed, an alleged victim is no longer able to press charges, no matter how compelling their evidence may be. In Florida, first-time DUI offenses are required to be filed within one year from the date of the incident.

However, other details could extend this deadline. For example, if there were significant injuries inflicted on the prosecution’s client, it grants them an extra year to file. For someone who has faced multiple DUI allegations and is in a scenario where serious bodily injury was caused by the accident, it allows a plaintiff up to 3 years to file. In any fatal scenario, there is no statute of limitations.

How Much Does a Florida DUI Attorney Cost?

Many different factors will influence the final price tag of your DUI defense attorney. This is often dependent on how complicated the case is, the level of experience your attorney has, and how populated and competitive the area they serve is. In a city like Jacksonville, with a higher population and many different law firms competing for clients, you can expect to pay more than a rural Florida defense attorney.

Some cost considerations include:

  • Hourly Rates and Flat FeesTwo of the most commonly used payment structures for DUI cases are charging clients either by the hour or a flat fee per service. Hourly rates will vary by attorney but can range from anywhere from $100 to $500+ per hour. For more seasoned attorneys who have a backlog of high-priority clients, this cost could be even higher.The other popular payment option is flat fees. This is where an attorney will charge a singular fee for a service no matter how long it takes them to complete it. For example, an attorney could charge anywhere from $1,000 – $5,000 to represent their client in court.
  • Case ComplexityAttorneys often claim that the more complicated a case is, the more expensive it may be. This is because, in general, complicated cases take longer to resolve. For example, a first-time DUI offender who has a straightforward set of facts that proves their innocence could be finished within a matter of weeks. Because less time is required to collect evidence and present it in court, this would result in less billable time.

However, with more dire circumstances at play, such as major bodily injuries, property destruction, or even a death in the accident, this can significantly extend the case’s timeline. For example, if certain third-party professionals need to weigh in on what happened or extra time is needed to collect evidence, this could dramatically increase the length of the case.

If a defendant and their criminal defense attorney are not satisfied with the initial results of a case, they also have the right to appeal the decision. This is another common reason why a case’s timeline can be extended. It will require more time and expenses between additional legal proceedings and hearings to attempt to reverse the original decision. However, this extra time could prove to be of value if the defense attorney is successful in their appeal strategy.

FAQs for Jacksonville DUI Attorneys

Q: Am I Allowed to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Jacksonville, FL?

A: While no one is forced to participate in a breathalyzer test, the act of denying it can be used as a piece of evidence by a prosecutor to imply the defendant is guilty as charged. It could also lead to automatic penalties, such as an immediate license suspension for a temporary period. Even without having BAC results, a prosecutor can still collect other evidence to try and prove your guilt, such as details from a police report or other field sobriety tests.

Q: Can a First Time DUI Be Dismissed in Florida?

A: There are a few circumstances that could lead to the dismissal of a first-time DUI offense in Florida. Evidence such as procedural errors or a glaring constitutional violation made during the arrest can work in a defendant’s favor. First-time offenders are also more likely to be considered to participate in rehabilitation programs as their punishment rather than going to jail. Because these possibilities exist, it’s important to have a DUI attorney to help make these happen.

Q: What Is the 10-Day Rule for DUIs?

A: The 10-day rule in Florida requires a defendant to request a formal review hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within ten days from their date of arrest. If this deadline is missed, a defendant will automatically have their driver’s license suspended until a final verdict is reached in court. This rule is designed to prevent DUI cases from going stale and keep evidence fresh. A DUI attorney can help you meet this deadline.

Q: Can I Challenge a DUI Charge In Florida?

A: Yes, if you have any reason to believe you have been inaccurately accused of driving under the influence, you have the right to hire a defense attorney and challenge the prosecution’s case. You will need quality evidence to combat the allegations and help to raise doubts about your guilt. While a DUI attorney is unable to guarantee that they can dismiss or reduce your DUI charges, having them as a resource can help to maximize your success.

Contact Kevin A. Raudt, P.A. Today for Drunk Driving Defense Strategy

If you have been accused of driving under the influence, connect with the DUI defense attorneys of Kevin A. Raudt, P.A. today. Whether you believe you are being treated unfairly or are willing to admit guilt, we are prepared to assess your case and find the strongest resolutions possible.

We proudly offer a judgment-free space for any clients in need of defense services, whether you were arrested for your first DUI or you’re considered a repeat offender. Our team is devoted to protecting your rights and knows the immense stress a DUI charge can put on you. Don’t wait to reach out today and see why others in the area have already trusted us to handle their DUI defense. We would be honored to extend the same type of legal assistance to you.


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