If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Central Florida, you must act quickly to fight the charges. You have 10 days from your arrest to request a hearing before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) because your license will be suspended, even for a first offense. Although a first offense is a misdemeanor, you still need to work with a reliable defense attorney.
You may have believed you were fine to drive, but it would only be legal if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was below 0.08 percent. Law enforcement officers who arrest DUI suspects may ensure the public the roads are safer for all drivers, but an error in judgment will impact several aspects of your life. Contact an Avalon Park DUI lawyer to get the help you need now.
Many drivers believe the only way to be arrested for DUI in Florida is to submit to a breathalyzer test when an officer stops and tests them and learns their blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit. In this state, if officers have probable cause to believe drivers may be intoxicated, they can stop them.
Probable cause could include drivers who weave between two lanes, drive well below the speed limit, run a red light, or ignore stop signs. Once stopped, probable cause can include slurred speech, the odor of alcohol or marijuana, bloodshot eyes, and open alcohol containers. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test will not save a driver from a DUI charge.
Penalties fall within a range and will depend on aggravating factors, including if a driver charged with DUI has children in the car and if their breathalyzer BAC exceeds 0.15 percent. A driver’s first and second DUI charges are misdemeanors, but the third is a felony if it occurs within 10 years of the second DUI. The fourth and subsequent DUIs are third-degree felonies. With the discretion of the judge, the punishments can include:
A DUI stays on a driver’s record for 75 years in Florida. It is imperative that those accused of one contact a DUI attorney in Avalon Park to discuss potential defenses.
There are many defenses to DUI charges, beginning with the search that law enforcement conducts when a driver is stopped. They must have probable cause for a search and seizure, or else it is a violation of a driver’s Fourth Amendment right.
Portable breathalyzers are not as accurate as those used at police stations or hospitals, so an Avalon Park drunk driving attorney could challenge the results. If a law enforcement officer claims a driver acted erratically when stopped, but the driver has a medical condition such as diabetes, they could build a defense around the mistake.
Law enforcement must also follow specific procedures when entering evidence into the chain of custody. A lawyer must scrutinize all actions law enforcement takes to find a credible defense to DUI charges.
Central Florida is known for its vibrant nightlife, but with that designation, revelers are easily trapped by law enforcement cracking down on intoxicated drivers. The penalties if convicted are life-changing, from steep fines and jail time to probation and enduring an Interlock Device to start your car. You have 10 days from your arrest to appeal the decision. Do not wait, or think that if you pay a fine, the problem will go away. Call an Avalon Park DUI lawyer now.
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