A woman from St Augustine with a surname the same as a famous make of motorcycle discovered that it did not help at all when arrested for DUI recently. Hiring a very experienced DUI attorney would probably have been a lot more useful at this stage.
49 year old Ms Heather Harley Davidson, assumed to be no relation to the inventor of the famous motorcycle brand, was arrested for DUI after she was observed swerving from side to side in a 2001 Lincoln Continental, according to a report from the St. John’s Sheriff’s office.
What followed after Ms Harley Davidson was stopped didn’t appear to make it any easier for her potential DUI defense. The arresting officers allege that her breath reeked of alcohol, while she was unsteady on her feet, as well as unable to walk in a straight line towards the area where sobriety tests were to be carried out. According to the report, the driver of the Continental at first refused to complete any tests and was quite abusive. She later calmed down and then became tearful and was taken first of all to Flagler Hospital, then on to the county jail.
Ms Harley Davidson now needs a good DUI lawyer as she will find that the DUI arrest process is loaded on the side of the prosecution. Whatever the real story of what happened before and after her arrest last Wednesday evening, the story given by the deputies at the scene is the one most likely to be listened to by the court unless she has a skilful and experienced DUI attorney to help her with her defense.
At this stage, it is not known whether Ms Harley Davidson had been convicted of a DUI offense before, so it is hard to predict what sort of penalties she could face if she is convicted for DUI this time around.
A first time DUI offense in Florida could mean a potential jail sentence of up to 6 months as well as a fine of between $250 and $500. Jail is not commonly used as a punishment, but probation, loss of one’s license and insurance rate increases are much more likely. This may not seem too bad, but even a first DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor. This is still a criminal conviction and the effects of such a conviction are likely to hang around the DUI defendant’s neck for a very long time. A DUI conviction can mean the loss of a job, promotion, career or a college course. At the very least, insurance rates go up as soon as the driver’s insurance firm hears about the conviction.
For anyone who has been convicted for DUI before, the need for a reliable and skilled DUI attorney is even more important. A good DUI lawyer can at least look more carefully at the arrest procedure. Many aspects of a DUI arrest are not always carried out correctly. In some cases, drivers who have had no opportunity or inclination to drink then drive, have been arrested for DUI. Their breath analysis or other form of blood alcohol test should definitively prove whether they were DUI at the time of their arrest, but the test is not always reliable. Even innocent people have sometimes been wrongly convicted and have later had to be released.
The best advice that any DUI attorney can give to anyone contemplating driving back home using their own automobile is simply not to drink and drive. There are usually several opportunities to share vehicles, pay for a cab or use public transport. DUI laws in Florida are some of the toughest in the country, so if you have been arrested for DUI in the Tampa Bay area, then make sure you engage a professional and experienced DUI attorney to help you in your defense.