A DUI is a very serious criminal charge that deserves a serious defense. Under Florida law, those convicted can lose their licenses, pay steep fines, and even have their vehicles impounded. In some situations, someone with a first-time DUI can also end up in jail.
At our firm, we aim to win every DUI case we take. Unlike other firms, we aren’t satisfied to accept a quick plea deal. Instead, we closely analyze the facts and come up with the best defense for our clients based on the facts before us. To get started on your case, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Fleming Island DUI lawyer.
Serious Penalties for a Serious Criminal Offense
Most first-time DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, but this does not mean that you will get off with a slap on the wrist. Instead, many people in Fleming Island end up paying huge fines and not being able to drive for a year or more.
Those facing a first-time arrest for DUI are looking at:
- A possible 6 months in jail
- A $1,000 fine
- Minimum 180-day revocation of their license
And the DUI penalties only go up from there for a second, third, or fourth DUI arrest. Someone picked up multiple times increases their chances of being sent to jail or prison and could be charged with a felony depending on their criminal record.
Even if this is your first-time offense, jail is possible, especially if the concentration of alcohol in your blood was very high (0.15 or higher) or if someone was actually injured while you were driving.
There is an administrative side to DUI cases in Florida that comes into play regardless of whether you are convicted. Once arrested, the officer will take your license and give you a permit that is only good for 10 days. You will need to request an administrative hearing within that period so that you don’t lose your driving privileges.
At the hearing, you can argue that you weren’t driving under the influence and that you deserve your license back. Many drivers are facing a suspension of a year or more. If you refused to take a chemical test, then the suspension of driving privileges could be longer.
DUI & Drug Use
Someone under the influence of drugs can also be picked up and prosecuted for DUI. These defendants face special problems, however. Not only can the prosecutor come after them for DUI, but they might also throw drug possession charges on top. Many defendants caught with an illegal substance are facing up to 5 years in prison for a felony possession charge. Fortunately, Lockett Law is well versed on defending drug possession charges, and we can fight them right along with the DUI.
In some tragic cases, someone actually dies in an accident when you are impaired. Florida law allows the prosecutor to seek a DUI manslaughter charge, which can carry a minimum 124.5 months in prison. Many defendants get even longer sentences or have additional years tacked on for probation. Also, many defendants will permanently lose their license. If someone has unfortunately died in a DUI accident, you need immediate legal representation, since prosecutors will have very little sympathy for you, regardless of your driving history.
Some members of the public wrongly believe that underage drivers will get a lenient sentence. Unfortunately, the penalties for someone under 21 are just as serious. Any driver under 21 who is caught with a blood alcohol level of 0.02 or higher can be prosecuted for DUI and can lose their license, among other punishment.
Defending a DUI Case
There is no silver bullet to defending against a Fleming Island DUI charge. Each case is different, and we approach them individually. Unlike other firms, there are no “off the rack” defense strategies we use, nor do we throw the kitchen sink at the case hoping something will stick. Instead, we can aggressively hold the prosecutor to their burden of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We can also challenge the initial police stop and/or the collection of physical evidence as being unconstitutional.
Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer in Fleming Island, FL Today for a Free Consultation
After an arrest, many people feel hopeless, especially after blowing a high number on a breathalyzer. But there is still hope.
At Lockett Law, P.A., we have handled countless DUI cases and understand the best way to defend them to the benefit of our clients. For more help with your case, please contact our firm to schedule a free consultation.