Free Strategy Session
i am here?????????????????????????????????????

Three Common Misconceptions About DUI Defense Strategies

Getting charged with a DUI can be a life-altering event that impacts everyone involved, and punishments can be severe. There are lots of assumptions about the best way to defend yourself in a DUI case, but a lot of those assumptions are based on misconceptions. 

If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you need to defend against a DUI, not understanding the proper ways to defend yourself can lead to a conviction. You must understand the misconceptions of defense strategies to defend yourself properly. 

Your Tampa DUI defense lawyer is here to help you defend your future despite the common misconceptions you may face about your case. Reach out for help if you need aid to navigate these misconceptions. 

Silence Means Guilt

A lot of people believe that if you are being charged with a DUI and decide to stay silent while the arrest is being made, this will automatically indicate that you’re trying to hide something from the police.

This is not true. The arresting officer has no power to force you to talk, based on your Fifth Amendment right. You have the right to remain silent throughout the entire process. Remaining silent will not make you appear guilty.

Even if you do appear guilty to the arresting officer, only a court and jury can decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. Your lawyer can guide you through what to say and what you can do about your case. 

Breathalyzer Results Can’t Be Challenged

Most people tend to believe, if you blow into the Breathalyzer, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is set in stone, and there is no further action you can take to disprove this number. But Breathalyzer, along with the officers who use them, are not infallible. 

On the contrary, BAC can be challenged for a variety of reasons. You could challenge that the equipment being used was faulty. There is always the possibility of human error, and there are also some medical conditions that could give an incorrectly high BAC level. The details of your defense depend on your personal situation, so talk to a lawyer about your options. 

You Don’t Need a Lawyer If You’re Innocent 

Many people think that a DUI defense attorney is not worth the money that they are charging. They think that, if they didn’t have anything to hide and didn’t do anything wrong, then they don’t need a lawyer. But false imprisonment is an unfortunate occurrence, and you may be shocked to find that your future is in danger. 

If you try to represent yourself in a DUI defense without an attorney, you may struggle to avoid severe penalties. These may include heavy fines, license suspensions, or even jail time. 

An attorney will know exactly the defense strategies that you need for your specific case, and you will have a much greater chance of lessening or erasing your charge completely. 

Need Answers? Seek Out a DUI Lawyer in Your Area 

If you have found yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself in a case where you are being accused of DUI, reach out to our experienced lawyers to help you defend your case.

Reaching out can help ensure that you’re being defended as well as possible and avoid these misconceptions that many have about the DUI defense system. When you’re ready to discuss your case over a free strategy session, reach out by calling 813-251-7291 or by filling out the following online contact form. 

i am here?????????????????????????????????????

What to Expect from the Prosecutor in a Criminal Trial

Being involved in a criminal trial can be nerve-wracking. Whether you are involved as the defendant, a witness, or just a supportive family member, it can be helpful to understand what the proceedings are going to look like before they happen.

One of the main players in a criminal defense trial is the prosecutor. If you’re unsure what you should expect from a prosecutor, reach out to your lawyer for answers before your criminal trial. 

What is a Prosecutor?

Prosecutors are lawyers who work for state or government organizations. They are meant to be the people’s lawyers, meaning their role is to fight for the rights and safety of the communities they serve. Prosecutors are responsible for initiating the prosecution of criminal defenses on behalf of the state.

There are special positions, such as Statewide Prosecutors, that are appointed by the Attorney General. Statewide Prosecutors have the jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes that have occurred or affected more than one jurisdiction in the state.

That means you may be facing charges and arguing your lack of guilt before a prosecutor. Your defense lawyer, by contrast, is meant to serve your future and well-being. 

Pressing Charges

Prosecutors are responsible for deciding whether to press charges in criminal cases and what those charges are. A charge is a formal accusation of a crime. The type of charge affects the consequences the defendant may face if they are convicted.

The same crime may be charged differently depending on the circumstances and people involved. Unfortunately, this leaves prosecutors room to unjustly persecute individuals.

People convicted of charges can face anything from fines and community service to loss of employment, eviction, imprisonment, or even deportation.

Release on Bail 

Bail is the temporary release of an individual charged with a crime, on the condition that a certain sum of money is lodged to ensure the person’s appearance in court.

Prosecutors are also in charge of deciding whether bail is warranted, and how much the bail is set at. For most crimes in Florida, bail is already set and is based exclusively on the crime. For capital offenses, bail is not an option.

Even though the United States justice system is based on the idea of “innocent until proven guilty,” prosecutors may set bail high to avoid the person leaving. You may even be denied a bail release if you’re considered a danger or a flight risk. 

