Driving under the influence or DUI charges are a criminal offense in Florida. It means that if you are convicted of the crime of Driving Under the Influence and plead guilty, you will be sentenced as a criminal defendant. DUI can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In any case, hiring a lawyer is highly recommended.
DUI in Florida
A DUI case may first seem simple, but it can actually turn complicated and carry potentially serious consequences. We’ve been fighting for our clients’ rights for over a decade and we know that hiring an attorney can turn things out so much better.
There are a number of ways you can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (“DUI“) in Florida. The key to any DUI charge is that law enforcement believes you are impaired. There may be a big difference between drunk and just being impaired. If an officer believes you are impaired, they can use certain evidence to support the charge.
Evidence of being impaired
One of the most common forms of evidence is to look at whether you have alcohol, a chemical, or controlled substance in your system. In the case of alcohol, law enforcement can determine your blood alcohol content, or BAC, using your breath, blood and/or urine.
If you are found to have a BAC or 0.08% or higher you are presumed by law to be impaired. If you have a BAC of 0.04% or higher there is a rebuttable presumption that you are impaired. If you are a minor, Florida has a very strict standard of 0.02%.
All of these BAC levels can be determined through a breathalyzer, a blood test, or a urine test. However, even if you don’t give any sample, law enforcement, and ultimately a jury, could still find that you were impaired based on other evidence.
Impairment by alcohol is not the only way to get a DUI. A blood or urine test may be used to determine whether you are impaired by medications, controlled substances or other chemical substances. While exact measurements are usually not available at the time of arrest and the samples have to be sent off for more definitive levels, an arrest can still be based on the presence of substances alone.
A DUI carries certain harsh mandatory penalties that are required by statute. At the very minimum, a DUI will require a $500 fine, 6 months of probation, attendance at a DUI school, a 6-month driver’s license revocation, a 10-day vehicle impound, 50 community service hours, and court costs.
Additionally, DUI can be cumulative, meaning if you are arrested for a subsequent DUI the minimum penalties increase. Additionally, the statutory minimum penalties can be different if there was a damage to another vehicle or property, if your BAC is 0.15% or higher, if someone is injured, if there was a minor in the vehicle, or worst of all – if it involves a death.
Also, insurance premiums will rise as you will be required to have a special insurance certificate called an FR-44 for additional liability. With subsequent convictions or the additions of any of the aforementioned conditions the minimum penalties increase and may include larger fines, longer driver’s license restrictions and mandatory jail time.
DUI prescription medications
Have you been charged with a DUI as a result of taking you prescribed medication? You may have a great defense. We don’t always know how medication might affect us, and it is important you ask your physician and pharmacist before driving.
However, sometimes people are charged with DUI as a result of blood results showing certain prescriptions are in their system. If this is the case for you, call for a free consultation. You deserve to be informed of all your options.
DUI controlled substances
Have you been charged with a DUI as a result of controlled substances? Prescription and controlled substances are often the basis for DUI charges. Most people think DUIs are just about alcohol but they aren’t.
If you have a DUI resulting from a controlled substance found in your system, call us, let’s get you through this.
Have you been charged with a DUI even though you didn’t blow? What is the evidence? How can they charge you? Many people believe that if you don’t blow you can’t be charged.
Remember, it is a low threshold to charge you with a crime, it is a higher threshold to be found guilty. You may have a great defense, but you need an aggressive attorney on your side.