JACKSONVILLE DUI LAWYER
If you were arrested for Driving under the Influence (DUI), call us to discuss the best strategies for fighting the charges. A large part of our practice is devoted to fighting DUI cases in Northeast Florida. Most of our cases involve a breath test reading or a refusal to submit to breath testing. We also represent clients with a blood or urine test result. Call Rainka Law, your Jacksonville DUI Attorney, to discuss the case either over the phone or in the office.
PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS NOW
Hiring Rainka Law as your Jacksonville DUI Lawyer is the most important thing you and your family can do right now. Hiring an experienced Jacksonville DUI Attorney early in your case is critical to protecting your privilege to drive and increasing your chances of avoiding a conviction. At the Rainka Law, LLC we take a full-service approach to defending each aspect of the case including:
- the formal review hearing to protect your driver’s license from the administrative suspension (we don’t waive your right to a formal review hearing in exchange for immediate hardship reinstatement);
- the initial court date (called “arraignment”);
- any and all pre-trial motion hearings, which can include a motion to suppress and/or a motion to dismiss the charges;
- all pre-trial negotiations with the prosecutor from the State Attorney’s Office to resolve the case for lesser charges such as reckless driving; or
- a jury or bench trial to fight for a “not guilty” verdict.
We represent men and women arrested for DUI in the Jacksonville area, including: Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns County, including NAS Jax, Mayport, Beaches, Southside, Town Center, Mandarin, Orange Park, San Marco, Riverside, Avondale, Ortega, St. Augustine, Nocatee, St. Johns, Bertram, Fernandina, Callahan, Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville International Airport, Oceanway, Middleburg, University of North Florida (UNF), Jacksonville University (JU, Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) and more.
WHAT TO EXPECT
STAGE ONE – FIGHTING ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE
The first stage in a DUI case is protecting your privileges to drive. After the arrest the arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a notice of suspension if:
- You blew over the legal limit of .08; or
- You refused to take the requested breath or urine test.
This DUI citation serves as the notice of suspension. This suspension is sent to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DMV). The citation itself operates as a 10 day permit so you can continue to drive during the first 10 days after your arrest without restriction. During that time, you must do one of the following:
- Retain Rainka Law to demand a formal review hearing and obtain your temporary driving permit so you can continue to drive without interruption;
- Waive your right to contest the suspension and request immediate reinstatement. This requires that you first enroll in DUI school and personally appear at the Bureau of Administrative Review Office with the proof of enrollment; or
- Do nothing and suffer the 30 or 90 day hard suspension during which time you can not drive for any reason (only after this hard suspension can you request a “business purpose only” license for the remainder of the suspension period).
Because you must decide how to protect your driving privileges and take action quickly, it is important to retain Rainka Law as your DUI attorney during this 10 day period after your arrest.
STAGE TWO – THE FORMAL REVIEW HEARING TO CONTEST THE SUSPENSION
As an experienced Jacksonville DUI Lawyer, Rainka Law believes it is important to demand the formal review hearing and fight to invalidate the DUI administrative suspension. In many ways, the formal review hearing is the most important part of the case. The evidence gathered during that hearing can often be used to your advantage in the criminal case. Our attorneys attend every formal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Review Office. Although the hearing officer will tape record the hearing, we also bring a court reporter to the hearing who prepares the official record. We obtain a subpoena for every witness listed in the documents. We thoroughly reviews everything in the DMV’s packet, the discovery from the State Attorney’s Office and any video evidence before the hearing. Florida law requires that the hearing officer SHALL invalidate the suspension if the arresting officer or the breath test operator fails to appear. Other reasons to invalidate the suspension might include:
- the arresting officer doesn’t submit the police reports to the DMV in time for the hearing;
- insufficient evidence to support one of the issues in the case;
- an illegal stop, detention or arrest;
- one breath test reading is below .08 and one is at or above .08;
- the officer gave incorrect advice about the consequences of taking the test or refusing;
- a failure to read Miranda warnings prior to a custodial interrogation;
- forcing or compelling the defendant to participate in field sobriety exercises;
- the twenty minute observation period was not followed just prior to the breath test;
- the breath test operator or agency inspector did not have a valid permit; or
- the breath test machine was not properly inspected or maintained.
Even if all the witnesses appear at the hearing, other important objections can be raised including the lack of competent and substantial evidence as to one of the required issues in the case. If you win the hearing, then your administrative suspension will be vacated or set aside. This means it is removed from your driving record as if it never happened. If you win, we will give you a copy of the order. If you take the order to the DMV then you can obtain a duplicate copy of your driver’s license. If the hearing officer refuses to invalidate the suspension that decision can be appealed to a Circuit Court judge through a Writ of Certiorari. The only downside to contesting the administrative suspension is that if you are not successful then a hard suspension will start. During that time you cannot drive for any reason. At the end of the hard suspension, as long as you have enrolled in DUI school and are otherwise eligible, you can obtain a “Business Purpose Only” license for the rest of the suspension period. Even in cases in which the suspension is not invalidated, the client still wins because important evidence and testimony has been gathered that might lead to a better result in the criminal case. The length of the suspension and hard suspension are listed below:
- First Offense
- 6 months (30 day hard suspension) if you took the test;
- 12 months (90 day hard suspension) if you refused;
- Second Offense
- 12 months (30 day hard suspension) if you took the test;
- 12 months (90 day hard suspension) if you refused with no prior refusal;
- 18 months (18 month hard suspension) if you refused with a prior refusal;
- Third or Subsequent Offense
- 12 months (12 month hard suspension) if you took the test;
- 12 months (12 month hard suspension) if you refused with no prior refusal;
- 18 months (18 month hard suspension) if you refused with a prior refusal.
STAGE THREE – CRIMINAL TRAFFIC COURT
By working together with our clients to gather substantial mitigation, we prepare the best defense for you. We carefully review the prosecution’s evidence against you and exhaust all legal tools to reach the desired outcome. Although we cannot guarantee results, we will not stop fighting until a verdict is read or our client is satisfied with a negotiated disposition.