West Palm Beach is a thriving city with newly constructed high-rise condominiums seemingly arising everywhere downtown. The Brightline train also continues to add to the population growth and tourism of the city center. There is an abundance of activities to do in the area, like concerts at the Kravitz Center, events at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, exhibits at the Norton Art Museum, shopping at City Place, and eating at restaurants on Clematis Street. There is never a shortage of things to do or places to go.
With so many places to go at night, the police are usually out in full force looking for DUIs in the city. While it is a good thing police are patrolling the area and looking to protect the public, too often good people with no prior interaction with the police are arrested for a DUI. Call a West Palm Beach DUI lawyer for help with your criminal case.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR A DUI IN WEST PALM BEACH?
First, do not panic. Take a deep breath and start looking for a DUI attorney in West Palm Beach. The worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand and not think about your case. As tempting as it may be to ignore the situation, it will not serve you well in the long run. Educate yourself on the DUI process and law. Ignoring the case will not make it go away, and inaction on your case may make the situation worse. If you are arrested for a DUI, it will be handled similarly to other DUI cases in Palm Beach County, depending on if this is your first, second, third, or fourth DUI or more.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DUI ARREST IN WEST PALM BEACH AND A DUI ARREST ELSEWHERE?
A DUI arrest in West Palm Beach generally means the arrest was made by the West Palm Beach Police Department. Though there are some exceptions, such as an arrest by the Florida Highway Patrol or the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the majority will be made by the West Palm Beach Police Department.
If you are arrested by the West Palm Beach Police Department, you are transported to the West Palm Beach Police Department to provide a breath sample as opposed to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The West Palm Beach Police Department has its own breathalyzer machine. For practical purposes, this means your West Palm Beach DUI lawyer will have to check the West Palm Beach Police Department’s maintenance records.
The breathalyzer is an Intoxilyzer 8000. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement supervises the breath testing program in the entire state of Florida. Florida law requires that every police department that has an Intoxilyzer 8000 must undergo monthly calibration and testing. Additionally, Florida law requires that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conduct an annual inspection of every Intoxilyzer 8000. As you can imagine, there are numerous police agencies throughout the state of Florida that have these machines. When the machines are not properly maintained and calibrated, the breath test results may be inadmissible. An experienced DUI attorney in West Palm Beach will know exactly what to look for to see if your breath test results can be thrown out.
THERE ARE SO MANY DUI LAWYERS. HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ONE TO HIRE?
There are a lot of West Palm Beach lawyers. Start doing your own research on lawyers. Read their bios to see their experience, read their reviews, and speak to them about your case. An attorney’s advice is only as good as the information about the case that they are given. That is why at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we speak to new client’s about their case, review the police reports with them, and ask them pinpointed questions about their case. Only then will we be in the best possible position to help the client.
Another good rule of thumb is to sit down and meet with your prospective DUI lawyer in West Palm Beach. How well a lawyer presents himself and articulates his thoughts and strategy is important. This will be the same attorney that is fighting for you. If you do not believe the lawyer can clearly articulate himself, you probably do not want this same lawyer arguing your case to a prosecutor, judge, or jury.
Ask how the lawyer communicates with their existing clients. Aside from finances, the number one complaint that clients have with their lawyers is the lack of communication. It is true that the best DUI lawyers are extremely busy because their services are in high demand. However, even the best DUI lawyers have limits as to the number of cases that they can effectively handle. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, each attorney will not take more cases than they can handle. Our firm is set up by design to keep manageable caseloads. We are not a volume firm. We do this intentionally to have the best communication with clients and to obtain the best results possible in each and every case. When you hire an attorney at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, your case will not be passed on to another attorney to handle.
At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we have case management software that provides each client with a client portal. This way, our clients can easily and effectively communicate with their attorneys and vice versa. The last thing you need is to be another number at a firm. When your future is in the balance, you need to be the priority.
WHERE WILL MY FIRST COURT DATE BE FOR A WEST PALM BEACH DUI?
Your first court date after being released from jail will be located at the Gun Club Courthouse in West Palm Beach on Gun Club Road. The Gun Club Courthouse is at the same location as the Palm Beach County jail. This first court date is called an arraignment, which is a formality. In open court, you have the ability to hear the charges read against you, and you have the ability to enter a plea of not guilty in open court. Nothing substantive in your case will happen at arraignment. A DUI lawyer has the ability to waive your arraignment and enter a written plea of not guilty. However, if this is your first DUI, you may be eligible for diversion. An experienced West Palm Beach DUI lawyer can discuss with you any strategy to keep or waive an arraignment.
Many good people find themselves in an unfortunate situation when they are arrested for a DUI. Do not let your unfortunate situation devastate your entire life. We can help. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we pride ourselves in helping you in your time of need. Call us for a free consultation and case evaluation.