The DUI charge of an off-duty Panama City Police officer, last year highlights the serious nature of driving under the influence in Florida. Police Chief Robert Harding stated that the officer in question was arrested in his personal car and is facing an administrative hearing and criminal charges.
State Attorney’s in Florida have repeatedly warned that the law will come down hard on all DUI charges whether they are first-time offenses or federal charges. Facing DUI charges can be a sobering moment for any person and if faced with a DUI arrest and impending trial, you need to make sure that your rights are protected by a South Florida criminal attorney.
A criminal record sticks for life. Unless you are a juvenile and have your records sealed by the court, any criminal record is available to the public at any time. That means prospective employers, licensing departments and other financial institutions. Having a criminal record could also stop you traveling outside of the United States.
Despite stern warnings and a country wide “zero-tolerance” campaign, people sometimes have the idea that if they make a mistake they will be “let-off” the first time around. A criminal record is a permanent black mark against your name, and even if you think you may only receive a warning, you should hire the services of a specialist DUI lawyer who will be able to advise you on the course of action to take.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Even When You Are DUI
Sometimes people assume that the fastest way to make a DUI disappear is to plead guilty. It is the fastest way to ensure that you have a permanent criminal record, and that is the only quick route through the courts. Using a criminal attorney will make sure that your case is heard in the correct court and that the due process of the law is followed at all times.
For people who have made a mistake, and will never trespass on the wrong side of the law again, a DUI charge is not the end of the world, but it is a criminal charge that you need to take seriously and face using a criminal lawyer.