DUI Defense Attorney in Middleburg, FL
At Lockett Law, P.A., we represent men and women accused of driving under the influence. Generally, someone can be convicted if their blood alcohol level (BAL) is above a certain threshold (usually 0.08) or if they have drugs or alcohol in their system and their ability to drive safely is impaired.
Please reach out to our law firm today. There is so much confusing information about Florida DUI floating around the Internet that defendants need accurate advice from a seasoned Middleburg DUI attorney.
How Much Jail Time Are You Facing if Convicted?
Time in jail is only one penalty that a defendant faces. However, it is a possibility for all defendants, even first-time offenders.
The amount of time in jail will depend on many factors, such as the number of prior convictions for DUI, in Florida and in other states, as well as your blood alcohol level (BAL) and whether you had a minor in the vehicle with you.
First conviction for DUI:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- If your BAL was .15 or above or you had a minor in the vehicle, up to 9 months in jail
Second conviction for DUI:
- Up to 9 months in jail
- If BAL was .15 or higher, or a minor was in the vehicle, then up to 12 months
- If you had a second conviction within 5 years, you face a mandatory 10 days in jail, with at least 48 hours being consecutive.
Third conviction for DUI:
- Up to 12 months in prison
- If your third conviction happened within 10 years of a prior one, then a mandatory 30 days in jail, with at least 48 hours consecutive
Fourth conviction for DUI:
- Up to 5 years in prison and possible designation as a habitual offender
What Are Other Penalties?
In addition to possible jail time, defendants usually must pay a fine, which can be at least $500 if this is your first offense but goes up from there depending on prior convictions, a very high BAL, or whether there was a minor in the vehicle.
Defendants can also expect their vehicles to be impounded. A first conviction usually results in at least a 10-day impoundment, much more for repeat offenders.
A motorist will also lose his or her license for a certain amount of time following a conviction. At a minimum, a person should have their license revoked for 180 days, which can climb to 10 years or possibly a lifetime revocation, depending on their criminal history.
What if Someone Was Hurt in the Accident?
DUI without bodily injury is bad enough. However, if someone was seriously hurt in the accident, then a defendant is facing much more serious penalties. A defendant should not be surprised if the state “throws the book” at them when innocent people are injured.
For example, if someone was seriously injured (but did not die), then a defendant can be imprisoned for up to 5 years and have their license revoked for a minimum of 3 years. If the defendant fled the scene of the crime, then more serious penalties will befall them.
When someone has unfortunately died, a defendant faces DUI manslaughter or vehicular homicide charges. These offenses can be charged as first- or second-degree felonies and can land a defendant in prison for 15 years. When someone dies, the state will seek maximum penalties even against first-time offenders. These are very serious charges, and we encourage all suspects to immediately reach out to an attorney to review.
How Can You Help?
Our firm has represented defendants in all types of DUI cases, involving drugs or alcohol, up to and including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. We understand how the prosecutor thinks and can find evidence that casts doubt on your guilt. Many people who blow a high number on a breath test automatically assume that they will go to jail. This is not remotely true.
Our attorneys can attack all parts of the prosecutor’s case, from the initial police stop to the validity of the chemical test and any statements you might have given to the police. Our goal is an acquittal on all charges, if possible.
We can also represent clients at an administrative hearing to ensure they do not lose their license in the automatic license suspension. But we need to hear from you, because your temporary license will expire 10 days after your arrest.