DUI / Drunk Driving
It’s considered an extremely serious crime in the state of Florida to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. Many people are aware that the state’s legal limit for blood alcohol level is .08 and know that if you test over that limit you can be charged with DUI. However, you may also be charged even if you test under the legal limit, if you are pulled over after showing signs of impairment.
If you are arrested for DUI, you have been charged with an offense that the Court considers serious. These offenses very in severity of punishment, but, except for commercial vehicle cases, require the state to prove the accused did the following:
- Drive or was in actual physical control of a vehicle.
- Was under the influence of an on-call and beverage, a chemical or controlled substance.
- was impaired or had a blood or breathe alcohol level of .08% or higher.
For a first-time conviction of a .08% blood-alcohol level (BAL) the minimum penalty is as follows:
- At least five hundred dollar fine
- six months probation
- DUI school with treatment to follow
- mandatory 50 hours of community service
- 10 day impoundment of your car and six-month license suspension
For the second DUI conviction, fines range between $1000 and $2000 and imprisonment not exceeding nine months. If the second conviction is for an offense that occurred within a period of five years after the date of the prior conviction, there is a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 days.
A third conviction for an offense that occurs within 10 years after a prior conviction for a violation of the DUI law is a third-degree felony. The maximum fine is $5000 and the maximum term of imprisonment is five years or whatever is permitted under the guidelines. There is a mandatory minimum jail term of 30 days.
In many DUI cases the defendant is required to submit to a breath or urine test. In order to be required to submit to such a test, the defendant must be lawfully arrested. The law does not require that the arrest be for a DUI. The officer must advise the accused of the consequences of refusing a breath or urine test. The officer must advise the defendant of the possible license suspension if the test is refused. For refusal to submit to a breath or urine test the driver license can be suspended for a period of one year for first refusal or for a period of 18 months if the defendants driving privilege has been previously suspended as a result of the refusal to submit to such a test.
It is very important that you contact an attorney as soon as you have been arrested. You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a formal review hearing with the Florida DMV (Department Of Motor Vehicles). This hearing is very important because it will determine if you will get your license back. It has no effect on the outcome of your DUI charge in criminal court, but it will determine your ability to drive in the short term and your ability to drive without restriction in the long-term.
Jessica Mishali knows the complex strategies to challenge all of the DUI tests, the methods to challenge results of road side tests, and how to advance the defense of improper collection of evidence. You do not have to go through this alone; you need an experienced attorney by your side to guide you and defend you throughout the grueling process. Call Jessica today at (561) 833-2772 for a confidential consultation about your case.