Being criminally charged for driving drunk in Florida can have serious repercussions. That is true not only in terms of criminal sanctions, but also in terms of the harm a DUI conviction could do to your personal and professional life. Even a first-time offender will generally be subject to a lengthy license revocation and various other administrative penalties, and repeat offenders may be prosecuted at the felony level and face a permanent loss of civil privileges if they are found guilty.
Put simply, contesting a DUI accusation is a serious and high-stakes matter, and therefore not something you should try to handle without a capable defense attorney’s support. By working with a seasoned Lake Mary DUI lawyer, you could increase your chances of securing the most favorable resolution possible to your unique case and mitigating the long-term consequences of this allegation.
According to Florida Statutes § 316.193, it is unlawful for anyone to drive a motor vehicle or be in “actual physical control” of one while impaired by alcoholic beverages and/or with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08 percent. Any person who records an unlawful BAC through breath or blood testing may be charged with, and convicted of, “per se” DUI regardless of whether a police officer observes them to be impaired.
A first conviction under this statute carries a maximum jail sentence of six months and a fine of between $500 and $1,000, as well as the possible mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on all vehicles owned or regularly operated by the defendant. After a second conviction, the maximum jail term expands to nine months, fines may range from $1,000 to $2,000, and a mandatory two-year IID installation applies.
Third and subsequent offenses under this section of state law are classified as felonies punishable by one year of imprisonment, between $2,000 and $5,000 in fines, and mandatory IID installation for two years. All DUI convictions in Florida, regardless of criminal history, may also result in a license revocation for six months minimum up to a year maximum, as a Lake Mary DUI attorney could further explain.
Fl. Stat. § 315.1932 states that any person who is licensed to operate a motor vehicle on public Florida lines has given “implied consent” to chemical testing of their blood, urine, or breath for alcohol and/or drugs at the discretion of any law enforcement officer. Any person who refuses to submit to such testing when requested will automatically have their license suspended for 12 months the first time and 18 months for each refusal after that.
Additionally, a driver’s refusal to consent to alcohol testing can be—and often is—used as evidence against them during any ensuing criminal proceedings for DWI charges. The refusal itself can even be prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense if someone has a prior refusal violation on their record. A DUI lawyer in Lake Mary could offer more specific advice about how to handle situations like this in a proactive way.
Fighting DWI charges can be complicated in numerous respects, especially if you have past convictions for this offense on your record. Having tactical support from a knowledgeable legal professional could be vital not just to protecting your driving privileges, but possibly to minimizing fines and keeping you out of jail or state prison.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys