If you’ve received a charge for driving under the influence (DUI) in North Port, you could face serious legal consequences. Whilst it is illegal to drive under the influence across the United States, this is a particularly serious conviction to face in the State of Florida. This is because a misdemeanor defense for a DUI conviction can stay on your record for 75 years, and you won’t be allowed to have this sealed or expunged.
So, for individuals facing a DUI charge, it’s especially important to work with a North Port criminal defense lawyer to try to reduce their charge, limit their penalties, or attempt to have the charge downgraded to reckless driving. However, this is only possible if the individual has zero previous convictions inside or outside of the State of Florida.
If you’re facing a DUI charge in North Port, it is important to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer as early as possible to protect the integrity of available evidence as well as your own memory, both of which can become more unreliable the longer you wait. In fact, the sooner you get in contact with a DUI lawyer, the sooner an investigation can be conducted, leading to a stronger defense case and the best outcome possible. So, contact The Law Place Today.
Here at The Law Place, we have more than seventy-five years of combined experience across our whole team. Our lawyers are second to none when it comes to serving our clients both in North Port and across the State of Florida. Our committed team of DUI lawyers is ready and waiting to take on your case, securing the best possible outcome for you today.
Our team at The Law Place consistently works their hardest to reduce charges, decrease penalties, and achieve the best results for North Port cases. One of our dedicated DUI attorneys is waiting to take your call today, with phone lines open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Contact us now on (941) 444-4444 for a no-obligation, free consultation, and together we will fight for the best outcome concerning your DUI conviction in North Port.
Definition of Driving Under the Influence Charges in North Port, FL.
After being arrested for DUI, you might be faced with many different charges under Florida law. According to Florida Statute 316.193, you could be faced with a DUI conviction if you are:
- Operating a motor vehicle or in physical control of a vehicle in the State of Florida with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or a BAC level of 0.08% grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
- Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or any controlled chemical substance as laid out in Florida Statute 877.111.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Laws and Penalties in North Port, FL.
When it comes to a conviction for DUI, there are a variety of different penalties, which vary in severity depending on whether or not the individual in question has any prior DUI convictions.
Previous DUI convictions could lead to the following penalties:
- 1st conviction – Up to 6 months.
- 2nd conviction – Up to 9 months.
- 3rd conviction – If all three convictions are within 10 years, an individual could receive a sentence of up to 5 years jail time. Longer spanning convictions come with up to 12 months of jail time.
- 4th conviction – Up to 5 years.
- 1st conviction – Between $500 and $1,000.
- 2nd conviction – Between $1,000 and $2,000.
- 3rd conviction – 3 convictions within a 10-year period are classed as a third-degree felony with a potential fine of up to $5,000. For longer-spanning convictions, this fine is between $2,000 and $5,000.
- 4th conviction – Classed as a third-degree felony with a fine of $2,000 or above.
Suspension or Revocation of Driver’s License
- 1st conviction – Potential license suspension of up to 180 days according to Florida Statute 322.28.
- 2nd conviction – Up to 5 years license suspension.
- 3rd conviction – Potential license suspension of up to 10 years if three convictions or more occur within a 10 year period.
- 4th conviction – Potentially permanent loss of driver’s license.
Ignition Interlock Device
- 1st conviction – If blood alcohol content (BAC) was at 0.8% or above at the time of the investigation, an individual could be required to use an ignition interlock device for up to 6 months.
- 2nd conviction – If BAC was found to be at 0.15% or higher or an individual is convicted for a DUI a second time, this device will be mandatory for at least 6 months, and the individual will have to cover all costs, as well as the costs for potentially applying for a restricted license.
- 3rd or 4th conviction – Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for a period of up to 2 years. The convicted individual will need to cover all costs of the device and subsequent restricted license.
DUI Accident Which Resulted in Property Damage or Serious Bodily Injury in North Port, FL.
Unfortunately, there are more serious, separate penalties for individuals convicted of a DUI that resulted in property damage or serious bodily injury.
