Suwannee County DUI Attorney
As in most other states, driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida is defined as being in control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. A conviction for a DUI may not sound like a serious matter, but it is. Law enforcement and the prosecution pursue these cases very aggressively and the penalties after conviction can be harsh. You may have to serve time in jail, pay high fines, and lose your driver’s license. A Suwannee County DUI attorney can build the strong defense you need to avoid these consequences.
You Only Have Ten Days to Request a Hearing
If a police officer arrests you for driving under the influence, they will take your driver’s license and suspend it. You then only have ten days to request an administrative hearing, also called a formal review hearing. This hearing is with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you do not request this hearing, you are waiving your right to challenge the driver’s license suspension. You may still be able to obtain a hardship license that will allow you to drive to school and work, but it is important to speak to a Suwannee County DUI attorney who can help you through the process.
The administrative hearing is an important part of any DUI case. At the hearing, an officer for the agency will determine if the officer had probable cause to arrest you, and if you were told about the penalties for refusing a chemical test, and whether you refused any of the tests. Your attorney will also cross-examine important witnesses, such as the officer who arrested you and subpoena certain documents that will be used during a criminal trial.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction
The Florida Statutes outline certain mandatory minimum sentences in all DUI cases. These penalties become more strict with every subsequent offense. A conviction for a first offense can result in up to six months in jail, or nine months if the person’s blood alcohol level was 0.15 percent or more. Being convicted of a DUI a second time within five years of a prior conviction can result in up to nine months in jail. The minimum mandatory sentence in these cases is ten days in county jail. If a person’s blood alcohol level is 0.15 percent or greater and it is their second offense, they will face up to 12 months in jail.
Any DUI conviction will also result in higher fines. The fine for a first conviction is between $500 and $1,000, while the fine for a second conviction is between $1,000 and $2,000.
Our DUI Attorney in Suwannee County Will Protect Your Rights
If you are facing charges for driving while impaired, our Suwannee County DUI attorney at Meldon Law can help. Our skilled attorneys know how to challenge the evidence against you to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.