If you are facing a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), then you have come to the right place. Here at The Law Place, we have high success rates when it comes to dealing with such cases. We have often been able to reduce the charges and sometimes had them entirely dismissed. However, this is all dependent on the situation. When facing a DUI, you probably do not feel it is necessary to hire a lawyer and instead give in to the charges. But, hiring a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer from a reputable law firm could make all the difference to the final outcome of your case.
According to Florida law, a DUI is viewed as a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a DUI, it will be on your driving record for up to 75 years. This is comparable to a life sentence in jail. Further to that, you will not be able to get it removed from your record, meaning that you will have a criminal offense against your name for the remainder of your life.
However, if your Sarasota DUI lawyer manages to get the charges changed to reckless driving instead of a DIU, then you will be able to file for your records to be amended accordingly. But you will only be able to do this if you do not have any prior convictions on either your driving record or any criminal offenses. This does not solely apply to the State of Florida. Even if the charges are dropped for a DUI and changed to reckless driving, you will not be able to amend your driving record within the State of Florida.
A DUI not only results in a criminal record but also comes with hefty fees. You will be charged an initial fine, and your insurance premium will increase. Also, you will need to purchase additional insurance called FR44. You will need this for 36 months, along with your current insurance.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Sarasota, Florida, we advise that you reach out to a lawyer that will be able to provide you with legal advice going forward. Get in touch with The Law Place today to speak to a criminal defense lawyer. Our firm is open 24/7, seven days a week. For a free consultation, call us at (941) 444-4444.
Administration Penalties in Sarasota, FL., for Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is against the law and illegal when operating any form of a motor vehicle within the State of Florida and across the entire country. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) readings come back with levels at 0.08% or higher, you will be charged. Underage drivers can be charged if their levels come back at 0.02%. This is equivalent to consuming one alcoholic drink. If a commercial driver is caught driving under the influence, they can be charged if their reading comes back at 0.04%.
Florida Statute 316.193 states that the reason it is illegal to be caught drink driving and have a BAC of 0.08% or higher is that it alters one’s ability to think clearly, let alone operate a vehicle. Not only does it put the driver in danger but also potential passengers, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians. A DUI could result in injury and property damage.
If you have been arrested for DUI, you will need a criminal defense attorney to help you. If you are unsure of how to proceed, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.
DUI Involving Illegal Drugs in Sarasota, FL.
It is illegal to operate a car if your judgment has been impaired. This not only includes drunk driving but any other substances, even prescription drugs. You may be thinking that if the drug is not illegal, as it was a prescription or from a drug store that you are not at fault. However, all medication comes with guidance. Some will state that you cannot operate heavy machinery. This includes driving your car. Following a car accident, you could be charged with a DUI if you have taken such medication.
If your case involved illegal drugs within the State of Florida, you would be judged severely due to the seriousness of the crime. You will most certainly face jail time, which will follow you for the rest of your life. For example, it can make it difficult when applying for jobs or loans, etc. We highly recommend that you seek legal counsel from a highly knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you are being charged with a DUI involving drugs.
Our team is here for you when you need us the most. If you are facing a DUI case, contact us today for a free consultation, we can make a difference.
DUI Involving Legal Drugs in Sarasota, FL.
We all have an understanding that we are putting ourselves and others at risk when it comes to drunk driving or taking illegal drugs. Yet, most people do not realize that they may still be at risk if they are taking prescription medication. A lot of legal medication will come with a leaflet highlighting any potential side effects and warnings. Prescription medication can have effects on our body, such as reducing our reaction time or causing blurred vision. The court can rule that you did not take the correct precautions if you have caused an accident and were found to be on prescription medication that clearly states not to operate machinery.
However, when it comes to DUI cases involving prescription medication, there are no clear-cut guidelines, unlike drunk driving. The court could rule that you were being reckless in your judgment and can still charge with a DUI. But an experienced DUI defense lawyer could argue your case, stating that your actions were realistic. Your DUI lawyer could also dispute that the medication was not the origin of the incident.
If you have been convicted with a DUI case because of taking prescribed medication, you could still face penalties. It seems unfair to be charged with a DUI case when you were simply taking medication prescribed by your doctor that could otherwise be detrimental to your health. In such a situation, having legal representation from a criminal defense lawyer could change your case, and the charges could be lessened or dismissed. These can be troubling and uncertain times, which is why we offer our help by providing a free consultation.
