Facing a criminal charge for driving under the influence (DUI) can be a nerve-wracking experience and lead to many different legal and personal problems. A conviction for a DUI could lead to the revocation of your driver’s license, jail time, heavy fines, and additional penalties.
Fortunately, you have a legal right to defense from a skilled Lake Worth DUI lawyer. By working with our dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert, you may be able to build a strong and persuasive defense to protect your freedom.
Understanding DUI Laws
Florida’s DUI laws establish different acceptable blood alcohol content (BAC) levels depending on the type of driver. For example, a driver under the age of 21 may be charged with DUI if their BAC is .02 percent or above, and a BAC of .04 percent or above may result in a DUI conviction for drivers of commercial vehicles. A driver over the age of 21, on the other hand, must register a BAC of .08 percent or above in order to be found guilty of the same offense.
The State of Florida also mandates that drivers voluntarily submit to a BAC test when asked. Those who refuse to do so would automatically have their licenses suspended for 12 months for a first-time refusal, while any subsequent refusals would result in an 18-month suspension.
Furthermore, these laws do not just apply to drivers under the influence of alcohol—they also apply to anyone who is found guilty of driving under the influence of illegal or prescribed drugs that have impaired their normal abilities and functions. A seasoned Lake Worth DUI attorney should understand the specifics of these laws and could explain the potential penalties as they relate to you and your case.
DUI Penalties in Lake Worth
Pursuant to Florida Statutes §316.193, a conviction for a first-time DUI offense could result in up to six months in jail, a probation period up to one year, and a fine between $500 and $1,000. Additional consequences that a Lake Worth DUI lawyer could review and challenge in further detail may include:
- License revocation for a minimum of six months up to a maximum of one year
- Mandatory attendance at DUI school for 12 hours
- Mandatory community service
- An evaluation to determine if the driver needs treatment for addiction
- Installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) for a minimum of six months
Penalties for Additional DUI Convictions
As is true in most states, the penalties for DUI convictions in Florida get progressively harsher for drivers who have more than one conviction. A second conviction could result in up to nine months in prison, probation lasting up to one year, and a fine of between $1,000 to $2,000. The mandatory length of attendance at DUI school also increases to 21 hours, and the minimum length of IID installation goes up to a minimum of one year.
A third offense elevates each category of penalty, including an incarceration to a maximum of one year and the maximum fine to $5,000. A fourth offense could mean up to five years of imprisonment or probation and a fine of no less than $2,000, as well as a lifetime driver’s license revocation.
Requesting an Administrative Hearing
After charging you with DUI, the arresting officer likely confiscated your driver’s license at the scene. If that happened, you only have 10 days to request an administrative hearing to prevent the automatic suspension of your license. This automatic suspension is separate from your eventual DUI court case. Our seasoned lawyer could stand by your side during an administrative hearing.
Talk to a Lake Worth DUI Attorney
A DUI charge could lead to heavy fines, extensive jail time, probation, the revocation of your driver’s license, and various other penalties. If you were charged with any type of DUI offense, you could benefit from contacting a Lake Worth DUI lawyer to go over what may be possible in your case.
A dedicated criminal defense attorney from Leifert & Leifert could explain the nuances of DUI law and work tirelessly to help you pursue a positive result. To schedule a free consolation, as well as a case review, get in touch with our law firm today.