Under Florida law, a DUI conviction is seen as an incredibly serious offense, likely to continue to impact you for the rest of your life. The offense stays on your driving license for 75 years, which, for many of us, will be the rest of our lives, and stays on your criminal record forever. This means that, in the short term, the conviction will lead to fines, probation, potential loss of employment, and even jail time. However, it also has long term consequences, including difficulty in obtaining future employment, housing, loans, and more.
Therefore, the stakes are high when fighting a DUI charge, and so this is why it is recommended that you enlist the help of a skilled and experienced DUI lawyer if you have been charged with a DUI misdemeanor.
The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Place boast a combined 75 years of experience in dealing with the Florida legal system and cases just like yours, and so you can trust that our Florida-based lawyers have the knowledge and strategies needed to give you the best possible chance at the outcome you want. Our criminal defense attorneys will be entirely dedicated to winning your case or getting the charges against you dropped. So, schedule a free consultation today where you will be given great legal advice specific to your case by one of our esteemed lawyers. Call us today at (941) 444-4444.
What Is a DUI?
In Fort Myers, Florida, a DUI is seen as a serious criminal offense. It’s where someone is caught driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs to the point of impairment. At this point, you are a danger to others on the road.
In Fort Myers, drinking and driving itself isn’t illegal, but if the driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or above, this is against the law, and the individual can be arrested for a DUI. However, this is different if you are underage. Florida has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving, and so the BAC limit for people under 21 is only 0.02.
If you have been caught driving under the influence in Fort Myers, Florida, then you need to contact The Law Place. Our criminal defense lawyers will be able to offer you a free consultation to go through your case with you and advise you on the next steps for you to take.
For a free legal consultation with a misdemeanor dui lawyer serving Fort Myers, call 941-444-4444
What Are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are commonly used by police officers to measure driver impairment. They are a range of different physical and/or cognitive tests and determine whether the motorist is driving under the influence and, if so, gives officers probable cause to arrest them for DUI. Some of the most used tests are listed below:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGM) – This is where a police officer tracks your eye movement, checking for irregularity or an inability to track the object smoothly. They often will use a pen, flashlight, etc..
- Walk-and-turn – This is where the suspect walks in a straight line and then turns on their heel and returns.
- One-leg stand – This is where you are asked by law enforcement to stand on one leg while performing basic tasks. This measures your coordination.
Although the results of the tests can be used as evidence against you in court, skilled criminal defense lawyers may be able to build a strong defense against them. Some of the following defenses can be used against the results of field sobriety tests:
- Intimidation by police officers.
- Bad lighting conditions, which ultimately prevented you from being able to see adequately.
- Poor weather conditions at the time of the test, strong wind or rain could knock you off balance.
- Uneven surfaces, as this can make some of the tests much more difficult.
- Uncomfortable footwear.
- You could naturally be unbalanced or uncoordinated when sober.
It takes a highly qualified and knowledgeable lawyer to be able to successfully use these defenses on your behalf. So, if you’ve been arrested for a Fort Myers DUI charge, you must contact The Law Place immediately. The sooner you do so, the more time our criminal defense attorneys will have to build the strongest defense possible. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation and discuss the specifics of your case.
Fort Myers Misdemeanor DUI Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
What Makes a DUI a Misdemeanor in Fort Myers, FL?
In Fort Myers and the rest of Florida, DUIs are either classified as misdemeanors or felonies. How your case will be classed is entirely dependent on the circumstances surrounding your case and the severity of it. DUIs typically tend to be classed as a misdemeanor crime, especially first and second DUI offenses. However, this is not always the case. If driving under the influence resulted in a death or serious injury, then your crime will be upgraded to a felony, which can result in fines and years of jail time.
Misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, and, according to the Cornell Legal Information Institute, they tend to be offenses that are punishable by less than a 12-month jail term. Despite this, misdemeanor charges are still serious and should be treated as such.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI, you could be facing a large fine, jail time, probation, license suspension, amongst other indirect consequences. Because of this, it is crucial that you contact a criminal defense attorney based in Fort Myers, Florida, to ensure that you have the best chance at receiving a minimized sentence.
What Penalties Do I Face for a Misdemeanor DUI in Fort Myers, FL?
All DUI cases are different, and the penalties you receive are based entirely on the specifics of your case. However, there are some basic guidelines that the courts in Fort Myers, Florida, follow. These are listed in Florida Statute 316.193 and are stated below:
- Jail time – For a first DUI offense, it’s very unlikely that you’d be facing jail time. However, you could be facing a maximum of 12 months imprisonment for any misdemeanor DUI. Your likelihood of going to jail increases if you’re being charged with your second or third offense. The amount of time you’re sentenced to is also dependent on your BAC content if there was a minor in the car with you, if you caused an accident, and how severe the accident was.
- Fines – Again, the amount you get fined is completely dependent on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Generally, in Fort Myers, for a first-time offense, you will be looking at $500 – $2,000 in fines, but this could be higher. The amount increases drastically if this is not your first offense.
- License suspension – When arrested for a DUI, you will automatically be handed a license suspension. For a first offense, you’d be facing a potential license suspension of 6 months to a year, and this will increase depending on how many times you have been charged with driving under the influence. If you are convicted of your fourth DUI offense, you will permanently lose your license.
- Ignition interlock device – For a first DUI offense, it’s unlikely that you’d have to have an IID attached to your vehicle, except in serious cases. However, for the second, third, and fourth offenses, it is a requirement.
- Community service – If convicted of a DUI, you will be sentenced to community service.
- DUI school – Attending DUI school is mandatory for anyone convicted of a DUI offense, and they must successfully complete it.
We recognize that these penalties are a lot to face for what may have been a mistake. Because of this, our Fort Myers DUI lawyers will fight tirelessly on your behalf, with the aim of getting your case dismissed or reduced. So, call The Law Place now to discuss your options. We will be able to schedule a free consultation with a qualified criminal defense attorney whose legal advice you can trust.
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What Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do for Me?
A driver facing a Fort Myers DUI conviction should consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer located close to them. The attorneys at The Law Place will be more than prepared and willing to fight your corner and will be able to represent you in DMV proceedings and Fort Myers criminal court. All our lawyers possess in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Florida legal system, including Florida DUI law, and so will be able to build the best possible defense for you. They will also be able to put your mind at ease by accurately and extensively answering any pressing questions or concerns you may have.
Of course, you are entitled to represent yourself in Fort Myers, but this is not recommended. The Florida legal system is confusing, complex, and incredibly hard to understand. Adequate knowledge of Florida DUI law only comes with vast experience. Because of this, you would disadvantage yourself in court.
Therefore, we recommend that you call The Law Place now to book a free consultation with an esteemed Fort Myers criminal defense lawyer.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI in Fort Myers or elsewhere in Florida, then you should contact a criminal defense attorney for help immediately. There’s no doubt that your best chance at winning your DUI case will be with a good criminal defense lawyer on your side. The unmatched skill, experience, and knowledge of our attorneys will be your best hope at obtaining the outcome that you are aiming for. Our lawyers will examine all the evidence presented to prove that it’s unreliable, all while building a solid defense to beat your charge.
We are prepared and well-equipped to fight on your behalf. Our phone lines are open all day every day, so get in touch with us now to organize a free consultation with an esteemed criminal defense lawyer. Call The Law Place at (941) 444-4444.