Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney
Florida DUI Defense Lawyers Aggressively Fighting for the Accused
Driving under the influence, or "DUI," is an extremely common charge throughout the State of Florida and across the United States as a whole. We hear about it in the news every day, with celebrities, athletes, and even judges being arrested for suspicion of DUI. The law regarding DUI and what constitutes probable cause to arrest for this offense has rapidly evolved over recent years. Without an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney representing you, a conviction is more likely in your DUI case.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Grossman, LLC has successfully defended thousands of clients against DUI charges, often resulting in dismissal of the charge altogether. Our Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer is experienced and knowledgeable on Florida DUI laws. We'll use those skills to fight your case.
Our Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (954) 280-8811 or visit our contact page to schedule your free DUI consultation.
DUI Penalties in Florida
DUI, or driving under the influence, or DWI, driving while intoxicated, is punishable by law in the State of Florida. The charge means that the defendant's normal faculties were compromised, and the person was found driving erratically or otherwise not complying with the laws of the State.
It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was driving while having a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher or being impaired by other intoxicants.
First DUI Penalties
For first-time convictions, DUI defendants will receive up to 6 months of jail time (or 9 months, if you had a minor in the vehicle or you had a BAC of .15). The total jail time and probation for a first DUI will be 12 months at the highest. Per the judge’s discretion, a first-time DUI jail sentence could instead be served at an alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program.
Defendants are also required to serve 50 hours of community service. Fines for a first DUI are between $500-$2,000, but the fine could be as high as $4,000 if you had a .15 BAC or a minor in the vehicle.
Second DUI Penalties
As you might expect, the penalties for a second DUI conviction are harsher than a first-time conviction. Judges can sentence defendants to as much as 9 months of jail time, but defendants are unlikely to serve their time in an alcoholism or drug abuse rehab center. If the second conviction is less than 5 years after the first, then the judge is required to sentence you to at least 10 days of incarceration time.
Second-time DUI convictions also come with 50 hours of mandatory community service. Defendants will be on probation for up to a year, and they’ll be forced to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 in fines.
Third DUI Penalties
Third-time DUI convictions, if they occur within 10 years of a prior conviction, are charged as a third-degree felony. A fourth DUI conviction is also treated as a third-degree felony, regardless of how long ago the previous convictions were. Additionally, a first or second DUI can be charged as a felony if the person causes serious bodily harm or fatal injury to someone while committing a DUI.
Felony DUIs come with far harsher prison sentences. Defendants could be sentenced to as much as 5 years of prison time, on probation for 5 years, pay up to $5,000 in fines, and receive a permanent revocation of their drivers license.
If convicted for DUI, most of the punishments are written into the Florida Statutes, meaning they are mandatory, so it is essential that you hire an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer to maximize your chances of having your case reduced to a lesser charge or dismissed altogether.
Field Sobriety Tests in Florida
If you are pulled over in Fort Lauderdale for a suspected DUI, the officer is going to administer one of the three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST):
- For the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test the officer will observe the eyes of the person as they slowly move a pen back and forth to look for signs that the person is impaired.
- For the Walk-and-turn test the officer instructs the person to take nine steps, touching heel-to-toe and the return back. The officer is looking for signs such as not being able to keep their balance or not following the instructions properly.
- For the One-leg stand test the officer instructs the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for about 30 seconds. Here The officer looks for signs such as swaying, hoping or using their arms to balance.
Possible Outcomes for DUI Charges in Florida
In addition to paying a fine, the first-time offender will also be required to serve 50 hours of mandatory community service. If the defendant cannot perform community service hours, additional fines will be imposed. Incarceration may also occur; however, jail time for first-time offenders is left up to the Court and will depend on your blood alcohol level.
Florida DUI License Suspension
Of greater importance, your license will be revoked, even if you are a first-time offender. You will be without a license for a minimum of six months, and the maximum imposed by Florida Statutes is one year. You may request a hardship license; however, you may be required to demonstrate enrollment or completion of a DUI course or treatment.
Be aware that you only have a 10-day window from the date of your arrest to request a hardship license.
If you are a repeat offender, fines and incarceration will increase based on your criminal record. Repeat offenders are charged with a third-degree felony, fines can be as high as $5,000.00 with incarceration periods up to 5 years. Your license will also be revoked for 5 years. A Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney at our Florida law firm can help you navigate your DUI charges and potential outcomes.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer Now
Our experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer can guide you through your options, including fighting the charge altogether. We work toward the goal of obtaining a reduced charge or dismissal of your case.
Let our Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney go to bat for you. Call (954) 280-8811 to schedule a free consultation with our DUI law firm.
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