Many people see drinking as a casual activity that they enjoy in the hours following a long workday and during weekend outings. Although participating in these activities is perfectly legal, a problem arises when you attempt to drive your vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving claims the lives of millions of Americans, which is why DUI penalties in Florida are so severe.
Legislators intend to discourage people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol by implementing a penalty structure that gets more severe with every offense. Despite their best efforts, drunk driving occurs regularly, but it’s essential for the accused to know they have rights.
If you’ve recently been charged with a DUI, you’re likely feeling stressed about the months to come. Will you be able to continue life as normal? Or will you face penalties that will change everything you know and love? Our Lakeland DUI lawyers are here to let you know there is hope. With a credible defense strategy and a team of aggressive defense lawyers on your side, you have a fighting chance at reducing the penalties you’re facing.
The most common type of DUI in Lakeland, Florida is a DUI for driving a car with a BAC of .08 or greater. There are, however, multiple other DUI classifications that you can be charged with, including:
In Florida, the types of penalties you face can differ, depending on the type of DUI you receive. What’s important to know is that if you choose to drive ANY motor vehicle while under the influence of ANY illegal substance, you will likely face life-changing charges.
Law enforcement officers often try to discourage those charged with drunk driving from acquiring legal representation to improve their chances of getting a conviction. They do so by informing individuals that their blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit and they have already made a note of the individual admitting to drunk driving. Even if such statements are true, it’s vital to know that an experienced DUI attorney can present proven effective defenses to free you of guilt.
The first and most commonly overlooked factor of a DUI case by the accused is the breathalyzer test. The reason being is that police officers often successfully convince individuals to believe that breathalyzer test results are absolute and cannot be challenged. That is false. Officers in Florida use the Intoxilyzer 8000, and there are numerous ways one can challenge test results from this device:
Testing errors: The device measures your BAC at the time of the test and not when you were driving, which can cause inaccuracies in the results.
Machine errors: If the machine is not calibrated, improperly calibrated, or not approved for use in Florida, the test results can be inadmissible evidence.
Operator errors: If the operator is not licensed or carries an expired license, the results of the test cannot be used.
Chemical interference: Products like cough syrup and nail polish contain alcohol and can interfere with test results.
Police officers do not have the right to pull you over simply because they feel like it. Your skin color, the vehicle you’re driving, and the area you’re driving in are not legitimate reasons for them to stop you. In the event of DUI checkpoints where police officers are essentially fishing for drunk drivers, they will often attempt to find any possible reason to arrest you. They’ll ask you if you’ve been drinking and other questions that can lead to a DUI arrest, but all drivers should know that unless the officer has probable cause — you swerving, driving recklessly, etc. –, he or she cannot stop you for drunk driving.
Penalties for DUIs in Florida are more severe than a slap on the wrist. If convicted of a DUI, the penalties you face can potentially alter your life forever. While the specific penalties for your DUI will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case, the most common include:
In Florida, if you’re charged with more than 1 DUI or your BAC registers at .15 or greater, the penalties you face increase. No matter how many times you have been arrested for a DUI, finding an aggressive lawyer and asking for an administrative hearing is the best chance you have at reducing the penalties you face.
Finding the help of a trusted attorney immediately following your DUI arrest is the best chance you have at mitigating the charges you face. Successful DUI attorneys might even be able to reduce your charges or penalties before you even have to show up in court. If you or someone you know was arrested for a DUI, trust a local attorney at The Umansky Law Firm to provide unmatched legal representation.
The Lakeland DUI lawyers with The Umansky Law Firm can help the afflicted seek justice for their case. William Umansky and his team of lawyers have represented drivers in Central Florida for more than 25 years, and he can help settle your case efficiently. Highly rated on Avvo.com, all of the attorneys at our firm are former prosecutors and bring a unique point of view to the defense process. For your best chance at freedom in the future, contact us and schedule your free consultation today.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys