Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

DUI Defense Attorney in Jacksonville, FL

Drunk driving convictions can lead to jail time, losing your driver’s license, expensive fines, and a permanent criminal record. These serious consequences require a serious Jacksonville DUI defense attorney to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. However, regardless of your current charges, you are innocent until proven guilty. A strong Jacksonville criminal defense attorney will operate on that principle and provide you with the best defense possible.

At Gates Law Firm, I empathize with those who have been arrested for DUI. These charges can completely change the lives of everyone involved and leave families struggling to cope. I also empathize with scenarios where people have been wrongfully accused and are struggling to prove their innocence.

However, even people who make mistakes need fair and compassionate legal representation. Whatever your situation, when you are ready to advance your case and get the best results possible, I am are here to help.

What Constitutes a DUI Offense in Florida?

In the state of Florida, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent your normal faculties are impaired. If you are pulled over and suspected of DUI, you will be asked to submit to field sobriety exercises (FSEs) and then depending on the results of those exercises the officer will make a determination whether or not to arrest you.

An officer may also consider your refusal to participate in those exercises in determining at that moment if they believe your normal faculties are impaired based on other evidence like a driving pattern or your speech.

If the officer decides to arrest you from the scene of the traffic stop, you will be transported to the jail where you will be asked to provide a breath sample. The results of that breath sample or even your refusal to provide a sample can be used against you in a criminal trial. In Florida, a blood alcohol contact (BAC) above a .08% at the time of driving is presumptive evidence of impairment.

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DUI is a serious offense in Florida with potentially severe penalties. Notably, you must be adjudicated guilty if convicted or entering a plea to DUI so you cannot receive a withhold of adjudication. If you are convicted of DUI, you may be subject to the following minimum penalties:

First DUI Offense

  • Minimum fines of $1,000 plus court costs
  • 50 hours of community service
  • License suspension for 6 months/180 days at the time of sentencing
  • Up to six months in jail
  • DUI Level One School
  • Victim Impact Panel (VIP)

Second DUI Offense

  • Minimum fines of $2,000 plus court costs
  • Up to nine months in jail and minimum of 10 days in jail if your second DUI arrest was within 5 years of your last DUI conviction.
  • Minimum license suspension of 5 years if second DUI is within 5 years of your last conviction
  • DUI Level Two School
  • Interlock device is required and the length will depending on the date of your last conviction as well.

Third DUI Offense

  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • If third arrest occurs within 10 years of your last DUI conviction, you may be charged with a felony DUI which could expose you to up to 5 years in prison. Even if the charges remain a misdemeanor, there is a minimum of 30 days in jail if your third DUI arrest is within 10 years of your last DUI conviction.
  • License suspension for up to 10 years

These charges become even more serious if you are accused of DUI with property damage, DUI with injuries, or vehicular homicide. The potential for these charges may seem overwhelming, but having the right attorney by your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. The only way to know what you are facing and advance a defense strategy that protects you from the most severe penalties is to speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

What Are Common Defenses to DUI Charges in Jacksonville, FL?

There are many potential defenses to DUI charges in Florida. An experienced Jacksonville DUI attorney will know which defenses apply to your particular case and how to best use them in court. Some of the most common include:

  • Lack of probable cause for the stop.
  • Improper administration or calibration of the breathalyzer test.
  • Invalid chemical test results.
  • Lack of probable cause to believe you were impaired.
  • Mistaken identity/you were not behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

Any combination of these defenses could be used to reduce or dismiss your charges. However, if you wish to take a stance on any of these defenses, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney to begin collecting evidence and building your case.

What Evidence Is Used in DUI Cases?

To prove that you are guilty of DUI, the prosecution will need to present evidence that meets a number of criteria. This evidence will need to show that you were driving, that you were impaired while driving, and that your impairment contributed to the accident if charged with DUI with property damage. Some of the most common pieces of evidence used in DUI cases in Jacksonville, FL include:

  • Dashcam or bodycam footage of the stop and arrest.
  • The arresting officer’s testimony.
  • The results of your field sobriety test.
  • The results of your chemical test.
  • Eyewitness testimony.
  • Accident reconstruction.

If any of this evidence is missing or does not meet the burden of proof, your charges could be reduced or dismissed.

Some tactics that a criminal defense attorney can use to combat this evidence and safeguard your rights include:

  • Showing that the field sobriety test was not properly administered.
  • Showing that the chemical test was not properly administered.
  • Showing that there was no probable cause for the stop.
  • Attacking the credibility of the arresting officer.
  • Attacking the credibility of the witnesses.
  • Providing your own expert testimony.
  • Sharing your own photo and video evidence.

An experienced DUI defense attorney will know how to use this evidence to your advantage and safeguard your rights. Whatever situation led you to the charge you are facing, Gates Law Firm can help.

What Qualities Make a Good Jacksonville DUI Attorney?

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If you are facing serious DUI charges, you need an aggressive, experienced DUI defense attorney who will be there for you. The best attorney has:

  • Significant experience handling DUI cases: This experience gives them the knowledge and skills necessary to aggressively defend your rights.
  • A proven track record of success: This means they have a history of getting DUI charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t be shy to ask about this during your consultation.
  • A dedication to your case: You want someone who will fight for the best outcome possible in your case. This means they should be available to answer your questions and update you on your case status.
  • The resources necessary to build a strong defense: This includes access to expert witnesses, private investigators, and accident reconstructionists.
  • The tenacity to fight for you: This means they should be willing to take your case to trial if necessary and demonstrate a natural interest in protecting your rights.

Contact Gates Law Firm Today

If you have been charged with DUI, you need an aggressive, experienced Jacksonville DUI defense attorney who will be there for you. At Gates Law Firm, I have the experience, resources, and tenacity to fight for you. Whether this is your first DUI or one where the consequences could be higher, you can trust our firm to ensure you get the best possible result for your situation.

Contact us today to begin free consultation and see why I am the premier DUI defense attorney in town.


Tyler V. Gates

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Don’t hesitate to contact Gates Law Firm today if you are facing criminal charges. The best defense is strong,
and I am ready to fight for you with compassion and tenacity. My experienced and dedicated firm will
work tirelessly to get you the best outcome possible in your criminal defense case and protect you from any
false or misleading charges.

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