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Stuart DUI Defense Attorney

DUI Lawyer Serving Martin County, St. Lucie County, Okeechobee County & Indian River County

Every arrest for DUI in Martin County, St. Lucie County, Indian River County, and Okeechobee County, triggers the beginning of two separate and independent processes, and this is the law throughout Florida. Most people are only familiar with the DUI criminal process associated with the case traveling through the court system. However, the second process is "administrative" in nature and is handled through the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles ( DHSMV). This administrative process is rather complex and potentially confusing, in part because it immediately impacts the driver's ability to drive, independent of what might happen in the criminal process. But a seasoned and experienced Stuart DUI attorney might be able to get the person's driving privileges reinstated sooner, and even use the administrative review hearing to the driver's benefit in the criminal case. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced Stuart DUI Defense attorney within the allotted 10 DAYS.

[Click here to view Florida's DUI Penalties chart]

DUI cases are winnable, and it is possible to have a Florida DUI charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. But this does not happen just because the driver is an otherwise good person and needs "a break." DUI charges have become quite the political "hot potato," and most prosecutors will rubber stamp and endorse the arresting officer's findings by prosecuting the case as charged. An experienced Treasure Coast DUI Defense attorney, however, can expose certain defects in the State's case that the prosecutor may otherwise not have seen. In fact, there are many defenses to a DUI arrest in Martin County, Saint Lucie County, Indian River County, and Okeechobee County, that could lead to a successful result in your case. But you must hire an experienced Stuart DUI attorney who will take the time to meet with you and review the case item by item, and know what to look for. The ONLINE DUI CASE ANALYSIS FORM is here for your convenience, and if you take the time to fill it out, Attorney David Golden will review it with you, for free, and discuss possible defenses you may have.

The following chart is designed to make it easier to read the penalties for DUI convictions. While some people find this easier, you may still want to read them from the FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY & MOTOR VEHICLE website:

DUI Penalties
1st DUI
2nd DUI
(within 5 yrs.)
3rd DUI
(within 10 yrs. of 2nd) or Felony
Jail
0-180 days
(>.20) 0 - 270 days
10-270 days
(>.20) 10-364 days
30 days - 5 yrs.
Fine
$500 - $1000
(>.20) $1000 - $2000
$1000 - $2000
(>.20) $2000 - $4000
$2000 - $5000
(>.20) $4000 - $5000
License Suspension
6 Months - 1 Year
5 Years
10 Years
Interlock
(>.20) Mandatory Up to 6 mos.
1 year
(>.20) 2 yrs.
At least 2 yrs.
Immobilization of Vehicle
10 Days
30 Days
90 Days

Now that you know the penalties for Florida DUI charges, the following is an overview of the criminal process in a Treasure Coast DUI case:

ADDRESSING THE DHSMV HEARING

Once you retain the services of one of our Stuart DUI defense attorneys, we will contact the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles and request a formal review hearing challenging the suspension or your driving privileges. The DHSMV will set the hearing, but will also send the driver a notice that their driving privileges are extended beyond the 10 days on a limited basis. For people who have no one to help them until they can make other arrangements, this added benefit is tremendous.

For your administrative review hearing, our office will subpoena the arresting officer and require him or her to also bring with them the DUI video, if available. During the formal review hearing we will cross-examine the officer, challenging his/her training, background, and general experience in DUI cases, as well as his/her conduct and observations with respect to the case at hand. In most instances, it is not necessary to have the driver present at the formal review hearing.

Treasure Coast DUI Criminal Process

The "arraignment" is the first court date the driver is noticed to attend. This court date might be for the citation itself, and is sent by Clerk of the Court, and/or by the bail bondsman if one was used. The arraignment is designed to inform the driver of the charges brought against them by either the Martin County, Saint Lucie County, Indian River County, or Okeechobee County prosecutor. The court then directs the driver to enter a plea of "guilty," "not guilty," or "no contest" to the charges.

One of the advantages of hiring the Law Offices of David Golden, P.A., to defend your Treasure Coast DUI is avoiding the necessity of having to appear at this arraignment hearing. Instead of the driver being further inconvenienced by having to miss work or other obligations, Stuart DUI Attorney David Golden will file the appropriate documents and alleviate the need for the driver’s appearance.

DUI Discovery

One of the documents that the Law Offices of David Golden, P.A. will file on the driver's behalf is a Demand For Discovery. By filing this Demand for Discovery, the State is obligated to provide and make available all evidence that they intend to use in their prosecution against the driver. They are also obligated to provide all evidence which they are aware may be favorable to the driver. It is during this discovery period that the Law Offices of David Golden, P.A. will obtain all of the police reports and the DUI video tape, should one exist. The client will immediately be contacted so an appointment can be scheduled to review this material with their Stuart DUI attorney, David Golden. The Law Offices of David Golden, P.A. takes great pride in having the most informed and educated clients on the Treasure Coast. This kind of representation means being provided with courtesy copies of all of the discovery material, and having ample time to review this information comfortably with your Stuart DUI lawyer. Nothing happens on any case without the client’s knowledge and consent.

Treasure Coast DUI Pretrial Motions

Every DUI case is different, and should be evaluated by an experienced Florida DUI attorney. There are occasions where law enforcement acts improperly: the “stop” is not legal because sufficient probable cause does not exist; there is a defect in the testing equipment, or the way in which certain tests are administered. When these circumstances are discovered by a DUI attorney, pre-trial motions are filed to challenge the admissibility of the evidence in the hopes of preventing the State from being able to use it. Attorney David Golden is committed to aggressively defending each DUI case, and recognizes the importance of such pre-trial motions in compelling the State to offer a more advantageous plea bargain or complete dismissal of the DUI charge. If the client is required to attend a hearing on a pre-trial motion, he or she will be notified with plenty of time to make arrangements.

Treasure Coast DUI Jury Trial

Most cases, civil and criminal, are resolved without the case proceeding to trial, and DUI cases are no exception. But in those instances where a trial is necessary, you should feel confident knowing that Attorney David Golden has successfully tried some of the most complex DUI and criminal cases on the Treasure Coast. With his practice solely dedicated to criminal law, and his experience defending the rights of people accused of a DUI on the Treasure Coast, Attorney David Golden is the right attorney to fight for you from the beginning to the very end.

Contact a DUI Lawyer today to discuss your Martin County, St. Lucie County, Okeechobee County, or Indian River County drunk driving!

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