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The Florida Bar

Right to Counsel in Criminal Investigations

The criminal justice system can be scary for anyone, but this is often particularly true for DUI defendants. Many, although certainly not all, DUI suspects do not have a prior criminal record. The sage advice of an experienced Broward DUI attorney can help a motorist accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, cocaine, or other substances achieve the best possible resolution to his or her case.

In the United States, many people take it for granted that if they are accused of committing a crime, they will not have to face a criminal court alone or unaided by legal counsel. The Constitution recognizes a right to have counsel when criminal proceedings have begun against a person. Additionally, the famous Miranda warning advises suspects that they have the right to speak with an attorney if they so choose prior to being interrogated by police. Criminal suspects also have the right to remain silent and not to provide any information. In any case, information derived from interrogations which occurred prior to the reading of the Miranda warning is often not admissible in a courtroom. The Constitution also provides that defendants have the right to a fair, speedy, and in the vast majority of cases public trial.

Defendants who are charged with felonies and misdemeanors in Florida have the right to counsel. Indigent individuals will be assigned a public defender, although defendants only qualify for those services if they make less than twice the amount of the federal poverty guidelines listed for their family size. For reference, a single person is impoverished if he makes less than $10,830 in income each year, and eligible for public defense services if he makes less than $21,660.

All other defendants should bring a private Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer and many indigent clients still elect to hire a private attorney. The right to counsel attaches in all cases in which time in jail or prison is a possibility. In some very minor misdemeanor cases, the prosecutor can certify that she will not seek any time in jail, an unusual step. In most instances, being represented by an attorney allows a professional who is familiar with court procedure to advance sophisticated legal arguments on your behalf in a way a layperson is unable to do.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore provides outstanding DUI defense in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Lauderdale-Dade Counties. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore, P.A.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.

Article contributed by Mallory Shipman, Esq.

Client Reviews
William Moore saves the day once again... I can’t thank him enough for helping me get my life back on track...You’ll be glad he’s on your defense team, I guarantee it. Eric Bailey
William is an amazing lawyer on the first day he took my case from a felony to a misdemeanor. He always answered my calls and text messages, never a problem. He was always the one in court not sending someone else, unlike my last lawyer. 10/10 would recommend. If I ever have any other problems, he will be the first person I call. Shane B.