Although most of us would like to consider ourselves to be good, law-abiding citizens, there are occasionally times when even the best of us find ourselves in trouble. Maybe we were at a wedding, a graduation or other family event and drank a bit more champagne than we meant to, or stopped off with friends for a few beers after a hard day’s work. Now there we sit, dejected, humiliated and worried in a jail cell, wondering how long we have to sit there and how much trouble we really are in.
The first step out of this mess is to get hold of a Pinellas attorney so that you can get him or her started on your criminal defense. And, of course you will want to know how long can you be legally held in a jail cell for the crime (or crimes) you are being accused of. The first question to answer is simple – what exactly are you being accused of?
If you are being held on a simple charge of DUI (driving under the influence), you can only be legally held until you are:
a) no longer under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical substances,
b) blood/breath alcohol reading is .05 or lower and
c) eight hours have passed since the time of your arrest.
Once these conditions have all been met, you must be released or charged with a more serious crime if appropriate.
Before they can charge you with any further or secondary crimes, the Pinellas criminal defense attorneywho you have by now hired will stop questioning and argue for your release. You may have to go before a judge to get a bail amount set, but that is not always the case. If there are no further crimes to charge you with either now or in the future, you will be given a hearing date and released.
If you are held beyond the eight hours and the claim is that you were still “obviously impaired” the Pinellas attorney should be able to argue that the jailers were criminally negligent in not providing medial attention because it would be reasonable to assume that the time was sufficient to sober up. The time of your arrest and the time of your release will be checked to be sure that your rights are not violated while you were not in full control of your senses.
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