If you have been accused of driving under the influence in the Tampa Bay area, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney. Being arrested does not mean that you will be convicted. A criminal defense attorney will work to get your DUI charge dismissed or reduced. It is important to fight DUI charges because a conviction carries severe penalties. If convicted, you may lose your driving privileges, have to serve jail time, have to pay hefty fines, and more. With your liberty at stake, you should contact a reputable law firm.
Our team of criminal defense attorneys at The Law Place has over 75 years of combined experience. The extensive experience and knowledge we have accumulated in Florida criminal law over the years can hugely benefit your defense case.
If you are searching for legal representation but don’t know where to begin, simply phone The Law Place today. To schedule your free consultation with a member of our team, call us now at (941)-444-4444.
DUI Charges in Florida
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a very severe charge in Florida. The state takes these traffic offenses seriously and is not afraid to penalize offenders harshly. This offense is committed when a driver is caught operating their vehicle with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of .08% or higher. People can also be arrested for DUI in Florida if a law enforcement officer believes that a person is driving a vehicle while their normal faculties are impaired.
In Florida, DUI is also referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI) and drunk driving. If you have been caught driving while intoxicated, your case will need vigorously defending by DWI lawyers. It is an offense that cannot be taken lightly. The chance of losing your driver’s license and serving possible jail time is real.
Drunk Driving in Palm Harbor, FL
Drunk driving in Palm Harbor is the same offense as DUI. At The Law Place, we strongly recommend that you do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have taken a controlled substance or drank alcohol. Even if you feel sober, your blood alcohol level can result in you being convicted.
This is a very dangerous offense in Palm Harbor. Driving while impaired can slow down reaction times and result in poor judgments being made. Every year in Palm Harbor innocent lives are taken by drunk drivers. It is important to understand your limits and the consequences of such an act.
We understand that accidents happen and that is why we have a DUI defense attorney to help you. Don’t let a moment of misjudgment negatively change your life forever.
Florida traffic laws are strict in the interest of public safety. The criminal law is also harsh to deter people from committing criminal acts. If you are convicted of a crime in Palm Harbor, never expect to be treated lightly or leniently.
The severity of your conviction will largely depend on how many previous DUI convictions you have received. Below we have outlined some of the typical penalties awarded to different DUI convictions.
First DUI Conviction
If this is the first time you have been arrested for driving under the influence, do not panic. First-time offenders, with a blood alcohol concentration of less than .15%, have the best chance of getting their DUI charges reduced or dropped.
Some of the penalties handed out to first-time offenders include:
- Up to $1,000 in fines.
- A maximum of six months imprisonment.
- 50 hours of community service.
- One year of probation.
- Attendance of DUI school.
- 10 days impoundment of a vehicle.
- A driver’s license suspension.
Second DUI Conviction
The second time a person is convicted of DUI, they can expect to face harsher penalties than what they did the first time around. The amount of time between your convictions can also influence the severity of your penalties. For example, a second conviction within five years of your first can result in you serving jail time. In most cases, a judge will impose a minimum sentence of 10 days.
Some of the additional penalties that you could expect to receive include:
- Up to $2,000 in fines.
- A maximum of nines months in jail.
- One year of probation.
- 30 days impoundment of a vehicle.
- The installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a minimum of six months.
- A driver’s license suspension.
Third DUI Conviction
If you are being charged with your third DUI within a decade of committing your first offense, you could be facing a felony conviction. These convictions are far more serious than misdemeanor convictions. Most felonies will require offenders to serve lengthy periods of jail time and pay hefty fines.
Facing a felony conviction in the Tampa Bay area is a big deal. You must contact reputable DWI lawyers. These charges are worth fighting. We can build you a solid defense strategy to aggressively defend your interests and rights. A lawyer may be able to get your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor charge. It is also possible for a lawyer to get a DUI charge reduced to reckless driving. This reduction can benefit you greatly as reckless driving convictions carry far less severe penalties.
Can I Operate My Boat Under the Influence?
You cannot operate your boat under the influence in Florida. Many people assume that DUI laws only apply to road users. This is not the case. If you want to operate your boat in Florida, you must ensure that you are not intoxicated and your blood alcohol concentration is below .08%. Many Floridians are caught out by this misconception every year. Mistakes happen and that is where we can help.
The penalties received by offenders who are caught operating their boats under the influence are equally as severe as the penalties received by road users. If caught, you could face possible jail time. The sooner you reach out to criminal defense attorneys, the better. It is better to seek legal representation early so that your lawyer has the maximum amount of time possible to build your defense case. They will gather and examine the evidence, talk to witnesses, and more.
Can I Have One Drink and Drive in Palm Harbor, FL?
As long as your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) remains under .08% in Palm Harbor, FL., you can drive after having a drink. When a person intakes alcohol, the particles are absorbed into their bloodstream. It is the role of the liver to break down those particles. On average, a person’s body can process one alcoholic drink per hour. When the body gets overwhelmed with alcohol, and the liver struggles to break down all the particles, a person will become intoxicated.
We strongly advise that no one drives after drinking alcohol in Palm Harbor, FL. You may think that you are under the legal limit, but it is very easy to slip above the limit. One drink of alcohol will mean different things to different people. Ultimately, the measurement of one drink of alcohol will depend on the type of substance.
For example, one drink of beer is typically 12 ounces. Whereas a glass of wine is 5 ounces and whiskey is 1.5 ounces. You must understand these limits and abide by the law if you wish to avoid severe punishment.
DUI Charges on Driving Records
A DUI conviction will remain on a driving record for 75 years. For most offenders in Palm Harbor, this will be for the rest of their lifetimes. Having a conviction on your driving record can be a huge annoyance. Not only will your insurance rates increase, but you may never be able to obtain a professional driving license. Your future employment opportunities can be impacted severely.
DUI Charges on Criminal Records
You should want to do all you can to avoid receiving a DUI conviction. This is because you cannot get these convictions expunged from your criminal record. This means that there is nothing that a criminal defense lawyer can do to remove it from your record.
Having a DUI conviction on your criminal record permanently can be a huge hindrance. For example, it can mean that your employment opportunities are limited, you may find difficulty securing bank loans and mortgages, you may struggle to travel internationally, and more. These convictions have serious consequences that are worth fighting.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a DUI Arrest?
If a police officer pulls your vehicle to a stop for a suspected case of driving under the influence, there are a few things you can do to help yourself out. We have stated these below.
Complete the Breathalyzer Test
A police officer will likely ask you to complete a breathalyzer test. If you know that you are sober, this can be frustrating, but the best thing you can do is cooperate with the officer. Refusing this test could result in you facing additional criminal charges. We are aware that these tests are notorious for producing skewed and incorrect results, our team will investigate the usage of your test to determine whether the results are legitimate. If an attorney finds out that your test has been administered incorrectly, your case could be dismissed.
An officer may also ask you to complete field sobriety tests, you are within your right to refuse these tests. However, completing them to prove your innocence can be very beneficial to your case.
The best thing you can do at the scene of an arrest is to stay quiet. You should only answer the simple and necessary questions asked of you by a police officer. This is because anything you do say can be held against your case. Do not admit fault or make a statement. As soon as you can following your arrest, you should contact a DUI attorney. An attorney will advise you on what you should say to the police and how you should act.
Can a Palm Harbor DUI Lawyer Attorney Help Me?
If you are facing criminal charges in Palm Harbor, an attorney can help you in many ways. As soon as you contact our law firm an attorney will offer you some free and honest legal advice. You must be aware of the legal options available to you. If you contact us fairly soon after your DUI arrest, an attorney will help you apply for a driving permit. This permit, if achieved, would enable you to drive your vehicle while you await the outcome of your case.
After deciding you would like our law firm to defend your case, you will be assigned an attorney who will be your support figure. They will guide you through legal proceedings and help you navigate Florida’s tricky criminal law.
You can feel rest assured knowing that your case is being dealt with in reputable hands. One of our attorneys is a former prosecuting attorney. This unique legal experience can aid your DUI case hugely.
Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Get My Charges Dropped?
An attorney can get your charges dropped. If you have previous convictions it can make this task more difficult, but not impossible.
In most cases, it is more realistic that an attorney will be able to get your charges reduced to reckless driving charges. Having your charges reduced to reckless driving can be a favorable outcome to your DUI case. The penalties for these charges are far less severe than the penalties attached to DUI convictions. Furthermore, it is possible to get a reckless driving conviction expunged from a criminal record.
Our criminal defense attorneys have helped countless clients with their DUI cases and they can help you too! These charges are always worth fighting. You can feel rest assured knowing that by seeking the legal representation of our attorneys, you will be giving yourself the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome from your case.
Contact The Law Place Today!
We understand how frightening it can feel in the aftermath of an arrest. If you have been arrested for DUI, try to keep calm. Just because you have been arrested, does not mean you will be convicted. The first and the best thing you can do is contact a reputable law firm.
Our law firm serves clients across the whole state of Florida and our other practice areas include personal injury law, family law, corporate law, and more.
To begin your criminal defense journey, schedule your free consultation with an attorney today. Someone at our law firm will be able to answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Don’t lose another moment. Call us now at (941)-444-4444.