The 2 most important things to do after being arrested in Gainesville or Alachua County for a DUI are:
- Hire a Gainesville DUI attorney ASAP, do not wait too long!
- Hire the most experienced Gainesville DUI lawyer! Here are some criteria to look for.
Carey Meldon Tip: These are by far THE TWO most important things to do after an arrest and not doing them can result in mistakes that can have negative and permanent affects on your life, and mistakes that could have been avoided.
1. Problems with waiting too long to hire legal representation include:
- DUI cases are often won based on the details surrounding the stop and the arrest.
- Details require time and expertise to investigate and examine.
- Evidence can get cold.
- Details can change. For example: Roadside conditions can change daily, witnesses can become difficult to locate and memories fade.
- There is only 10 days to file an appeal of the driver’s license suspension. If no appeal is filed, then “hard time”, time during which the person cannot drive, even to school or to work, will result.
- The appeal of the driver’s license suspension, the Formal Review Hearing, may be the single most important factor in winning the criminal aspect of a DUI case and avoiding a DUI conviction.
- A lawyer can represent the accused at the arraignment, which means the Case gets worked on earlier and the accused does not miss another day of work.
- Mistakes can be made without an attorney on your side that may adversely affect your case, making it more difficult to get the charges dismissed or plead to a lesser offense, which means if you are charged with DUI you will face life long consequences.
2. Problems with not hiring the most qualified or experienced attorney:
Carey Meldon Tip: People that have been arrested for DUI often are too embarrassed or afraid to talk to their parents or spouses about their arrest and discuss the financial situation they are in. They don’t want to borrow money, so they look for the least expensive DUI attorney, thinking all lawyers are the same.
Here are some of the problems that they then run into:
- Some people stay with the public defender if the judge appointed them one, only to find out that the public defender can not represent them at the driver’s license appeal hearing (FRH) nor at the University of Florida hearing (for UF students). So valuable representation is lost, making it more likely for them to lose the case resulting in a DUI conviction.
Carey Meldon Tip: It is common for the public defenders with the least experience to be assigned to the DUI cases; they have an overwhelming case load and are just learning their way around the court house.
- Many people call around to find the least expensive attorney, rather than the most experienced, with the sole criteria for their choice being how low the fee is. They fail to realize that the most significant financial costs of a DUI conviction are not the attorney fees, but rather the skyrocketing insurance bill, and the effect on employment, future education, or military plans.
- Some of these low cost attorneys do not represent their clients at the Formal Review Hearing, or they charge extra, and may not have the experience to give you the best chance of winning the FRH.
- Often by the time these people realize that they made a mistake in their choice of attorney, it is too late, and the damage is done.
- DUI defense is a subcategory, within criminal defense. Not all criminal defense lawyers do DUI defense, and it is difficult to be on the cutting edge of DUI defense without doing it day in and day out on a regular basis.
Carey Meldon Tip: There is a “myth” that just because a criminal defense lawyer says that they were a former prosecutor, that they are skilled at DUI defense, or that they have “connections” with the prosecutor that will help get their client’s case dismissed. This just isn’t so. It is experience that counts.
Carey Meldon Tip: The number of DUI cases successfully defended over a long period of time is how a lawyer becomes skilled at DUI defense. This is the single most important criteria for selecting a DUI attorney and having the best chance of winning a DUI case.
Remember, the only sure way of avoiding the lifelong consequences of a DUI conviction is to not drink and drive!
However, if it is too late, do not make another mistake – hire an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer to represent you and do it ASAP, don’t wait! You can contact us today at 1 800 373 8000.
The experienced Trial Lawyers at Meldon Law are dedicated to preserving the rights of the accused.
Pictured above – Dan Weisman, Jeffrey Meldon, and Carey Meldon have a combined 60 years of legal experience representing people in Gainesville, Florida and Alachua County, Florida accused of DUI/DWI and other criminal charges. They wrote the DUI Guide for Alachua County – Ways to Possibly Avoid a DUI Charge or Conviction. Request your free copy today.
This free no obligation book, written by a team of experienced DUI defense criminal trial lawyers, gives insight into what a DUI charge is, ways the State can prove the charge, and possible legal defenses.
Being charged and convicted of DUI is best avoided by not drinking and driving! This book also gives information on what it takes to be over the legal limit, how alcohol affects the body, plus much, much more!