Penalties for a First DUI Charge in Sarasota
If you have been arrested for DUI in Sarasota, FL., then you will face various consequences.
- For a first time DUI, monetary fines of $500-$2,000.
- If your BAC was at 0.15% or higher or a minor was present in the car at the time of the arrest, then the fine will increase to $2,000-$4,000.
- Dependent on the circumstances of the case, you will have your license revoked for at least 180 days or up to a year from the date of your conviction.
- The court will rule a compulsory 50 hours of community service or the option to pay a fine of $10 per hour of community service.
- You could face jail time for up to 6-9 months for a first conviction.
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, it is down to the court’s ruling whether you will have to go to prison. If the judge does not think imprisonment is the correct course of action, then you might be required to attend a residential facility for drug and alcohol abuse.
Furthermore, the jail sentence can increase depending on the circumstances. If your BAC reading came back at 0.15% or above or a minor was in the car at the time of the arrest, you could be imprisoned for 9 months.
In addition to the above, your car and any other car registered in your name will be impounded for ten days. This will be excluded from your punishments if the car is required by someone else from the same household or if the car is registered to a company.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Sarasota, you will be held for 8 hours, be required to carry out field sobriety tests to rule that your judgment is no longer impaired, and your BAC level has to be below 0.05% in order to be released.
Ignition Interlock Device Sarasota, FL.
Depending on the circumstances of your DUI arrest in Sarasota, FL., you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. The court tends to do this if your BAC came back at 0.15% or higher or if there was a minor present in the car at the time of your arrest. Once installed, the ignition interlock device must stay in the car for a minimum of 6 months.
Outside of this, the court tends to decide such a penalty based on the circumstances of the case. This tends to be for those that have been permitted a restricted driving license as their job requires them to drive.
Unfortunately, there are additional costs in having an ignition interlock installed in your car:
- Basic interlock fee of $12.
- An installation fee of $75.
- A monitoring and calibration fee of $72.50/month.
- The choice of paying a $100 refundable deposit or an extra insurance charge of $5/month.
If you are unsure if you are entitled to having such a device fitted to your car, then speak to a criminal defense lawyer at The Law Place in Sarasota today, we offer an initial free consultation to answer any queries.
What to Do at the Scene of a DUI Accident in Sarasota, FL.
Following a car accident, we advise that you should always carry out some important steps where possible. If the accident involved DUI, whether it be from alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs, you will need to be even more efficient. If you have been involved in a car accident because of a DUI, then we advise you to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
- Make yourself safe – If you can do so, move yourself, and then others, to a safe location, out of the way of oncoming traffic.
- Call 911 – If you or someone else requires medical assistance for injuries incurred, you should call for an ambulance. It is also law to call the police following a motor vehicle accident.
- Report to the police – Under Florida law, you must report a road traffic accident to the police within ten days of it happening.
- Official police statements – If the accident was a result of a DUI, then you should seek legal counsel from a DUI defense lawyer before you make an official verbal or written statement to the police. A lawyer will be able to aid you and prepare for what to say to the police.
- DUI testing – It is up to you whether you wish to cooperate with the police when it comes to carrying out any testing for alcohol levels. It is in your right to refuse to carry out a field sobriety test, but you will face further legal consequences. The police officer has the right to issue you with a fine for not complying. Also, it makes you look guilty and can be used against you in court.
- Collect information – Whilst the incident is fresh in everyone’s minds, it is best to collect as much information as possible. You will also need to contact details of the other persons involved and any potential eyewitnesses.
- Gather evidence – If it is safe for you to do so, it is wise to take pictures of the scene. Anything could be useful and relevant. Your attorney will be able to review any evidence, and it may aid them in dismissing that you were completely at fault. This could change the court ruling of your case.
- Stay at the scene – If you are under the influence, your judgment will be impaired, and it may be tempting to flee the scene. But, if you do so, this will be ruled as a hit and run, which is a felony. By doing so, you will be only making matters worse for yourself.
Contact The Law Place in Sarasota, FL.
If you have been arrested and convicted for the first time for DUI in Sarasota, FL., we advise that you make immediate contact with a DUI defense attorney. The whole situation can be overwhelming, and Florida law is so complex that you probably do not know where to start. Be reassured that here at The Law Place, we have a wealth of experience in various practice areas and have handled numerous DUI cases. In most circumstances, we can fight to get the charges lessened or dismissed.
Do not wait. Give us a call at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation.