PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL REPORT PREPARED FOR
Personalized DUI Case Report for
Prepared by the Wilcox Law Firm – (855) THE-DUI-GUY
, don’t sabotage your chances of avoiding a DUI conviction!
The first 10 days after your DUI arrest are the most critical. The decisions you make in these first few days will determine whether you are able to continue driving to work or not, and can also improve (or sabotage) your chances of avoiding a DUI conviction.
In this customized report, you’re going to walk step-by-step through the first few important decisions that you will need to make, so that you can make intelligent decisions about how to handle your case and know what to expect in the days and months ahead.
Confirm the Status of Your License
To check the current status of your license, go to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s website:
Your license will probably still be listed as “Valid,” even though the police officer took your license. That’s because your DUI citation serves as a valid driver’s license for the first 10 days after your arrest. However, if your license isn’t listed as “Valid,” you may have some additional steps to take within the 10-day window if you’d like to reinstate your license so you can get a temporary work permit and keep driving to work or school.
See if You Can Keep Driving
If you want to keep driving, you only have 10 days from the night of your arrest to request a temporary driving permit. If you don’t take any action by the 10th day, the DMV will suspend your license, even if you have a lawful defense!
To learn what driving privileges you’re entitled to and what type of suspension you may be facing, go to:
Decide how to handle your license suspension
Depending on what you learned in step #2, you may need to make a decision about whether or not you should waive your right to a formal review hearing. If you waive your right to a formal review hearing, you may be eligible to get a work permit for the entire length of your suspension, but by giving up your right to fight the suspension, that means you’ll definitely have a DUI-related license suspension on your record, which may have severe negative implications down the road, especially if you apply for any jobs where your employers may need to have you drive a rental car or want to have you covered by their insurance policy.
IMPORTANT: This is a serious decision, and you should speak with an experienced Tampa DUI defense attorney before you make any final decisions about whether or not to waive your rights. Every situation is different, so it may not be possible, or even in your best interest, to waive the hearing and request a full-term driving permit. Depending on the facts of your case, you may have strong defenses that can persuade the DHSMV hearing officer to invalidate your license suspension, or you may have a case strategy that makes it absolutely necessary to lock the officers into sworn testimony as soon as possible. These decisions often hinge on very technical issues, so make sure you consult with a qualified DUI attorney before deciding whether or not to waive the hearing.
Go to the Bureau of Administrative Review
Once you’ve spoken with an experienced DUI attorney and made the decision about how to handle your license suspension, your next step is to go to the Bureau of Administrative Review and either request a Formal Review Hearing or waive your right to the review and request your permit.
Regardless of whether you’re requesting the Formal Review Hearing or waiving your right and requesting the full-term permit, you will be going to the same place: 2814 East Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33610. This is the only DMV office in Hillsborough County where you can request your permit, so don’t go to any other DMV office, you’ll just waste your time.
Procedure for Requesting a Formal Review Hearing
To request the formal review hearing, you will need to complete the Formal Review Hearing request form, then bring your DUI citation and $25.00 to the Bureau of Administrative Review.
If you plan to hire the Wilcox Law Firm to represent you, these forms have been pre-filled with our contact information, so you can complete the forms before you get to the DMV and save yourself some time. If you are hiring another firm, please make sure you insert their contact information instead (otherwise you may miss a deadline if the DMV sends your paperwork to our office by mistake.)
Procedure for Waiving a Formal Review Hearing
If you qualify and have decided to waive your right to the Formal Review Hearing, you will need to complete the form below and bring $225.00 plus proof that you’ve enrolled in DUI School.
1. For Hillsborough County residents, visit www.DriveSafeTampa.org, or sign up directly online at https://duic.duiadmin.com/EntryDUIC.aspx
2. For out-of-county residents, visit http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/dui_county.html to find the DUI school in your county
3. Select the appropriate level. If you've never been arrested before, select Level I. If you've previously been arrested for DUI School, you'll probably need to complete Level II. If you have a prior DUI arrest, you won't be eligible to use the waiver option.
Preserve Your Evidence
DUI cases are won with details. If you were safe to drive, the prosecutor and the judge aren’t just going to take your word for it, you’ll need to prove it. And the best way to do that is to collect all of the evidence in your case that may help show your level of sobriety. Here is a quick checklist of potential evidence that be available from that evening. Check all of the items that may exist in your case, so that we can take steps to preserve it (before it disappears!)