Plea Bargain

A plea bargain occurs when the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a less harsh sentence from the prosecutor, and/or the agreement that the prosecutor drops the other charges.
The prosecutor is the one who decides whether to demand imprisonment, offer probation, or require that the individual get treatment (for mental health, anger, addiction, or other issues). Prosecutors also decide which charge the defendant must plead to for a plea bargain to go through.

Know a Prosecutor’s Role and Your Lawyer’s Defense

If you or someone you love find yourself dealing with a prosecutor in Florida, know that you still have a chance to fight for your freedom. 

Our criminal defense attorney at Hersem Law understands how scary this time can be and offers free strategy sessions upon request to help you discover the best path forward. 

Call 813-251-7291 or fill out the form today to see what Hersem Law can do for you.

i am here?????????????????????????????????????

Giving Yourself the Best Chance to Beat DUI Charges

When you’re pulled over and tested for drugs and alcohol, you may be worried you won’t be able to beat the charges. Maybe the amount of evidence against you is making you nervous. Fortunately, you may have options to act. 

Giving yourself the best chance to beat DUI charges is vital. Gathering evidence and talking to a lawyer can change the course of your claim, but below are a few issues specific to driving under the influence charges you may need to consider. 

Question the Validity of Field Sobriety Testing

There are three main field sobriety tests, all of which are incredibly subjective to the person administering them. Accounting for human error and other external factors, it’s impossible for field tests to be completely accurate. The three standard tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand test.

These tests can be impacted by age, physical conditions, health problems, and even environmental factors like wet pavement due to rain or snow. Even simple anxiety can make it difficult to absorb directions and focus on your balance or other factors. 

If you believe the results of your field sobriety test were inaccurate, your lawyer can give you the best chance of beating your DUI charges by gathering evidence that other factors impacted your test. That evidence can help you avoid jail time and other devastating penalties. 

Questioning the Accuracy of the Breathalyzer

A Breathalyzer test is commonly used by police to electronically measure BAL (breath alcohol level) when they’re at a checkpoint stop. Multiple factors can influence the accuracy of these sobriety tests.

There are multiple medical conditions that are known to cause false positives. Heartburn, acid reflux, and gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) cause excess acid in the stomach and esophagus, which can cause inaccurate readings. Diabetes can also affect these readings in certain scenarios. 

Albuterol, which is the medication commonly prescribed in the form of an inhaler for asthma sufferers, has also been known to show false positives due to the presence of methyl compounds in the medication. Sleep aids, cough syrups, vitamins, mouthwashes, breath sprays, aftershaves, and denture adhesives have all been known to result in false positives.

Certain foods, such as cinnamon rolls, fermented fruit, sugarless gum, sourdough bread, protein bars, hot sauces, and foods containing alcoholic glazes can all trigger a Breathalyzer, as can energy drinks and fermented sodas. If you suspect you were charged because of these false positives, your lawyer can represent you in the courtroom

Reach Out to an Experienced DUI Attorney

While there are many reasons to call into question the accuracy of field sobriety tests and breathalyzer results, it’s very difficult to beat a DUI charge without the help of an attorney. They can give you the best chance possible to beat your DUI charges. 

Ready to speak to the attorney at Hersem Law? We offer free strategy sessions, where we can discuss your best options for recovery. Reach out by calling 813-251-7291 or by completing the online contact form below. 

i am here?????????????????????????????????????

Why You Want a Lawyer for a Speeding Ticket

When most people get a speeding ticket, they don’t think about getting a lawyer. Many people’s first instinct is to just pay the fine. But what if you feel that the penalty outweighed the speed, that you were unjustly ticketed, or that this is not your first offense? And have you thought of the insurance consequences of having points on your license?

With your lawyer’s experience, you have a better chance of avoiding high fees, penalties, and damage to your drivers license.

A traffic lawyer specializes in defending those charged with a traffic violation. We know your rights and will ensure they are honored. We have your best interest in mind at all times. Speeding tickets can be very costly and may come with additional charges such as reckless driving. Your lawyer is ready to defend you against unjust charges.

Out-of-Area Tickets

Traveling out of the county, whether for work or leisure, brings extra challenges when you are ticketed for going over the speed limit. The fines for speeding offenses differ from county to county in Florida. Each court system runs differently, as well, so you’ll want someone familiar with the Clerk’s office and the Judge to help guide you through the process.

Your skilled attorney can prevent you from traveling long distances to try to defend yourself in an unfamiliar area with unfamiliar rules and regulations. That means no need for you to travel and incur additional costs and time lost from work. 

