My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida
I've never been charged with a crime and arrested before this, and am especially afraid of going to jail. I'll explain my case and any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I can't afford an attorney. I'm assuming I'll at least be provided with a public defender on my court date? (Dec. 1st). I have two seperate charges, Failure to Maintain a Single Lane and DUI. My license was suspended on the spot.
On my way home around 9:30 pm I was pulled over for failing to maintain a single lane. I was in my dad's truck, my boyfriend takes my car to work. I was definitely intoxicated at the time but the swerving had more to do with changing channels on the satellite radio. I was very compliant with the police, answered their questions honestly and didn't refuse to take the sobriety test (which I failed). I had an open container in my car which I assume they found. I was arrested on the spot and driven to the county jail where they administered a breathalizer test. I asked what my BAC was, they said "Twice the legal limit" but didn't give the specific number. I honestly don't know anything about BAC numbers, anyhow.
Upon booking I asked for my phone call and was told to wait, I asked a couple more times and was still told to wait. I was put in a holding cell after booking. Then I was cuffed to another inmate and put in what I assume is the min. security dorm. and spent the rest of the night and next morning there.
I asked the officer who led me there if I could get my phone call and they said not until 7am (I was booked probably around 10:30pm). In the dorm the intercom was broken and all I could do was leave a note asking for my phone call, which I was told takes a long time to answer.
I was also lied to and told I was to report to "recieve my medication", instead I was led to a small room to meet with my pre-trial release officer. I was given no medication. The pre-trial officer was the only person I encountered in this process who treated me like a human being. I have to call in once a week and leave my name and the officer's on an answering machine.
I'm probably very naive when it comes to the criminal so-called 'justice' system but I was appaled at how nonchalant the corrections officer who led me to be released was about my concern over being denied my basic right to a phone call. She told me in so many words to shut up and calm down, even though I was hardly in hysterics just flabbergasted but polite. The inmate I was cuffed to told me that kind of thing is par for the course. I didn't get to use the phone until the early afternoon of the day after I was arrested on. After the cops left my dad's truck where I was pulled over, someone smashed the window, stole money from my purse and made off with the satellite radio unit.
I'm doubting that this and the phone call issue will be a mitigating factor in my favor for my DUI case but thought it worth mentioning. Not sure if I should bring either of these things up in court.
I am deathly afraid of having to spend any more time in jail. I would really like to know if jail time is a possibility even if this is my first criminal offense and there was no car accident or injuries sustained due to my DUI. I am currently unemployed and my family will pay my fines but I can't afford an attorney. I would like to know what to expect when I go to court in a few weeks. Will I have a public defender? Should I plead 'guilty' or 'no contest'? I am willing to pay fines, do community service, take classes or whatever else- just not go back to jail! I'm scared out of my wits here, any help would be appreciated. Sorry my post was so long but wanted to include all the details of my arrest.