There are several types of charges for more serious DUI
- First-degree misdemeanor – A DUI offense that damages property or physically harms another person. A fine of up to $1,000 and up to 1 year of jail time.
- DUI manslaughter second-degree felony – A DUI offense that caused the wrongful death of a person or unborn child. Up to 15 years of jail time and a fine of up to $10,000
- DUI manslaughter first-degree felony – A DUI involving an individual who intentionally fled the scene of the crime, leaving an injured person to die. Up to 30 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000
Understanding the Severity of DUI in North Port, FL.
According to Florida Statute 316.1934, a DUI involves driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. You would be considered to be driving under the influence if your judgment, coordination, senses, depth perception, or speech were affected, or if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher whilst operating a vehicle.
Individuals charged with DUI in North Port or the rest of the State of Florida are often pulled over due to traffic violations or erratic driving behavior. These can include:
- Failing to signal a turn.
- Running a stop sign or a red light.
- Driving over the speed limit.
- Unsafe lane changes.
- Reckless driving.
- Swerving, weaving, or driving erratically.
Any individual driving suspiciously could be asked to take a breathalyzer test, which, if failed, will result in being arrested. It will then be up to a prosecutor to decide whether you are liable for criminal charges or not.
If you’ve recently failed a breathalyzer test, it’s important to contact a DUI lawyer in North Port immediately to start building a strong defense and minimize any charges. Remember, evidence and memory can become less reliable over time. So, the sooner you get in contact with a DUI attorney, the stronger your case will be.
Underage DUI Charges & Penalties in North Port, Florida
Florida’s zero-tolerance statute enables police officers to conduct a breathalyzer test on anyone under the age of 21 if they are suspected to be under the influence whilst operating a vehicle.
What Are the Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving in the State of Florida?
Whilst the acceptable blood alcohol content (BAC) for adults in the state of Florida is below 0.08%, individuals under 21 must have a BAC of under 0.02% whilst driving.
Let’s look at some of the penalties facing underage drinking and driving in North Port, Florida.
- 1st offense if compliant with a breath test – Potential immediate license suspension of up to 6 months.
- 2nd offense if compliant with a breath test – Potential immediate license suspension of up to 12 months.
- Under 21 and refusing to comply with a Breathalyzer test – An immediate license suspension of up to 12 months for a first offense or 18 months for a second.
- Under 16 – License suspension occurs once the individual is eligible to receive a driver’s license. Plus, a mandatory substance abuse course for individuals with a BAC of 0.05% or over.
Why You Need a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend Your Rights in North Port, FL.
Whilst every DUI case is different, here at The Law Place, our North Port DUI lawyers can take on any type of charge and fight to achieve the best possible case outcome.
Our DUI attorneys can challenge aspects of the case, such as the reasons for the traffic stop that resulted in a DUI charge, the accuracy of the blood alcohol or breath test, or even whether statements were made to you without you being aware of your legal rights.
Essentially, our experienced North Port DUI attorneys work to find unlawful flaws in your case, which could result in a judge dismissing charges or reducing penalties. Together, we’ll work on a strategic approach to build a strong defense and fight for the best result for your case.
Contact The Law Place Today for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in North Port, you’ll need to contact a skilled and experienced North Port criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help see you through the process.
Here at The Law Place, our North Port DUI attorneys work discreetly and professionally to support you through the legal system surrounding DUI charges. We have over seventy-five years of experience, skill, and knowledge spread across our team. Together we’re committed to getting the best case results for our clients all over North Port and the rest of the State of Florida.
We also offer a complimentary, no-obligation initial consultation to address your concerns and help you feel like you’ve made the right choice. We’ll also help you to understand your situation, calm your worries, make sure you haven’t been wrongfully charged, and plan how to achieve the best possible result for your DUI charge.
Contact The Law Place today to speak to one of our dedicated DUI lawyers serving North Port, Florida. Our phone lines are always open, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. So we are always available to support you.
Contact us now on (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation, and together we can fight your DUI conviction together in North Port.