Mayor’s Spokesman Faces DUI Charges in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville mayor’s spokesman and a former Florida Times-Union columnist was recently arrested after attending a University of Florida football game, the newspaper reports.

This is just another example of how common this charge is. In fact, it’s the most commonly charged crime in the United States because it happens without sophistication or planning. In many examples, a person is barely over the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08 and yet an arrest changes their life.
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DUI in Jacksonville carries not only extreme penalties for a person not intentionally committing a crime, but also carries a stigma attached that is difficult to fight. A conviction, and even an arrest, can result in losing a job, ruining a career and causing problems with family members. These are serious consequences and therefore it is important to make sure you sit down with an experienced and aggressive Jacksonville DUI Attorney immediately. It is critical to do this quickly in order to review the facts of the case and prepare a strong defense.

This recent news story shows that anyone can face this type of charge. Even police officers, who are sworn to uphold the law and know the dangers of drinking and driving, have faced the charge recently. EMS personnel, who have seen the effects of DUI crashes, also have been known to get arrested. It shouldn’t be surprising when someone faces this charge because officers often focus on making DUI arrests. Yet that doesn’t mean the driver is guilty.

In this situation, the mayor’s spokesman was driving near U.S. 301 when he was arrested returning from Gainesville. He is charged with driving under the influence and was released from jail the following day. He has been placed on administrative leave, the newspaper reports.

He now has the challenge of not only repairing his reputation, but fighting criminal charges, that could cost him his job and thousands of dollars in fines. A conviction also carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail.

But while many people believe that a DUI arrest is the same as a conviction, that’s simply not the case. There are many aspects of a DUI arrest in Jacksonville that can be challenged and defended against. Most of what is scrutinized is the actions of the officer who made the arrest.

Whether the officer was properly trained to conduct field sobriety testing, whether those tests were properly given and scored and if outside conditions, such as the weather, loose gravel on the road or medical and physical issues may have impacted the outcome.

When an officer pulls over a driver and suspects they have been drinking, the driver almost has to convince them they aren’t driving under the influence instead of it being the other way around. That’s why an aggressive Jacksonville DUI attorney must be consulted in order to present all the facts in defense of the accused.

If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.

More Blog Entries:

JSO Officer Smells of Alcohol After Causing Accident, but No Arrest for DUI in Jacksonville: August 28, 2011
Former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer Charged With DUI: August 14, 2011
Additional Resources:

Mayor’s spokesman charged with DUI in Bradford County, by Steve Patterson, The Florida Times-Union