DUI Lawyer in St. Pete and Pinellas Park
If you’ve been arrested for DUI we’re here to help. At Oldham & Delcamp we are client driven, knowledgeable and experienced in Florida DUI Law. Regular folks don’t deal with DUI law every day, so it can be really overwhelming and even terrifying to be charged with one. While it’s never a good idea to be driving under the influence anywhere, Florida DUI laws are complex. Here are some of the most common questions we hear as attorneys. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or to schedule a consultation.
What is a DUI?
In Florida, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is really defined two ways.
- A person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more
- A person is under the influence of other substances, legal or illegal
- Commercial vehicle drivers (big trucks, tow trucks etc) are subject to DUI enforcement if their BAC is .04%
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. In theory, you could be charged with DUI using a riding lawnmower on your own property.
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 keep the DUI off your record. While it’s not always possible to defeat DUI charges, it is our specialty and we will try our best for you!
What else might happen after a DUI?
You might face some other consequences too, specifically related to your auto insurance. Expect your auto insurance premiums to go up a great deal, and your company may even drop you completely once they’ve fulfilled your current contract. If this happens, know there are other insurance companies that will work for you. They won’t be cheap.
If you’re currently on probation or parole you can expect even more repercussions.
Frankly, no DUI looks good on your record. That’s why it’s important to hire reliable legal help, we can try to get the charges reduced to a “wet and reckless” 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.
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