Gainesville, Florida DWI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the Gainesville area, your next steps will be critical. You may face a series of penalties, including fines, losing your driver’s license, and jail time. However, it doesn’t have to end that way. A Gainesville DWI lawyer can assert your constitutional right to fight the charges against you and make the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Regardless of the charges against you, you deserve a criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights while serving you with compassion and integrity. At Meldon Law, we understand the long-lasting effects a DWI conviction can have on your life. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you reach the best possible outcome in your case. We won’t back down. Contact us now by calling (352) 373-8000.
Meldon Law C.A.R.E.S. for Our DWI Clients
Meldon Law has been serving Gainesville residents for so long, we have become part of the fabric of the community. Meldon Law C.A.R.E.S., which means our core values include:
- Compassion: Your attorney will be committed to your well-being and fighting for your rights.
- Accountability: Your DWI attorney will take responsibility for your case and work tirelessly to generate the best possible outcome.
- Reliability: Your lawyer will be there to answer your questions promptly and stand up for you throughout the trial process.
- Excellence: Your lawyer will have extensive experience and knowledge of the criminal justice system. Our firm is a force to be reckoned with, inside and outside the courtroom.
- Success: Your lawyer will base their success on the quality of the outcome they can achieve in your case. Whether it’s a deal for reduced charges or an acquittal, we’ll put all our energy into giving you the best possible result.
A DWI conviction can turn your life upside down for many years. We know that, and that’s why we are committed to fighting our clients’ cases with the same intensity that we would fight a case for ourselves or a family member. Representing defendants in criminal cases is not just a job to us. Our attorneys believe they have received a calling to do this work and fight for you in one of the most difficult situations you will ever face.
What Is DWI in Florida?
In Florida, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is the same as driving under the influence (DUI). According to Florida Statutes § 316.193, a person is guilty of DUI or DWI if they are “in actual physical control” of a vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, etc.) with a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08 or above or under the influence of illicit drugs or controlled substances “to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.”
What Are the Penalties for DWI in Gainesville?
The law enforcement community in Florida and the state legislature see DUI enforcement as essential to preserving public safety. Therefore, the penalties for DUI can be severe, even in a first offense.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), people convicted of DUI in Gainesville potentially face the following penalties:
- A prison sentence of up to six months
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Up to a one-year driver’s license suspension
- A prison sentence of up to nine months
- Fines of $1,000 to $2,000
- Up to a five-year driver’s license suspension
- A prison sentence of up to 12 months
- Fines of $2,000 to $5,000
- Up to a 10-year driver’s license suspension
Fourth or Subsequent Offense:
- A prison sentence of up to five years
- Minimum fine of $2,000
- Permanent driver’s license suspension
Your vehicle may also be impounded, and the sentencing judge may levy other penalties, such as community service or installation of an ignition interlock device in your car. It’s also important to note that the following circumstances can significantly increase the potential penalties associated with DUI convictions:
- A BAL over .15
- The presence of a minor in the vehicle at the time of your arrest
- Being charged with DUI that resulted in property damage, injury, or death
How Can a Gainesville DWI Lawyer Help You?
Going to court after a DWI arrest can feel like a nightmare. However, you can take a deep breath and relax because Meldon Law is on your side. You have a right to challenge the state’s case and present evidence of your innocence, and that’s exactly what our Gainesville DWI lawyers can do for you.
Your attorney’s experience and knowledge may significantly influence the outcome of your criminal trial. Our Gainesville DWI attorneys have fought and won for many clients, which means we know how to build reasonable doubt and where to look for errors and weak points in the state’s case. We’ll thoroughly examine every aspect of the charges against you, including:
- Reviewing the qualifications of the arresting officer to operate the breathalyzer machine and having our experts check the machine’s calibration/functional capability
- Looking for witnesses who can attest to how much you did (or didn’t) drink before getting behind the wheel
- Looking at the police report for errors in probable cause when pulling you over (For example, if you were pulled over for speeding and subsequently arrested for SUI, but we can prove you weren’t speeding, we may be able to get the evidence against you thrown out.)
We Will Deal Directly with the Prosecutor in Your Case
Dealing directly with prosecutors is another key element of the services we provide for our clients. If we can find evidence of misconduct or procedural mistakes in the case against you, we may be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor for reduced charges that would allow you to keep your license and retain your freedom.
However, if we can’t reach a mutually beneficial agreement with the state, we’re not afraid to represent you all the way through trial. We’ll take on your fight like it was our own.
Our Gainesville DUI Lawyers May Be Able to Help You Keep Your License
In addition to fighting the case against you in state court, we can also fight your driver’s license suspension. After a DUI arrest, the FLHSMV will notify you by mail of their intent to suspend your driver’s license. Per Florida Statutes § 322.2615, you have the right to request an administrative hearing with the FLHSMV within ten days of the notice. If you fail to do so, your license will be automatically suspended.
Our DWI attorneys in Gainesville have experience fighting cases in state court and suspension hearings. We may be able to get your license provisionally reinstated so that you can continue going to work until your trial. We may also be able to get your car released from the impound. This is all part of our commitment to fighting for you on every legal front in your DUI case.
Start Working With a Gainesville DUI Lawyer Today
Being charged with DWI should not be taken lightly or handled alone. Time is of the essence if you are facing DWI charges in Gainesville. The sooner you reach out to our firm, the sooner we can begin formulating a plan for fighting your case. We’re here to help you get through this ordeal with your freedom and reputation intact.
You don’t have to plead guilty or assume there is no hope in your DUI case. Contact us today at (352) 373-8000 for a confidential consultation to learn what Meldon Law can do for you. We are standing by, ready to fight for you.