DUI Charge in Florida
Although something a responsible driver should never have to face, too many Americans find themselves behind the wheel while intoxicated, putting their own lives and the lives of pedestrians and motorists at risk.
Drunk driving is a serious offense and one which can come with serious repercussions, including suspension of your driver’s license, fines, and even potential jail time.
If you’re facing a DUI charge, there are a few things you should need to know. As with any charges you may be faced with, it is always a good idea to seek counsel from a qualified lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system and ensure you are treated fairly and justly by the system.
What is a DUI charge?
DUI is an acronym for Driving Under the Influence.
Police can issue a DUI charge when they have evidence that a motorist was operating their vehicle while impaired by the effects of drugs or alcohol.
Although you can be charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of any substance which impairs your ability to operate a vehicle, by far the most common form of DUI is drunk driving.
Police have the authority to pull over any vehicle which appears to be behaving erratically on the roadway, which is the most common way in which impaired drivers are identified and DUI charges are issued.
Not all DUI charges are the same. DUI charges can vary in severity based on the particular details of the incident, or additional charges such as reckless driving can also be applied.
While a first time DUI is often a misdemeanor charge, it can still result in heavy fines, community service, license suspension, and even jail time in certain circumstances.
Repeat offender DUI charges can be much more severe. These can even result in felony charges and harsh jail sentences.
What happens when you get a DUI in Florida
After you are charged with a DUI, you will be issued a court summons.
In court, your case will be assessed by a judge.
If it can be proven that you were driving under the influence, you may have your license suspended. You will likely be issued a fine. Depending on the severity of the incident, you may also be sentenced to jail time.
The DUI incident will be recorded on your permanent record. Any subsequent DUI charges will come with much more severe punishments, potentially including felony charges, jail time, and the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Your vehicle may be impounded as a punishment. If you are a repeat offender, the judge may require your vehicle to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed, forcing you to blow into a breathalyzer before starting your vehicle.
How to avoid a DUI conviction
The best way to avoid a conviction for a DUI is to never drive under the influence.
However, if you have already been charged, it is still possible to avoid a conviction. But only with excellent legal help.
There are certain circumstances in which police evidence may not be admissible in a court of law. If the police are unable to conclusively prove that you were intoxicated, the case may be dropped, avoiding a conviction.
However, these circumstances are rare. To avoid a conviction, you will need to act quickly and decisively to mount your legal defense after being charged with a DUI.
For the best chance of beating DUI charges, schedule a free consultation with a DUI lawyer immediately after the incident. Tell them every detail of the case and allow them sufficient time to investigate the matter and create your defense.
How long does a DUI stay on your record?
In the state of Florida, a DUI conviction will remain on your record for 75 years. This makes them effectively permanent.
Contact a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer Today
Yes. Even if you believe that you are going to be convicted for the DUI, a quality attorney will still be able to negotiate for reduced sentencing and potentially get related charges dropped or reduced.
Having a lawyer on your side is essential when facing a charge as serious as a DUI. In some cases, a DUI case can be dropped or dismissed entirely, but only if there is a strong enough legal defense to stand up to the prosecution and their evidence.
Without a defense attorney, you are virtually guaranteed to be convicted on DUI charges. But with a quality defense attorney on your side, the playing field is much more even. When you’re facing charges as serious as DUI, I’m the defense lawyer you need on your side. 15+ years of experience representing DUI defendants and a proven case record of success.
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Florida DUI FAQ
How bad is a DUI?
Any DUI charge can come with serious consequences. The severity of punishment can vary based on the factors of the individual case, such as blood alcohol level, damages caused, or if anyone’s life or wellbeing was threatened in the incident. While first time DUI charges are still serious, they are misdemeanor charges and often result in temporary license suspension, fines, and community service. Repeat offenses are much more serious and more likely to result in lengthier suspensions or potential revocation, higher fines, and even carry the possibility of jail time or felony charges.
Should I refuse a breathalyzer test?
In the vast majority of situations, there is little to gain by refusing to take a breathalyzer test.
Is it possible to get DUI charges dismissed?
Yes. A qualified defense attorney may be able to get DUI charges dismissed in certain circumstances.
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