A DUI charge is a serious offense under Florida law, and if convicted, you could feel the effects for the rest of your life. Not only will the conviction stay on your criminal record permanently, but it will also remain on your driving license for 75 years, which, for many of us, could mean the rest of our lives. Therefore, while you will face immediate and serious consequences, like high fines, probation, jail time, and potential loss of employment, you will also experience long term impacts, such as difficulty in obtaining employment, loans, housing, and more.
The stakes are so high when fighting a DUI misdemeanor charge because of how long and how severe the impact on you can be, and so it would be best for you to contact a skilled Bradenton DUI lawyer the moment you get charged with DUI.
At The Law Place, you can trust that our DUI defense attorneys will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the best possible outcome. With The Law Place boasting over 75 years of combined experience in successfully helping clients in cases just like yours, you can be confident that our Bradenton-based lawyers have all the knowledge and strategies necessary. So call us today to schedule a free consultation where one of our highly qualified DUI lawyers will talk you through the details of your case and tell you your best legal options. Contact us now at (941) 444-4444!
What Is a DUI?
In Bradenton, FL., a DUI offense is where you are caught driving under the influence of either alcohol, drugs, or both. To be charged, you must have consumed so much of either of these substances to the point of impairment so that your driving is a danger to pedestrians and others on the road.
Drinking and driving itself isn’t actually illegal, but if the driver had drunk so much that they had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or above, then this is against the law, and they can be arrested for a DUI offense.
This changes when minors are involved. Florida has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, and so the BAC limit for drivers under 21 is only 0.02%.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Bradenton or elsewhere in Florida, then you should contact our law firm as soon as possible. The DUI defense lawyers at The Law Place will be able to go through your case with you in-depth and help you understand all you need to know about the entire process during a completely free, no-obligation consultation, so contact us today.
For a free legal consultation with a misdemeanor dui lawyer serving Bradenton, call 941-444-4444
What Are Field Sobriety Tests?
Police officers in Bradenton commonly use field sobriety tests to measure a driver’s impairment. These tests are a range of different physical and cognitive tests that determine whether the motorist was driving under the influence. If the driver doesn’t pass the tests, the officer has probable cause to arrest them for DUI. Some of the most common tests that are used are listed below:
- One-leg stand – This is a simple test where law enforcement asks you to stand on one leg while performing basic, simple tasks in order to measure your coordination.
- Walk-and-turn – This is where a police officer asks you to walk in a straight line and then turn on your heel and return.
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGM) – Slightly more technical, this test checks your vision. Law enforcement will track your eye movement by using a pen, flashlight, or something similar. They will be checking for irregularity or an ability to smoothly track the object.
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What Defences Could Be Used Against Field Sobriety Test Results?
While the prosecutor may use the results of the tests as evidence against you in court, a Florida attorney would be able to build a strong defense against them. Although every case is different, some of the defenses that can be used against the results of field sobriety tests are listed below:
- Uneven surfaces can be a reason you stumbled and can make the test more difficult.
- Poor lighting conditions could prevent you from being able to see well enough to properly do the test.
- Poor weather conditions, such as strong wind or rain, could knock you off balance.
- Intimidation by police officers.
- You may be naturally unbalanced or uncoordinated when sober.
- Uncomfortable or poorly fitting footwear.
For these defenses to be successfully used on your behalf, you will need to enlist the help of an experienced and knowledgeable DUI attorney. So, if you’ve been arrested for a Bradenton DUI offense, you need to contact The Law Place immediately. The sooner you do so, the more time our DUI lawyers will have to build the strongest defense possible. So call today to book a free consultation and discuss the specifics of your case.
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What Makes a DUI a Misdemeanor in Bradenton, FL?
In Bradenton and the rest of Florida, DUIs can be classed as either misdemeanors or felonies. Whether your case will be classed as a misdemeanor or felony depends entirely on the circumstances and details that surround your case and the severity of it. Usually, DUIs are categorized as a misdemeanor offense, which is less serious than felonies and therefore brings less severe consequences. This is especially the case for first and second DUI offenses, but this is not always the case. If your drunk driving ultimately resulted in a serious injury or a fatality, then your crime will be upgraded to a felony.
