At Lockett Law, our team has handled some of the toughest DUI cases in Yulee and surrounding areas. We focus on winning these cases, and our team has the know-how and skills to obtain dismissals and charge reductions.
If you have been picked up for DUI, you are about to enter a maze of administrative and criminal hearings. Many people are shocked to learn that simply being arrested for DUI can lead to an automatic license revocation within 10 days of the arrest, and they don’t know what to do. Fortunately, our Yulee, Florida DUI lawyers can help.
An Arrest is Not a Conviction
Things might feel hopeless, but getting arrested for DUI—even blowing a high number on a breathalyzer, does not mean the case is over. The state still needs to secure a conviction before they can impose criminal penalties.
This is where a lawyer can be a big help. At our firm, we can analyze the facts to decide what defenses to bring against the charges. We can also try to get evidence suppressed, which can make a dismissal of charges more likely. The last thing a defendant should do is simply sit back and watch the process play out.
You Can Lose Your License in an Administrative Suspension
Once cited for DUI, the officer will probably confiscate your license and issue a 10-day permit. You basically have 10 days to request a hearing and try to get your license back. Florida is so serious about DUI that they’ll suspend a person’s license even if they have not yet been convicted.
The length of the suspension depends on whether this is your first or a subsequent arrest for DUI. It also depends on whether you refused to take a chemical test. Most people are facing at least a 1-year suspension.
Florida Imposes Serious Penalties for DUI
If convicted, you are facing possible jail time, fines, and a license revocation. Below is a thumbnail sketch of the penalties, which increase with each DUI conviction:
- Jail sentence up to 6 months
- Fine up to $1,000
- 180-day license revocation (minimum)
- Jail sentence up to 9 months
- Fine up to $2,000
- Up to 5-year license revocation if second offense happened within 5 years of first
- Jail sentence up to 12 months
- Fine up to $5,000
- Up to 10-year license revocation if third conviction within 10 years of second
- Prison sentence up to 5 years
- Fine up to $5,000
- Mandatory permanent revocation of license
If someone was injured or killed in the accident, then a defendant could face even more severe punishments. For example, Florida might charge a suspect with DUI manslaughter if someone is killed in the crash. DUI manslaughter can be charged as either a first-degree or second-degree felony.
Those Impaired by Drugs Face a Double Whammy
If your driving was impaired by drugs, then the prosecutor can charge you for DUI and also for possession. A possession charge can be a third-degree felony, which carries up to 5 years in prison. Our team can challenge the validity of blood and urine tests that allegedly show the presence of drugs.
Convictions Carry Repercussions
In addition to avoiding jail and fees, there are additional reasons to fight a DUI charge. A conviction has many collateral consequences that few defendants have thought about. For example:
- An employer who pulls a background check might not hire you because of your DUI.
- A landlord could refuse to rent an apartment to you because of your DUI conviction.
- A licensing board might suspend a professional license because of the conviction or refuse to issue one to you in the first place.
- Colleges and universities might refuse to admit a student who has an underage DUI on their record.
These collateral consequences can end up costing our clients considerable time and money in the future and represent barriers to advancing as an adult. It is best to do everything possible to fight off the charges rather than to meekly accept your fate.
Speak with One of Our Attorneys Today
Lockett Law, P.A., is a leading firm in Yulee handling DUI cases. Our team has represented countless people facing down very serious penalties, and we know how to defend against these charges. Instead of hoping the prosecutor will take things easy on you, please reach out to our law firm today. It is sometimes possible to get evidence kicked out of court or to aggressively argue for reduced charges.
One of our Yulee, Florida DUI lawyers will be happy to meet for a free initial consultation if you contact us now.