Interviewer: What are the most common mistakes people make when they get arrested for DUI making it harder for you to work with a case?
Randy Berman: Thinking that they’ll blow under the limit when they’ve had too much to drink, because they thought that they can blow softly and not register the true level. They can’t beat the machine. Talking too much to the officer or being gabby is a mistake. It tends to show that your inhibitions are down. Most people who are not intoxicated will be pretty quiet in the presence of a police officer under the circumstances and they’ll only respond to what the officer asks them. That’s another mistake.
Thinking that you can beat the Field Sobriety Test While Intoxicated is a Mistake
Doing the field sobriety test when you don’t feel physically capable is a mistake. A lot of people think, “Oh, I can show I’m okay.” Yet they’re somewhat tipsy and it comes out clearly on the video. You can refuse to do the road sides as well. As long as you’re speaking coherently, clearly, acting appropriately on the camera even though you’re not doing the road sides, that can be very effective to argue that you’re not under the influence or impaired.
Aggravating Factors for DUI Charges in Florida
Interviewer:What factors will worsen the case that a client should tell you? Can a client’s dishonest statement come back to haunt them?
Randy Berman: Not in a DUI case because like I said, there’s video. Everything that you say and everything that you do are on tape for the lawyer to see. If you blow the breathalyzer, they know what your score was. It’s a kind of case where you can’t hide. You can’t hold back on anything because it’s coming. They’ve got it already.
I don’t see that type of situation for DUIs. Another case is yes where there is no video and it’s someone’s word against your client’s word. If your clients are not telling you everything, then that could backfire if they’re not prepared for it.
Interviewer: What percentage of clients are repeat offenders?
People with Drinking Problems Tend to Have More Than One DUI’s
Randy Berman: Yeah it happens a lot. People that have a drinking problem have are prone to get more than one DUI. Subsequent DUIs if you’ve been convicted result in significantly higher penalties, fines, suspensions, potential jail. It happens. I’ve dealt with people that have more than one DUI, but you look at the case. Each case stands by itself.
It doesn’t matter if you had five DUIs and you came to me with your sixth, I look at the case as far as strengths and weaknesses in the same way and give the advice that I would give if it was your first time DUI about your likelihood of success or not.
The Driving License Suspension Associated with Conviction is Between 6 Months to an Year for a First Time Offender
Interviewer: What could happen to the driving license in the event of a conviction?
Randy Berman: Depending on whether they blow the breathalyzer or not, there’s going to be the administrative suspension. If you’re over the limit, there’s also a suspension, but if you blow and it’s not too high, you’re immediately entitled to get your hardship. If you refuse to blow, I explained before that you get the 90 day hard suspension and then you can get a hardship for the balance of the year.
There’s also a suspension associated with getting convicted of a DUI which for first time offender is between six months and a year. That suspension runs at the same time as the administrative suspension. It generally doesn’t add time to the suspension. That’s for first time offenders. If it’s a second time within five years, it’s a five year suspension and there’s a hard one year wait before you can get your hardship license.
A Fourth DUI Conviction in Florida Results in Lifetime Revocation of Driving Privileges
Interviewer: I guess it’s longer with someone who’s a repeat offender?
Randy Berman: You get three chances before they give you a lifetime revocation. Fourth DUI conviction in Florida is a lifetime revocation. You can’t get a hardship; you can’t get your license back.