According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute, misdemeanors tend to be offenses that are punishable by up to a 12-month jail sentence as they are not as severe as felonies. Despite this, misdemeanors are still very serious and should be treated as such.
If you are convicted of a DUI misdemeanor offense, then you should expect to receive a large fine, license suspension, probation, and jail time, amongst other consequences. Because of this, it is crucial that you enlist the help of an experienced Bradenton DUI attorney. By doing this, you will be giving yourself the best chance at receiving a lenient sentence.
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What Penalties Would I Face for a Misdemeanor DUI in Bradenton, FL?
As with all criminal charges, all DUI cases are different, and so the penalties you receive, if any, will be based on the specifics of your case. However, there are some basic guidelines that the Bradenton courts follow, which are described in detail in Florida Statute 316.193 and are listed below:
- Jail time – It is unlikely that you’d be sentenced to jail time for a first DUI offense. However, there is always a risk that you could be facing a maximum of 12 months imprisonment for a misdemeanor DUI. The likelihood of being sentenced to jail time increases based on how many previous DUI convictions you have, how high your BAC content was at the time if there was a minor in the car with you, and if you caused an accident.
- Fines – For a first-time DUI misdemeanor in Bradenton, you will be looking at $500 – $2,000 in fines, but this could be higher based on the specific circumstances around your case and if you have any previous DUI convictions.
- License suspension – You will be automatically handed a license suspension when arrested for a DUI. For a first offense, you will likely be facing a license suspension from 6 months to a year, which can increase depending on previous convictions. If you are convicted of a fourth DUI offense, you will permanently lose your license.
- Ignition interlock device – It’s unlikely that you’d have to have an IID fitted for your first-offense DUI, except in severe cases. However, it is a requirement for repeat offenses.
- Community service – You will be sentenced to community service if convicted of a DUI.
- DUI school – It is mandatory for anyone who is convicted of a DUI offense must successfully complete a state-approved DUI school.
We know that these penalties are a lot to face for what was probably just a simple mistake. Because of this, our Bradenton DUI lawyers will be determined to fight on your behalf to ensure that your charges are dismissed or reduced. So, call The Law Place today to discuss your options and what you can realistically expect from your court case with an experienced and skilled Florida DUI attorney by your side. Our law firm offers free consultations, so contact us now!
What Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do for Me?
If you are facing a Bradenton DUI conviction, we recommend you consider hiring a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers at The Law Place are fully prepared and ready to fight in your corner and will be able to represent you in a Bradenton criminal court or anywhere else in Florida. All our lawyers have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Florida legal process, including DUI law, in particular, so you can trust that our lawyers will be able to create a solid defense on your behalf. Our lawyers will also accurately and extensively answer any queries you may have in order to put your mind at ease and ensure that you are well informed.
In Bradenton, you are able and entitled to represent yourself in a court of law if you wish to. However, we do not recommend this. As the Florida legal system is so complex, it would be very difficult for you to adequately teach yourself all about it within the time before your trial. Sufficient knowledge of Florida criminal law only comes from many years of studying and a vast amount of real-life experience, both of which all our lawyers possess. Because of this, by representing yourself in court, you would be giving yourself a disadvantage.
So, call The Law Place today to book a free consultation with a Bradenton DUI lawyer.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one are facing DUI charges in Bradenton or elsewhere in the State of Florida, then you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. By working alongside The Law Place, you will be giving yourself the best chance at winning your case, as our skill, experience, and knowledge are unmatched. Our lawyers will tirelessly examine all the evidence that the prosecutor presents to find ways to prove that it’s unreliable, all while doing their own investigating on your behalf and building a solid defense to beat the charges.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so get in touch with us now to schedule a free consultation. Don’t wait for help; call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444!
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