About the DUI arrest process
If you are arrested for a DUI in Palm Beach County, you need a West Palm beach criminal lawyer. At Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A., we have a team of skilled West Palm Beach attorneys to help guide you through the complex legal process. Many people who have been arrested for DUI have never been in trouble before. They do not know any attorneys who can effectively represent them.
Start by looking for a highly qualified West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney — Not just any attorney who might have been recommended to you. You want a law firm that not only specializes in criminal defense, but DUIs, specifically.
Once you’ve located a law firm, review its background and qualifications. Make sure the attorney practices in Palm Beach County. Find out how long the attorneys have been practicing in the county. This is import ant because Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers often know the prosecutors involved and may be able to get concessions that other non-local attorneys miss. Find out if the attorney has trial experience. You do not want to find out the hard way — during the trial — that your attorney lacks trial experience.
About the DUI arrest process
Whenever you see those flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, be sure to pull over promptly and safely as soon as practical. Use your directional signals when pulling over. Once you are stopped, remain in the driver’s seat of the car. If you can safely gather your driver’s license, registration and auto insurance, feel free to retrieve those documents. Do not make sudden movements or actions that might raise suspicions or be interpreted by law enforcement as threatening.
When the officer approaches, be polite. If the officer asks why you were you stopped, do not speculate on the reason. Be aware that any statement you give can be used against you in a court of law. Do not try to talk your way out of a ticket.
During the course of the DUI investigation, the officer will attempt to have you answer questions concerning your drinking that day. Avoid, whenever possible, making any incriminating statements regarding any amount of alcohol consumption. You are not required to incriminate yourself or to justify any of your actions. Do not volunteer information. You are; however, required to provide the officer basic information regarding your identity, including your name, address and other personal information.
The officer might ask you to step out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tasks. These tests are voluntary and you do not have to perform them. The officers may attempt to coerce you into performing these tasks, but you are not required to do so. You may politely decline.
If the officer issues you any citations or traffic tickets, you are required to sign them. By signing the ticket, you are not admitting guilt, and you could still fight them in court.
At this point, the officer may place you under arrest for a DUI in Palm Beach County. If he or she does, you will be handcuffed and placed in the back of the patrol car. The officer will then transport you to the local Breath Alcohol Testing center. This is where they will ask you to provide a breath sample. Regardless of the results of a breath test — or even if you refuse to take the breath test — you will be booked at the Gun Club Jail and will not be released from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office custody until eight hours have elapsed.
After you are released from the Palm Beach County Jail, you should immediately write down what transpired. DUIs often are very defendable cases, but as time passes the details are forgotten. The earlier you can relay these important details to an experienced defense attorney the better it is for your case.