High-Speed Traffic Tickets

Any person accused of driving 30 mph or greater over the speed limit will receive a “mandatory court appearance” citation.  Oftentimes, your attorney can attend court on your behalf so you won’t need to take time out of your day, but the process is still very different for this type of offense.  A County Court Judge will hear your case and your option to resolve through the Clerk’s office by paying the fine will no longer be available. Having proper representation is crucial at this stage.

Another high-speed traffic ticket in Florida occurs when you are accused of traveling 50 mph or greater than the identified speed limit. This offense will be cited as a moving violation with penalties such as having points added to your license as well as increased, mandatory fines.  Multiple offenses can also add a risk of losing your license or even being charged with a felony.

Because the penalties can be so high, you may need to speak with a lawyer. Your attorney can work to reduce those charges or potentially get them dismissed.  

Points and Insurance Penalties

The drivers license points system can impact your license, possibly leading to a license suspension. The point system is meant to motivate drivers to keep their points low in order to both protect their drivers license and keep insurance costs down. 

When you receive a speeding ticket, you earn points based on the severity of the offense, the more you accumulate, the more at risk you are for losing your license and the higher your insurance premiums will be. Fighting the ticket now can reduce your chances of getting your license suspended. 

The biggest financial impact after a citation isn’t the cost of the ticket or the cost of your attorney, but the cost you will pay in increased insurance premiums if you receive points on your license.  It’s not uncommon for premiums to increase by $300 – $500 per year for the 3 years those points can be used against you.  Our goal is to ALWAYS avoid points being assessed to your license!

Get Your Ticket Reduced or Dismissed with a Lawyer

With a skilled attorney working for you, you can leave the stress of the process to us.  We contact the Clerk to set up your court date, we go to court on your behalf so you don’t have to attend, and we talk to the Judge to get you the best possible result.  We routinely get points removed from our client’s records, fines reduced to save our clients money, and we may be able to get your ticket dismissed completely.

At Hersem Law, we will do everything in our power to minimize any penalties associated with your speeding ticket. Whether this is your first or one of many violations you have received, we will guide you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free strategy session when you’re ready by calling 813-251-7291 or by filling out the online contact form below. 

i am here?????????????????????????????????????

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Florida

You’re on your way home from a night out with your friends and you notice the flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You’re stopped by the cop, who says that you were swerving over the center line and asks for your license and registration, then to step out of the vehicle for a Breathalyzer test.

When you’re pulled over, you may be concerned about failing a field sobriety test. If you’re not sure whether you’re under the legal limit in Florida, should you refuse to take a breathalyzer test during a DUI stop?

Refusing a Breathalyzer test when you’re pulled over can hurt your case and your future. Here’s what you need to know before you refuse a test and what may happen if you refuse. 

Implied Consent Law in Florida

According to Florida’s implied consent law, simply by owning a state driver’s license, you give your consent to take a Breathalyzer test. 

If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, then an officer will ask if you would like to take an approved sobriety test. If they ask and you say yes, then they can administer the test. However, if they ask and you say no or refuse, then they cannot force you to do so without your explicit consent.

However, under implied consent laws, if you refuse to take a field sobriety test, your license will be automatically suspended. If it’s your first offense, your license will be suspended for one year. Second and third offenses result in eighteen months of suspension as well as possible time in jail.

What Happens If You Say No?

While you can refuse the test, that may hurt your future if you choose to do so. Depending on your case, refusing to blow can make it harder for you to avoid a DUI conviction or get the penalties of a DUI reduced.

If you refuse a breathalyzer test, you limit your options for recovery. Your lawyer can fight the evidence against you, but you may have no option but to accept the automatic license suspension. Refusing the test means refusing a part of the agreement to keep your license. 

What If You Took the Test and Blew Over the Legal Limit?

A DUI is serious. If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you may face fines, jail time, and other penalties. However, there are ways our law firm can fight these charges, and the outcome we get for our clients is often better than it would have been if they refused a Breathalyzer test in Florida. 

If you fail a Breathalyzer test, the Florida Diversion Program is a way to get a lighter sentence if you agree to take a chemical test. This program helps rehabilitate first-time offenders, offering you a lighter sentence. Your lawyer can review the details of your case and guide you through the best option for your claim. 

Get Aid from a Florida DUI Attorney

Refusing a Breathalyzer test in Florida can lead to serious consequences, but accepting the penalties of failing one can lead to trouble. That’s why it’s important to speak with a lawyer before you make any decisions. 

A skilled attorney from Hersem Law can help ensure that your rights are protected and that all evidence is considered during the trial. If you’re worried about a DUI because you failed a sobriety test, reach out for a free strategy session on your case. Complete our online form or call 813-251-7291.