- Receipts from any bars that you visited
- Receipts from any restaurants that you visited
- Photos of yourself
- Videos of yourself
- Status updates or social media check-in statuses
- Voicemail messages that you left for others
- Text messages that you sent
- Video surveillance from bars or restaurants
- Video surveillance from red-light cameras
- Video surveillance from police cars (Stop officer)
- Video surveillance from police cars (Arresting officer)
- Video surveillance from police cars (Backup officers)
- Video surveillance from police cars (Stop officer)
- Tow truck receipts
- Weather condition reports (if weather affected driving or field sobriety tests)
- Photos of your vehicle
- Photos of your tires
- Photos of the area where you performed field sobriety exercises
- Videos of the area where you performed field sobriety exercies
- Photos of the area where you were driving
- Videos of the area where you were driving
- Photos of accident scene
- Photos of other cars involved in accident
- Photos of any injuries you received
- Photos of any injuries or physical issues that may have affected your ability to perform field sobriety tests
- Medical documentation for any physical issues affecting your ability to perform field sobriety tests
- Medical documentation for any prescription medications
- Documentation of any breathing issues that may have affected your breath test
- Documentation of any colds, flu, or high body temperatures
- Testimony of friends, family, or colleagues who can confirm that your “normal faculties” weren’t impaired by alcohol
- Testimony of bartenders or servers who will testify that you were safe to drive
- Testimony of friends, family, or colleagues who observed your drinking pattern
Determine if You Need to Set a Court Date
When you were released from the jail, they probably told you that you needed to set your court date within 10 days, or else you would be arrested. But that’s not 100% true. It’s not your responsibility to remind the State Attorneys Office or law enforcement to prosecute you. If your case slips through the cracks and they forget to prosecute you, that’s not your fault, and you get a “freebie.” But that probably won’t happen. In fact, your court date is probably already set. You can look online right now and see when your case is scheduled.
How to Find Your Court Date
2. Click the link for "I AGREE" and then click the link marked "Criminal and Traffic (Citations) Court Progress Dockets"
3. Type your name or citation number into the appropriate box (If no results are found, that means they haven't set your court date yet and you should check back in a few days)
4. Click the link for the case number that matches your citation
5. Look for the date listed as "Arraignment" or for any upcoming court dates
So if they already set your court date, why are they telling you to take half a day off of work to travel downtown and go to the courthouse?
The real reason why they want you to go to the Clerk’s office within 10 days is so that they can make sure that you know about your upcoming arraignment date, because if you don’t show up for that court hearing, they will revoke your bond and issue a warrant for your arrest.
Want to skip this requirement? Once you hire a lawyer to represent you, you won’t need to go to the courthouse to set a court date. I’ll file paperwork on your behalf so that you won’t need to take any time off from work to waste time going to the Clerk’s office and setting your court date.
Put the Court Date in Your Calendar
Want a quick and easy way to go back to jail?
It’s easy… Just miss your court date!
If you don’t show up for court, the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. Once you’re picked up on the warrant, you will spend at least one night in jail, and possibly more, depending on how high the judge sets your bond. That’s why it’s critical that you schedule the court date in your phone or in your calendar so that you don’t miss the date.
Want to skip this requirement? Once you hire a lawyer to represent you, you’ll be able to skip this first court date. I’ll file a “Waiver of Appearance” on your behalf so that you don’t need to go to court for most of the mundane matters.
Write Down Everything You Remember
DUI cases are won or lost with details. No matter how unforgettable you think this evening was, your memory will fade over time, because DUI cases can take months, sometimes even years, before they’re finished. To help, write down everything that you remember about the 24 hours leading up to your DUI arrest, no matter how insignificant you think it may be. The more details that you can remember about what happened before, during, and after your arrest, the better prepared I can be and the better I’ll be able to help you. When we speak at our initial meeting, I’ll want to know as many details as possible, so here are some topics to cover when writing your summary:
- Sleep. How much sleep did you get the night before you were arrested? What time did you go to bed? What time did you wake up? Did you get a good night’s sleep, or were you restless?
- Food. What did you eat, and when? Did you have a full belly or an empty belly when you started drinking alcohol? How much time passed between your last meal and the time you were stopped by the police? Did you eat anything between the time they stopped you and the time they asked you to take a breath test?
- Drinks. What did you drink, and when? What type of alcohol did you consume? Did you alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages? If you weren’t drinking from a pre-measured container, like a beer bottle, how much alcohol was in each drink? Who poured them? How much time elapsed between the time you stopped drinking and the time you were stopped by the police? Did you drink anything between the time they stopped you and the time they asked you to take a breath test?
- Weather. What was the weather like? Was it rainy? Windy? Cold enough that you were shivering? Hot enough that you were sweating? Did the weather affect your performance on the field sobriety exercises?
- Clothing. Were you wearing any clothing that may have interfered with your performance on the field sobriety exercises? Were you wearing high heels? Sandals or flip-flops? Heavy boots or cowboy boots? Were you wearing any jewelry that may have affected your balance?
- Roadside interaction with the police officer. What did the police officer say to you? What field sobriety exercises did he ask you to perform? How did you do? If you decided not to perform the sobriety exercises, what did the police officer say you? Did you feel forced to perform the exercises? What did they say would happen if you didn’t perform the exercises? Did you say anything that the prosecutors will want to use against you at trial? Did the officer tell you that you had the right to remain silent? When?
- Other witnesses. Did the officer have a recruit or a friend riding along with him? How many police officers were at the scene? How many police cars were there? Did they have their emergency lights activated while you performed the field sobriety exercises? Did you have anyone else with you in the car? Did anyone stop to watch you perform the exercises?
