If I recently got a DUI and took the field sobriety but not the breathealyzer test, what should I expect in the court being that this is my first offense ever?

UPDATED: Nov 26, 2012

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If I recently got a DUI and took the field sobriety but not the breathealyzer test, what should I expect in the court being that this is my first offense ever?

I’ve never even had a traffic ticket.

Asked on November 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, Florida


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When you show up to court the first time, the judge is going to ask you basic questions-- like how do you want to plea and whether you have an attorney.  If you aren't sure about what to do, request to enter a plea of non-guilty until you can retain an attorney or receive a court appointed one.  The first setting is usually procedural in nature.  From there, the court may give you one or two resets (or continuances) to decide how you want to proceed:  trial or plea bargain.

Most first time DUI offenders are placed on probation for up to a year.  While on probation, a defendant is required to complete community service, pay a fine (up to $1000.00), attend drug or alcohol counseling.  The judge court also order your vehicle to be impounded for a period of time.

You will need to decide whether you want to accept a plea bargain or go to trial.  The fact that there are no breath or blood tests to be used against you will help.  The ultimate decision will be based on how well you performed on the field sobriety tests.  If you don't already have a copy of the patrol video, you need to get one so that you can see how good or bad it looks on camera.

If you can't afford an attorney, request a court appointed attorney.  If you can afford one, try to find one that have experience in DUI.  DUI criminal attorneys tend to have a bit more specific expertise at scrutinizing the adminstration of field sobriety tests.  Since this is what a trial usually boils down to, this experience can be extremely helpful in defeating a DUI charge.

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