Clients of the James Turner Law Firm, LLC know that excellence is in the very foundation of the firm.  Clients hire our firm for a reason: aggressive and quality representation.  We will always protect and pursue our clients’ interests to the extent of what the law allows.  We pursue a course of calculated aggression so as not over litigate when the case does not require it.  Essentially, it is our job to provide you with the most cost-effective, aggressive representation possible and we strive to do that each and every day.
Copyright 2015.  James Turner Law Firm, LLC.  The Milton, Florida, office of The James Turner Law Firm, LLC, serves clients throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, including Pensacola, Bellview, Gonzalez, Century, Pace, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Cantonment, Molino, Perdido Key, Walnut Hill, Bagdad, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola Beach; counties including Santa Rosa County and Escambia County; as well as Eglin Air Force Base, Whiting Field and NAS Pensacola (Naval Air Station).
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You need someone who will fight for you!

Any person who has been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can tell you that its one of the most stressful times that they have been through. Both the criminal and the driver’s license procedures for DUI are confusing and cumbersome. If you were pulled over and accused of driving under the influence, you need to hire a DUI attorney who will fight for you every step of the way.

In Florida, the State can prove intoxication by demonstrating the loss of normal use of mental and/or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination of those substances and/or by having a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or greater. An attorney will be able to determine if the police officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over and whether the officer correctly administered the field sobriety tests. Also, if you provided samples of your breath, there may be ways to contest the accuracy of those results.

You need an attorney that understands DUI’s. Whether its challenging reasonable suspicion for a stop, probable cause for arrest or the admissibility of breath, blood, and urine results, you need an attorney that is ready to work for you. Most DUI defendants are completely unfamiliar with the criminal process and its complexities. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with Pensacola and Milton DUI attorney James F. Turner, Jr. at 850.983.0725.

Request a Hearing Within 10 days!

If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in Pensacola or Milton Florida, it is crucial that you speak immediately with a Pensacola DUI defense lawyer. Due to Florida law, you only have 10 days to request a hearing to prevent your Florida driver's license from being suspended. Your legal representative can create an effective defense that can not only protect your reputation but also help protect your driving privileges. 

Arrested For DUI While Being Asleep Behind The Wheel?

To convict you of DUI, the state must prove you were in actual physical control. You do not have to be driving the car to be charged with DUI; however, being asleep in a parked vehicle can be a basis for a DUI prosecution. There are ways of challenging this type of case.

What are the elements of an Actual Physical Control case?

  • Actual, or constructive possession over the key to the vehicle.
  • Driver is in the driver's seat, passenger seat or passenger compartment. 
  • Evidence that the vehicle was operable.

Proof the vehicle can operate without a traditional key is more common these days with fobs that don't require a traditional “turn-key” in order to start the engine. Having ready and apparent ability to move the car is the important factor for "actual" possession to be proven. There have been cases where the arrestee is in the back seat of the car, but had the keys in his pocket, and was convicted of DUI. In order for evidence that the car was "operable," the vehicle has to be capable of self-propelled mobility. Running out of gas isn't a defense, however, not having any tires or serious mechanical defect could be a defense to the charge. 

So, if you're sitting in a parked car sleeping it off, with the engine turned off and the gear shift in park, you can still be arrested for DUI. There are cases where even having the keys outside the car won't prevent an arrest for DUI under an Actual Physical Control theory. Even putting the keys on the roof of the car and sleeping it off in the passenger's seat may not prevent an arrest for DUI.

Any Pensacola DUI attorney, has seen zealous prosecutors try to use weak facts in a DUI prosecution. Some prosecutors lose sight of the fact that many cases like these simply involve people trying to be responsible and NOT drive while impaired.

Breath, Blood and Urine Tests

If you blow over the .08 limit, or have a blood test result over .08, don't automatically assume that you cannot fight your DUI case. Breath and blood tests frequently have incorrect or inaccurate results. Breath and blood testing equipment may not be calibrated properly, the operator may have had inadequate training or the blood samples may have been illegally or improperly collected.

Call our office if you have been charged with misdemeanor or felony DUI in Pensacola or Milton at 850.983.0725.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Breath Tests

Breath testing instruments are sensitive and are required to be properly calibrated before and after each use. In addition, police must use a very specific procedure in order for the results to be accurate and admissible in court. In the State of Florida, and in Pensacola or Milton, the most common type of testing for BAC level is with the Intoxilyzer 8000.
Although this evidence is the most compelling evidence against you, it may be false. Any breath testing unit can fail, as can any device. Roadside testing units are prone to failure as the reading can be affected by temperature and radio waves. Other problems in breath testing at roadside can be the result of the following:

  • smoking cigarettes, which may raise the level of acetaldehyde in the lungs, which the testing unit may recognize as alcohol
  • diabetics with low blood sugar can have false readings from acetone
  • recent burping
  • low-calorie diet
  • have not eaten for a long period of time.

It is important that the details of what happened to you are evaluated by a legal professional familiar with how breath testing can go wrong, and result in DUI charges.

Blood Tests

Blood test samples could be contaminated during processing in the lab or even at the point of collection. Blood alcohol content may still rise after a police stop, and your BAC during the time of driving may be lower than when the sample was collected. There is a specific procedure that must be followed when testing blood. First, the arm cannot be swabbed with isopropyl alcohol, as this can impact the BAC level.

Secondly, blood samples can ferment if not properly stored, or be mixed with other samples if the procedures are not carefully followed. When the blood test is done, the entire sample must be tested, as opposed to just the plasma, which is often the procedure. Even a perfect test could give a false reading, as with all testing, there could be an incorrect BAC level. Talk to our firm about what happened with your test.

Urine Tests

The urine test is less accurate than blood testing when screening for drugs, which is why the trend is now to allow use of the test if not confirmed by blood tests. When a person is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, prosecutors may use the urine test results to prove intoxication. These tests often cannot hold up under scrutiny, as many substances can cause a false reading.

The problem with this approach is that urine tests are unreliable in that they cannot determine when a drug was used. Urine analysis only detects metabolites (traces of previously ingested drugs) rather than the actual drug itself. So, depending on the drug, and the levels present, it is difficult to determine whether the drug was present in person's system at the time of driving. Talk to our firm if you have been arrested and charged based upon a urine test.

Contact a Pensacola or Milton DUI lawyer today to learn more about how we can defend your DUI charges. 

Drug DUI in Pensacola or Milton

A DUI offense is not limited to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. Use of any controlled substance, including illegal or prescription drugs that impair the ability to safely operate a vehicle is grounds for a DUI arrest. If you are facing a drug DUI charge, your situation is not hopeless. With a Milton or Pensacola DUI lawyer from our firm on your side, you have a chance of fighting your charges or negotiating for the lowest possible sentence.

Understanding Prescription Drug DUI

Most people know they can be arrested for alcohol or illegal drug-related intoxication while driving, but many are surprised to learn that they can also be arrested for a prescription drug DUI. 

Many types of substances may be involved in a DUI case, including:

  • Prescription pain killers
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Prescription anti-addiction drugs
  • Heroin
  • Prescription anti-anxiety medications

Even though use of a medication prescribed to you is not illegal, you could be arrested for driving under the influence of that medication if it is alleged that the drug affected your ability to safely operate your vehicle. If your prescription's label has warnings such as "may cause drowsiness or dizziness," or "do not operate a motor vehicle or heavy machinery while taking this medication," you could be charged if pulled over by police.

Let Us Review Your Case Today

It is important to understand that DUI involving drugs is more difficult to actually prove in court. So even if you were arrested, there is a good chance that with the right defense, you could avoid conviction. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admits that there are challenges in creating a limit for the amount of drugs in a driver's drug system that indicate impairment in operating a vehicle.

Talk to a lawyer right away if you are charged with this offense. A lawyer will be aware of the scientific evidence and DUI defenses that can be effective in court. 

Florida DUI Penalties

Avoid Harsh Penalties with Help from our firm!

You need to know about the potential penalties that you could be facing. Florida has some of the most severe DUI consequences in the nation, ranging from fines to prison sentences.
Due to higher frequency of DUI-related offenses in the state, recent Florida legislation has passed to include even more severe penalties in an effort to stop drunk driving. Although the motive is honorable, harsher sentences can be devastating for an innocent individual wrongfully charged with serious DUI-related offenses.

Consequences of a DUI offense can include the following:

  • Only 10 days to request a DHSMV hearing to prevent the suspension of your driver's license
  • Permanent criminal record
  • Costly fines, lengthy probation, substance abuse classes, treatment programs, and driver's license revocation
  • First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail (For a second refusal of chemical test)

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida, it is essential to your freedom to speak with a Milton and Pensacola DUI attorney immediately after your arrest. Only a legal representative can help you fight criminal allegations and work hard to get charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced.

Florida's Harsh Penalties for Drunk Driving Convictions

Whether you have been charged with your first offense or multiple offenses, you can trust that my firm can represent you. Read more about DUI offenses and their associated penalties to better understand what consequences you may be facing in Florida.

First DUI Offense
  • Punishable by up to 6 months jail
  • Fines not exceeding $2,000
  • License suspension between 180 days to 1 year
  • Eligible for hardship license
  • Ignition interlock device installation for up to 6 months
  • Up to 50 hours of community service
  • Treatment program or diversion program
  • Vehicle impound for up to 10 days

Second DUI Offense
  • Punishable by up to 9 months in jail, or mandatory 10 days if within 5 years of previous DUI
  • Fines not exceeding $4,000
  • License suspension for up to 5 years, if within 5 years of prior DUI
  • Eligible for hardship license upon completion of DUI school
  • Ignition interlock device installation for up to 2 years
  • Vehicle impound for up to 30 days

Third DUI Offense
  • Third-degree felony charge if arrested within 10 years of prior DUI
  • Punishable by up to 12 months in jail, or mandatory 30 days if within 5 years of previous DUI
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • License suspension for 10 years
  • Eligible for hardship license after 2 years and upon completion of DUI school
  • Ignition interlock device installation for up to 2 years
  • Vehicle impound for 90 days

Fourth DUI Offense & Subsequent Offenses
  • Punishable by up to 5 years in jail
  • Minimum of $2,000 in fines
  • License suspension for life

Charged With Hit and Run?

A hit and run, (also called leaving the scene of an accident) is a serious criminal offense that may result in a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the specifics of the case. If you are facing a hit and run charge in Pensacola or Milton, you will need experienced legal counsel to take action immediately.

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

In Florida, if you are accused of failing to stop and render aid after a traffic collision can result in an arrest for leaving the scene of an accident. These duties include immediately stopping the vehicle at the scene, providing the other driver with your name, contact information, registration number, and insurance information, and calling emergency services in case in which any party was injured.

A driver arrested and charged with a hit and run offense will be facing severe penalties if convicted. These include:

  • Up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if property was damaged.
  • Up to 5 years in prison or 5 years' probation and a $5,000 fine if a person was injured.
  • Up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if another person perished in the accident.

In all cases involving injury or death, offenders are subject to driver's license suspension or revocation. If the defendant is also convicted of DUI with injury, he or she will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence. 

You need an attorney that understands DUI’s. Whether its challenging reasonable suspicion for a stop, probable cause for arrest or the admissibility of breath, blood, and urine results, you need an attorney that is ready to work for you. Most DUI defendants are completely unfamiliar with the criminal process and its complexities. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with Pensacola and Milton DUI attorney James F. Turner, Jr. at 850.983.0725.

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