Palm Beach DUI Attorney / Lawyer
Have You Been Arrested for Drunk Driving? Facts to Know About DUI Charges in Florida.
In Florida, an individual can be charged with driving under the influence, DUI, (also referred to as “DWI”, driving while intoxicated, in many other states) if they have blood alcohol level (BAL) of 0.08 or greater or if their driving is impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol. This applies if you are over the age of 21.
If you are under 21 years of age, the legal BAL limit is 0.02. This is Florida’s Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21 and precludes anyone younger than 21 from having a single drink and driving. The result is an automatic Florida driver’s license suspension for 6 months.
Regardless of your age, if charged with a DUI, you are facing serious legal consequences and penalties. If this is your first arrest for DUI or there is no third party or property damage, you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor. If you have prior convictions or caused bodily harm to a third party or significant property damage, you will likely be chargedwith a felony.
If you find yourself charged with DUI, we recommend that you hire a qualified and experienced DUI attorney to represent you. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can put together a solid defense to either have these charges dismissed or reduced. Being convicted of a DUI charge can drastically change your life.
Following is an outline for some of the criminal legal penalties and civil (administrative) sanctions associated with DUI conviction:
First time conviction of DUI:
- Mandatory Adjudication (finding of guilt).
- If BAL is 0.08 or greater with a minor in the vehicle, possible jail up to 9 months
- Fine of not less than $500
- DUI school
- 50 hours of community service
- License suspension for a minimum of 180 days
- For BAL .15 or greater, mandatory ignition interlock device for up to six months
Second DUI conviction within 5 years:
- Mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. Not more than 9 months or not more than 12 months if BAL is .15 or higher with minor in the vehicle
- Fine of not less than $1,000
- DUI school
- Minimum 5 year suspension. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 1 year
- Mandatory ignition interlock device for one year or for two years if BAL is greater than .15
Third DUI conviction:
- Fine of not less than $2,000
- If within 10 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. If more than 10 years since conviction, imprisonment for not more than 12 months
- Minimum 10 year suspension. May be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after two years
Mandatory ignition interlock device for two years
Fourth DUI conviction:
- Possibility of Jail up to 5 years
- Fine of not less than $2,000
- Permanent suspension of license –no hardship reinstatement
It’s important to note that if you are convicted of driving under the influence, it remains on your record for 75 years. Basically this becomes a permanent part of your record. Government agencies, credit bureaus and employers will see this on your record.
For a full outline of the penalties associated with DUI conviction, visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
In Addition to the Criminal Charge for DUI your license will automatically be suspended if:
- You refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test
- Your blood alcohol level is over .08
- Blood or urine test shows you test positive for drugs or alcohol
We will challenge your suspension by applying for an administrative review hearing. If you are eligible you will be given a driving permit prior to your hearing.
How to Defend Against DUI / DWI Driving Charges
The first and most important step anyone can take is to consult an experience DUI attorney immediately. There are a host of legal implications based on what you are charged with and previous convictions, if any. You need a qualified lawyer who can help navigate the various charges against you and their legal implications.
In defending against a driving under the influence charge, The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky, PA will review all of the circumstances surrounding your case. We can challenge the prosecutors’ evidence including:
- The legality of the traffic stop
- Perceived impairment
- Calibration of the breathalyzer
- If a blood test was taken, was it timely?
- Administration of the field sobriety test
- Medical or vision problems
- Were procedures followed in filing the case?
Why Select The Law Office of Matthew Konecky, PA as your DUI Attorney?
Remember you are innocent until proven guilty. As your DUI attorney, my primary objective is to protect your rights in all aspects of the case against you. I’ll defend your legal rights and also work with you and the Florida Department of Motor (DMV) to ensure the best possible outcome legally. Having your license suspended creates additional hardships on you and your family. The primary objective of a skilled DUI lawyer is to protect the client’s rights in all aspects of the case. I have years of experience and have handled hundreds of cases for individuals charged with driving while intoxicated. As your dedicated DWI lawyer, I’ll put together the best possible strategic defense and negotiate the most favorable outcome. You will receive my personal attention and one-on-one service.
Remember you can only challenge your suspension with the DMV within 10 days of being arrested for DUI.
Call immediately for a CONSULTATION regarding your DUI charges, 561.671.5995 or 954.272.6187.