Do You Need a DUI Attorney?
Learn How a Drunk Driving Lawyer Can Help You
Consuming alcohol impairs an individual’s reasoning, muscle coordination, and cognitive skills. All of which are critical to the safe operation of a motor vehicle. When individuals decide to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel, they may face the consequences of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. DUIs are serious offenses, not only in Florida but also nationwide. The additions hurdles you have to face after facing your first DUI charge are already treacherous to get back on track not to mention those who have multiple DUI offenses. Below our skilled legal attorneys with discuss why its important for your future.
A DUI conviction can ultimately affect your daily life, your career, your family, and your future. What’s more, the stigma that comes along with drunk driving is not the only problem for individuals with a DUI conviction will have to face. Drunk driving cases are often known to result in hefty fines, losing your driving privileges, or even jail time. That is why you need a DUI attorney representing you.
Florida Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits
Florida, like many other states, has a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who is driving under the influence. Under Florida law, an individual is under the influence if their impairment deprives them of the full extent of their mental faculties. Despite no record of prior DUIs, depending on the circumstances, you may be facing severe charges and penalties.
The following Florida laws explain what constitutes a DUI:
- If you are under 21, Florida has a Zero Tolerance policy for drinking and driving. If you are driving and under the age of 21 with a BAC above a 0.02 percent, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for at least six months.
- For drivers who are over 21, Florida prohibits driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. If you are the licensee of a commercial vehicle, the permitted BAC level is reduced to 0.04 percent.
Driving under the influence significantly increases the risks of a motor vehicle accident. In fact, it has been proven that a 0.08 BAC exponentially increases the risks of a collision. Florida law treats DUI violations as serious offenses. Florida enforces an Implied Consent Law. Under the implied consent law, all drivers consent to drug and alcohol testing if an officer suspects you are under the influence.
Drivers may be required to provide a blood, breath, or urine test. Refusing to take any of these tests will result in automatic suspension of your driver’s license for one year. Additionally, the Florida penalties for driving under the influence can vary depending on your BAC, the number of prior offenses you had, and the circumstances of your DUI.
Some of these penalties can include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license.
- First Offense: Minimum of six months
- Multiple Offenses: Two years or more
- Fines can range from $500 to $4,000 depending on whether you have prior convictions.
- Jail time can range from six months to five years, depending on the number of prior convictions.
- Your vehicle can be confiscated and impounded by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. To retrieve your vehicle, you will be required to pay fees.
- Anyone convicted of an alcohol-related offense is required to take alcohol awareness classes.
- Penalties can also increase dramatically if a driver’s BAC is .15 or higher or if there was a minor in the vehicle.
- In these cases, Ignition Interlock Devices may be installed in the vehicle for at least six continuous months.
How Can a DUI Lawyer Help You?
DUI cases can be extremely nerve-wracking and stressful for everyone involved. The charges involved with DUI’s can result in severe consequences, so they must be scrutinized and understood completely. When an individual is charged with a DUI, they should consider consulting with an experienced DUI attorney.
An attorney can help offenders navigate the complicated and lengthy legal process even your DMV DUI hearing. Frequently a DUI lawyer’s primary role is to protect their client’s constitutional rights and help minimize the consequences of a conviction. However, a DUI lawyer can do quite a bit more for you.
For instance, a lawyer may:
- Protect constitutional rights: Under some circumstances, a police officer may have unlawfully obtained evidence of a DUI. When appropriate, a DUI lawyer may prevent this evidence from being admitted to the court. In DUI cases, getting evidence excluded can be extremely beneficial to your case. A lack of evidence due to a violation of an alleged offender’s constitutional rights may lead to better plea bargains. As a result, offenders may spend less time in jail or get their charges dismissed completely.
- Negotiate: A critical aspect of a DUI charge is negotiation with the prosecutor. These negotiations may be one of the few opportunities offenders have to lower the charges against them. DUI attorneys can be vital to this process. A DUI lawyer can work with local prosecutors to develop alternative solutions for a drunk driving offense.
- Examine challenging evidence: A knowledgeable DUI attorney who is familiar with Florida’s laws may be essential for thorough investigation and examination of the evidence against an offender. After a careful inspection, an attorney may be able to discuss potential options and possible legal defenses.
- Familiarity with the courts: Many DUI attorneys are familiar with the local courts and are comfortable with the local judges, prosecutors, and rules of the court. This knowledge can be beneficial for offenders who need to negotiate their charges with prosecutors or proceed to trial.
- Administrative details: There are many steps in a DUI case, governed by many critical deadlines. Missing a deadline can hinder your ability to proceed with your case. Retaining a DUI attorney can help to ensure that offenders timely file necessary documents.
If you were arrested for DUI, you deserve to have your questions answered and your options clearly explained. You should seek a DUI defense law firm with experience navigating Florida DUI laws and knowledgeable, innovative, and dedicated attorneys.