FAQs for a Florida DUI

Why do I Need a DUI Lawyer if I am Going to Just Plead Guilty?

The DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton represent many innocent clients, however we also represent those clients who are sorry for what they have done, want to move on with their lives and need an attorney with the experience and respect in a given courtroom to secure a fair disposition for a client. Too often the Public Defender, or a less than aggressive private attorney will convince a client to plead to a DUI case with probation conditions that essentially set the client up for failure and puts them at risk for an eventual probation violation that will certainly place the client in jail. At the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, we will investigate not only the evidentiary problems with your case, but will search for any mitigating factors either in your background or the facts of the DUI to get the best possible result for your circumstances. Further, we will search for any alternative sentencing programs often available for unique cases.

Was the Stop of my Vehicle Legal?

Many DUI stops are based on speeding or "weaving" or are initiated as a result of the driver's defective equipment (for example a faulty tail light, headlight, or a flat tire). However, claims of speeding, "weaving" and defective equipment are vulnerable to attack from a skilled DUI attorney and can be the grounds for a suppression motion. At the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton we will investigate whether your DUI case is a good candidate for a Motion to Suppress.

Other Than Jail, What can a Jason M Melton DUI Attorney do for me?

A Florida DUI conviction has an obvious effect on your driving privileges (see section on D.L. suspensions) but a DUI Conviction can also reflect negatively on your insurance premiums, future job opportunities and professional licenses (for example if the client is a doctor, lawyer, nurse, insurance adjuster, bank official, government employee).

A DUI charge has one important distinction from other crimes--in Florida, a DUI conviction is NOT available to sealing or expungement.

What if I am an Out of State Driver?

It is important to know that the State of Florida, in conjunction with approximately 45 states and the District of Columbia, have signed onto an Interstate Driver's License Compact. What this means for a driver from another state who is arrested for DUI in Florida is that any Florida DUI conviction will likely be reported to your home state, which as a result of the Florida conviction, will usually take steps to suspend your drivers license. The reverse is also true. If, for example, you lived in another state and had prior DUI convictions in that state and you are arrested in Florida for a new DUI charge-- the prior DUI convictions can be used against you as a part of the sentencing in the Florida case. We say "can" because in Florida, there are certain requirements the State must meet for introducing prior DUI convictions to the court and not all State Attorney's Offices are proficient enough to use other states' DUI convictions to persuade Judge to enhance a defendant's sentence based on those out-of-state convictions.

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