Jacksonville DUI Lawyer
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Because driving under the influence is so dangerous, the penalties for doing so are extremely harsh in Florida. The state is serious about lowering alcohol-related crashes, particularly those that result in injury and/or death. As a result, the more DUIs you receive, the worse the penalties become. However, just one DUI can have very real and serious consequences.
Penalties for DUI in Florida
In Florida, driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by a chemical substance, by a controlled substance, or with a BAL of .08% or higher.
The penalties for your first conviction may include:
- Fines of $500 to $1,000. If your blood alcohol level (BAL) was .15% or higher, or you were driving with a minor in the car, the fines may be from $1,000 – $2,000.
- Community service of at least 50 hours. There may be an additional fine equaling $10 per required community service hour.
- Probation of up to one year.
- Jail time of up to six months. For a BAL of .15% or higher, the sentence could increase to nine months.
- Vehicle impoundment for 10 days (not counted during your incarceration).
- Driver license revoked for up to one year.
Florida Implied Consent Law
With Florida’s implied consent law, anyone who has a Florida driver’s license and is lawfully arrested for a DUI is deemed to have consented to a breathalyzer test, urine test, or blood test. In order for the DUI arrest to be considered “lawful,” the offer must have probable cause to believe that the driver was physically driving the vehicle was under the influence. Drivers may refuse the tests, however, there are consequences.
Call a Jacksonville DUI Attorney at (904) 478-9255
If you are facing DUI charges, you may be wondering what to do next, whether you might need to spend time behind bars, and how this entire situation could affect your future. To answer these questions and potentially avoid severe consequences, you must have an advocate on your side who will defend your rights, inform you regarding your rights and options, and treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve during this difficult time. At Edwards & Edwards, P.A., our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys are the experienced professionals you need. We are ready to guide you through this complicated and extensive process.
When you obtain a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle, you are deemed to have given your consent to submit a breath and/or urine test. You MAY refuse to take these tests, unless you are involved in a serious crash involving injury and/or death. However, while you have the right to refuse, you likely will not be able to do so without consequences. Your license may be suspended for one year for your first refusal and eighteen months for a second or subsequent refusal. Furthermore, a second or subsequent refusal to submit to breath and/or urine testing is a criminal offense. Lastly, if you refuse, that refusal may be used against you in any criminal proceeding.
You should contact an attorney to begin your defense within ten days of your DUI arrest. This is because you only have ten days to appeal an automatic suspension of your driver’s license that accompanies a DUI arrest. What most people do not realize is that, after you have been charged or convicted of a DUI, you may still maintain most of your driving privileges. Thus, it is critical to contact an attorney early to increase your chances of success
In some cases, it might be possible to have your suspended license reinstated for hardship purposes, meaning to drive to and from work only. You’ll have to complete a DUI course and likely have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. The ignition interlock device requires the driver to give a breath sample before starting the car. If the BAC is more than .05, the car will not start. The device even submits the driver to “rolling retests,” meaning an alarm will sound and the driver must give a sample while operating the vehicle.
Simply put, no. Typically, a DUI charge occurs after a police officer observes a person driving erratically, pulls the driver over and conducts a DUI investigation. However, the only requirement in Florida is that a person is in “actual physical control” of the vehicle at the time of the DUI violation. For example, if you are parked with the keys in the ignition, it is possible to be considered in actual physical control of the vehicle and, therefore, subject to a DUI arrest.
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