The State of Florida takes DUI crimes very seriously, and there is a no-tolerance attitude towards driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Depending on the severity of a DUI offense, you may face harsh penalties if convicted, which could include a felony charge.
In order to be charged with drunk driving, your blood alcohol content (BAC) level must be at least 0.08%, or your normal faculties must be impaired. If you have been previously convicted of a DUI offense, your penalty will likely be more severe. Additionally, if your DUI crime is serious, you may be charged with a third-degree felony. In Florida, being convicted of a third-degree felony can result in up to five years of imprisonment and up to $5,000 in fines. In order to protect your rights in a DUI case, getting the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer in Venice is essential.
Here at The Law Place, our criminal defense lawyers are experienced in dealing with Venice DUI cases. We know that being charged with a felony is extremely stressful, and we are here to help you. Our law firm has over 75 years of combined experience in criminal defense cases, including drunk driving and all DUI charges.
If you have been charged with a felony DUI in Venice, FL., contact The Law Place today. We offer a free consultation where our team of skilled criminal defense lawyers will listen to you and assess your case. We will examine the facts of the case in order to determine what kind of DUI defense we can start to build for you.
Contact The Law Place today for your free consultation at (941) 444-4444. Our lines are open 24/7. We are here to fight for your rights and build a strong criminal defense for you.
Definition of Driving Under the Influence Charges in Venice, FL.
If you are found drunk driving or driving under the influence in Venice, FL., you may face a number of different charges. In order to be charged with a DUI, Florida Statute 316.193 requires that the person:
- Was found to be operating a vehicle or physically in control of a vehicle in Florida.
- Was under the influence of any chemical substance not provided by a medical practitioner, including alcohol.
- Had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of at least 0.08% or had impaired faculties.
DUI Laws and Penalties in Venice, Florida
In Florida, the punishments for a DUI conviction will be determined by whether you have had previous convictions and the severity of the crime.
Penalties for a first or second time DUI conviction may include:
- Fines – A first-time DUI offense will likely result in a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000. If you have been convicted for a second time, your fine will increase to a minimum of $1,000, with a maximum of $2,000.
- Jail time – If you have been convicted of a DUI for the first time, you could be put in jail for up to 6 months. This increases to up to 9 months for a second-time conviction.
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license – Florida Statute 322.28 provides that a first-time conviction for a DUI may result in a suspension of your driver’s license for a maximum of 180 days. Following this, if you receive another conviction within the next five years for a DUI, your driver’s license may be revoked for up to 5 years.
- Ignition interlock device – In Florida, an ignition interlock device may be installed in your vehicle following a first-time DUI conviction. Depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level, the length of time the device will be installed in your car will vary. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was from 0.08% to 0.15%, it might be installed for up to 6 months, depending on the court’s decision. However, this installation for up to 6 months will be mandatory if it’s at 0.15% or more. If you have been convicted of a DUI for a second time, this installation period increases to up to one year. It is required that you cover the costs of this device.
The penalties for receiving a third DUI conviction increase greatly. This is because you will receive a third-degree felony charge. These penalties include:
- Fines – If your third DUI conviction happened 10 years or more after your previous convictions, the court could make you pay between $2,000 and $5,000. If your third conviction was within 10 years following your previous convictions, your third-degree felony charge would carry with it a fine of up to $5,000. In the event that you have been convicted of a DUI for the fourth time, this will automatically result in a third-degree felony charge. The fine for a fourth DUI conviction is at least $2,000.
- Jail time – A third DUI conviction that occurred at least 10 years after your previous conviction may result in you spending up to 12 months in jail. If this conviction happened within the 10 years of your previous conviction, this can result in up to five years of incarceration. If you have been convicted of a fourth DUI, regardless of when it happened, you could possibly face up to 5 years in jail.
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license – If you have been convicted of a third DUI within the 10 years following your previous conviction, your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 10 years. Being convicted of a DUI for the fourth time will automatically result in a permanent revocation of your license.
