DUI Lawyer in St. Pete and Pinellas Park
What is a DUI?
- A person drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle
- A person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or was under the influence of [alcoholic beverages] [a chemical substance] [a controlled substance] to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired
Can I get a DUI even if I wasn’t drinking?
Yes. Driving under the influence means your driving skills were inhibited by something. Marijuana, opiates, legal prescriptions, even over the counter cough medicine can lead to a DUI arrest.
Can I get a DUI even if I wasn’t driving a car?
Yes! Florida law says that if you’re in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence you are subject to DUI Law. Motorcycles, boats, tractors, dirt bikes… anything that is motorized is a motor vehicle.
What are the penalties of a DUI in Florida?
This is where the law gets complicated. Penalties for DUI driving in Florida increase depending on your previous record.
First time offenders can face anywhere form 6 months to 9 months (if aggravated) of jail time. They will also pay fines somewhere in the $500 to $1000 range (or twice that if aggravated). Drivers licenses may be suspended anywhere from 180 days to a full year. Generally first time offenders won’t need to install an Ignition Interlock Device, unless charged with aggravated DUI. They will be put on probation for 1 full year.
Furthermore, first time offenders might be required to perform up to 50 hours of community service, and their car may be impounded.
Second time DUI offenders might serve 9 months to 12 months (if aggravated) in jail. Drivers licenses are also suspended for 180 days – 1 year. The fines are doubled to $1,000 – $2,000, and an Ignition Interlock Device will be required!
These devices are designed to keep you from driving under the influence. They are not cheap to install, maintain or remove. Prices vary but they can cost as much as $150 to install, then $150 monthly to operate, and a final $150 to remove. Second time offenders can count on using this device for the next 2 years, so the cost can really add up: $300 installation and removal and $3,600 to operate the device for 24 months equals nearly $4,000!
Third time offenders and beyond can expect ever increasing fines, jail time, license suspension and the required Ignition Interlock Device.
This is why it’s so important that you contact a qualified DUI attorney, whether it’s for first offense or your fifth. The most important thing a lawyer can do is protect your record, by getting the charge dropped or reduced so that you face less severe penalties. While it’s not always possible to defeat DUI charges, it is one of our specialties and we will try our best for you!
What else might happen after a DUI?
You might face a few consequences following a DUI such as the following:
- Most people’s auto insurance premiums increase a great deal, and sometimes the company may even drop you completely once your current policy is up. If this happens, there are other insurance companies that will work with you, however these usually come at a high cost as well.
- You will have to report being charged or convicted with a misdemeanor or felony, which often impacts employment and housing opportunities.
- If you are currently on probation or parole, the DUI could be considered a violation causing the punishment for the original offense to be imposed against you.
All of these potential consequences are largely avoidable with the right counsel on your side. That’s why it’s important to hire reliable legal help, we can try to get the charges reduced to reckless driving or dropped in many situations. If you’ve been charged with DUI schedule a consultation with us today. We’ll be honest about your options and work hard for YOU! Call us now at 888-737-4129.
We can help as your slip and fall lawyer, DUI law and auto accident attorney as well as rear-end accidents attorney, trucking accidents attorney and premises liability lawyer. We also help as your wrongful death attorney, assault and battery lawyer, and criminal theft attorney.
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