- Breath test. Was there a conversation about the breath test machine? Who watched you for the 20 minutes before the breath test? Did they watch you the entire time, or did they walk in and out of the room? Were they doing paperwork while they were watching you?
- Foreign objects in the mouth. Did you have anything embedded in your mouth when they asked you to take the breath test, like a tongue ring, dentures, Invisalign, braces, gold teeth, or any other type of orthodontic equipment? Did you put anything in your mouth during the breath test or immediately beforehand, including gum, tobacco, liquids, pennies (don’t laugh, some people have tried it), fingers, hair, food, or anything else?
- Medications. Did you take any medications in the 24-48 hours before you were arrested? Do you have prescriptions? Do you have the original bottles? Do these medications affect your speech, your coordination, or your ability to mood?
- Medical conditions. Do you have any medical conditions that may have affected your ability perform the field sobriety exercises? Any sports injuries? Have you ever had back or knee surgery? Have you ever been diagnosed with ADHD or PTSD? Do you have diabetes? Any lung conditions, such as asthma?
This list represents just a small sampling of what we may discuss at our initial meeting, but it should help serve as a good starting point to organize your thoughts and help me identify any potential defenses in your case.
Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney
DUI cases aren’t like most other criminal cases. For instance, did you know…
- There are more issues in the average DUI case than there are in the average murder case!
- The mandatory punishments for a DUI conviction are more severe than the mandatory punishments for most felonies!
- That many of the issues that may help you avoid a DUI conviction are hyper-technical, and easily overlooked by lawyers who only “dabble” in DUI defense!
- If your attorney doesn’t know the technical defenses available in your case, you may end up pleading guilty to a DUI that you don’t deserve!
- If you’re convicted of a DUI, the “hidden cost of a DUI conviction” (3 years of mandatory FR-44 insurance requirements) will cost you anywhere between $9,000 to $18,000!
- If your DUI attorney can get your case dismissed or dropped to a non-DUI offense, you will save approximately $16,297.00!
That’s why it’s critical to choose the right DUI lawyer for your case.
But how do you choose the right one? Just like selecting the right doctor for a serious medical procedure, you don’t want to hire just anyone to handle your case. To choose the right lawyer, you need to begin by asking the right questions:
- “Are you a member of the National College for DUI Defense?”
- “What DUI-specific programs have you attended this year?”
- “What type of investment do you make in your DUI education every year?”
- “How many cases have you taken to jury trial?”
- “What percentage of your practice is dedicated to DUI defense?”
- “Were you ever a DUI prosecutor?”
- “Who will really be handling my case, and what are their qualifications?”
- “Have you received the A/V (Preeminent) rating by the Martindale-Hubbell peer-review rating system?”
- “Have you received a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO?”
- “What challenges do you see in my case?”
- “Have you taught other trial lawyers how to try cases?”
- “Have you taught law school?”
- “Have you written any books?”
- “Have you been published in any magazines?”
Invest the money and hire a professional. One of the best investments you can make is to have a dedicated DUI professional review your case for each and every possible defense.
If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.
Red Adair Famous Oil Well Firefighter
This is your life and your future we’re talking about.
You never get a second chance with your DUI.
If you hire an attorney who screws up the DMV hearing, you won’t get a second chance to get your license back. You won’t be able to drive.
If you hire an attorney who misses a critical issue in the motion to suppress hearing (or worse yet, doesn’t even file a motion to suppress), you won’t get a second chance to have the judge suppress the State’s evidence. That evidence will be admitted against you, and your case won’t go away.
And if you hire an attorney who doesn’t raise every possible defense at trial, you won’t get a second chance to fight the case. You’ll be convicted of DUI, and you’ll pay the price for your lawyer’s mistake.
A DUI conviction is forever. Make sure you choose the right lawyer.
At the Wilcox Law Firm, you’ll be represented by a lawyer who limits his courtroom practice to exclusively handling DUI cases. You’ve probably heard about the value of hiring a “former prosecutor.” Elliott isn’t just a former prosecutor, he’s the prosecutor who trained the DUI prosecutors. For over a decade, Elliott trained prosecutors and police officers from around the state how to investigate and litigate DUI cases.
Now he brings everything that he learned on their side to your side.
Elliott has successfully defended clients accused of DUI, getting cases dropped or reduced to non-DUI sanctions even when clients had breath alcohol levels 3x the legal limit, were involved in accidents, or tested positive for drugs.
With nearly two decades of experience, Elliott Wilcox has invested more than 10,000 hours in the courtroom and served as the lead trial lawyer on cases ranging from misdemeanors to murder cases. To speak with Elliott about handling your case, please call (813) 699-5517 or complete the contact form below.
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Complete the information below and I will prepare all of the correct forms that you need so you can continue driving. (There is no obligation for this service – I just want to help you continue driving so you can keep your job.)
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL REPORT PREPARED FOR