- Ignition interlock device – A third-time DUI conviction will result in an ignition interlock device being automatically installed in your vehicle for a maximum of 2 years. It is required that you cover the costs for this device in the event that you are granted a permanent or restricted license.
Enhanced Penalties for DUI Accident Involving Bodily Injury or Property Damage
In the event that an accident has occurred as a result of your DUI and there has been damage to property or bodily injury, you may face additional and enhanced penalties.
If your DUI accident has resulted in damage to property or the injury of another person, you could face a misdemeanor charge. Penalties for a misdemeanor include imprisonment for up to one year and additional fines of up to $1,000.
If a serious bodily injury has occurred as a result of your DUI accident, you will be charged with a third-degree felony once it is shown that your actions caused or played a part in the injury. The penalties for a third-degree felony include imprisonment for up to 5 years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Where a wrongful death has occurred because of a DUI accident, an individual will likely be charged with a second-degree felony of DUI manslaughter. If charged with a second-degree felony, your additional penalties can include a maximum of $10,000 in fines and to up to 15 years of imprisonment.
If there is evidence to show that you knowingly left the scene of the accident where someone was seriously injured, and your failure to seek help resulted in wrongful death, you will be charged with DUI manslaughter. In these circumstances, this will amount to a first-degree felony, which carries with it penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to 30 years of imprisonment.
Understanding the Severity of DUI Crimes in Venice, Florida.
As stated in Florida Statute 316.1934, attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence is prohibited. Drunk driving or driving on drugs that impair your judgment and alter your ability to control your vehicle is considered a serious crime.
If you are driving under the influence, typical factors that will reduce your awareness and abilities on the road include:
- Your ability to walk and coordinate yourself properly.
- Your ability to react fast and sharply.
- Your depth perception.
- Your ability to speak and understand clearly.
- Your hearing and vision abilities.
Committing a DUI Offense in Venice, FL.
In order to be convicted of a DUI offense in Venice, Florida, it is necessary for the court to prove that you were driving under the influence, which can include drunk driving or driving whilst on a substance that impairs your judgment.
For a first time conviction, the courts must demonstrate that:
- The person’s judgment and awareness were impaired whilst operating a vehicle due to drunk driving or being under the influence.
- Their blood alcohol content (BAC) level was at least 0.08% whilst operating a vehicle.
The Procedure for a Florida DUI Charge
If you have been stopped by a police officer when driving in Venice, Florida, and have been arrested and charged with a DUI, it is important that you contact a criminal defense attorney. Usually, a police offer will pull you over if you have broken any rules of the road, which could include failing to stop at a traffic light, speeding, swerving, and driving dangerously. If a police offer suspects that you are drunk driving or under the influence of a substance, they will request that you take a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test.
If you decide against taking the breathalyzer or field sobriety test, it is likely that you will be taken into custody by law enforcement in Venice. Once you are in custody, it will be up to a prosecutor to decide whether they should charge you for driving under the influence. If you are charged, the most important step for you to take is to contact a DUI lawyer in Venice, that can assist you with your case. A criminal defense attorney will be able to analyze the facts of your case and build a strong DUI defense on your behalf.
Contact The Law Place Today
At The Law Place, we know that being charged with a felony DUI is extremely stressful. Our team of criminal defense lawyers is experienced in many practice areas in Venice, including DUI’s and felony charges. Our DUI lawyers are here to help you with your case and provide you with the best possible assistance in building your defense.
We offer a free consultation in which a DUI lawyer will analyze the facts of your case and advise you on your options. If you decide to hire us, we will conduct a thorough investigation into your case and do all of the communication with prosecutors and lawyers on your behalf. Our main priority is building a strong defense for you to reduce your Venice DUI charge and penalties. We want to make this process less stressful for you.
If you have been caught drunk driving or under the influence of any controlled substance in Venice, call The Law Place today. We will give you a free consultation with an experienced DUI lawyer who will fight on your behalf.
Contact us today at (941) 444-4444 for your free consultation. Our lines are open 24/7 for your convenience.