A Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach was arrested for DUI while in Jacksonville this month on a recruiting trip. Postorino was arrested about 3:20 a.m. Dec. 9 and released from jail that afternoon, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He is facing a Duval County misdemeanor DUI charge, which has a maximum penalty of six months in jail, though it is extremely rare for a person to be sentenced to jail on a first DUI charge.
A more common sentence for first-time DUI defendants is probation, a driver’s license suspension and a fine. But that’s assuming Postorino is either found guilty of or ends up pleading to the DUI. There’s a strict set of rules officers must follow when making DUI arrests. Our Jacksonville DUI attorney at The Mussallem Law Firm, P.A., has represented hundreds of clients charged with DUI in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties and investigates fully to make sure each step was followed. In some cases, the DUI is reduced to reckless driving – which not only has less serious penalties, but also keeps a DUI off a person’s record.
Many times, a DUI defense hinges on how the arrest was made and how the tests are conducted. A DUI always starts with a traffic stop and the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you’re committing a crime or traffic infraction before he or she even approaches your vehicle. Postorino also has a ticket for crossing the median, so that’s likely what police will say led the officer to pull him over. After the officer makes contact with you, he or she must see or detect more suspicious activity before asking you to perform field sobriety exercises. The typical reasons our Jacksonville DUI Attorney has seen in police reports through the years are: red or watery eyes, a subject smelling like alcohol, slurred speech or the person swaying when he or she stood or walked.
If an officer’s judgment is you’ve shown at least one of those signs, he or she will likely then ask you to perform field sobriety exercises. The exercises are designed to determine if you are too impaired to be driving. The tests include the officer asking you to: walk in a straight line and turn around; stand on one leg; stand with your legs together to test your balance; move your arms to touch your finger to your nose and recite the alphabet or a series of numbers in order (Rhomberg Alphabet). Each individual test has various indicators of impairment and, if you reach a certain threshold, you do not pass and will be arrested for DUI in Jacksonville.
From there, you’ll be taken to the police station and will be asked to blow into a Breathalyzer machine. If you have agreed to take the test, our Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence attorney will launch a step-by-step review of the process. If that test is not administered properly and in adherence with state law, it cannot be used as evidence against you. The same holds true for the traffic stop. If any element is not followed according to the law, the traffic stop can be thrown out – essentially leaving the state without its most important evidence.
Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney closely examines cases from start to finish to determine if there is a legal reason to have the traffic stop suppressed by the judge, or if any other steps were not done according to the letter of the law.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Duval County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Jacksonville DUI attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.