DUI charges can have severe and life-altering consequences. You may face jail time, suspension of your license, probation, increased insurance and fines as a result of a DUI conviction. To avoid such consequences, it may be wise to take legal action with the help of a local and experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Consulting one of our criminal Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert as soon as possible following an arrest on DUI charges can be the most effective means of fighting back against the charges. A Loxahatchee DUI Lawyer can examine the evidence and devise the best defense strategy for your situation. As a result, you may be able to avoid or minimize the possible negative impact of a DUI conviction on your life. To begin to review the facts and law of your case, call today to schedule a free consultation.
DUI Traffic Stops in Loxahatchee
Most DUI arrests arise from traffic stops made by police based on a traffic violation or behavior of the driver that suggests impairment. Once police officers make the stop, they would typically observe the drivers for common signs of intoxication, such as bloodshot eyes, the odor of alcohol, and slurred speech. When officers suspect that drivers are impaired, they may conduct field sobriety tests, including the following:
- Walk and turn test
- One-leg stand
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus
- Finger to nose test
- Alphabet test
These tests are part of a battery of tests that have been standardized and approved for use by police officers in DUI cases. However, drivers are not required by law to take field sobriety tests. If drivers choose to undergo these tests, they may provide evidence to support DUI charges against them if the tests reveal unsteady balance or other indications of intoxication.
Police officers are also likely to request that the driver undergo a breathalyzer test to measure their blood alcohol content (BAC). However, if driver refuses to take a breathalyzer, the repercussions can be exceedingly harsh to your driver’s license and criminal record, whether you are convicted of DUI or not.
DUI Laws and Penalties
Under Fla. Stat. § 316.193, individuals commit DUI when they are driving or exercising control over a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that it impairs their normal faculties. Alternatively, DUI occurs when individuals have a BAC of .08 percent or higher.
The penalties for a DUI conviction differ primarily according to the number of previous convictions individuals have, as well as the facts of the case. As a result, the penalties typically increase with each subsequent conviction. A Loxahatchee DUI Lawyer can ensure that individuals are fully aware of the potential penalties that they are facing in a DUI case and work hard to minimize these.
For instance, a DUI conviction for individuals with no previous DUI convictions can result in the following penalties:
- Up to six months in jail
- A fine ranging from $500 to $1,000
These penalties can increase substantially for a second conviction, including up to nine months in jail and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. A second DUI conviction also requires drivers to install an ignition interlock device (IID) before being able to drive under a restricted license, if they are eligible for one. Likewise, a third DUI conviction within ten years becomes a Felony under state law, which can result in up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and mandatory installation of an IID for two years.
License Suspension in Loxahatchee DUI Cases
Aside from the criminal penalties that individuals face for a DUI conviction, they also will face sanctions imposed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Within ten days of a DUI arrest, individuals must request an administrative hearing with the DHSMV, or they will be subject to an automatic license suspension.
The length of a suspension depends on various factors, including previous suspensions and DUI convictions. The DHSMV also determines whether individuals are eligible for restricted licenses during any period of suspension.
Contact a Loxahatchee DUI Attorney Today
When you are facing DUI charges, you cannot afford to handle it yourself and risk your license, your job, and your freedom. Contact a Loxahatchee DUI defense Lawyer for the advice that you need in this situation.
Working with legal counsel at Leifert & Leifert may enable you to build an adequate defense of your DUI charges. You may be able to reduce the impact of any potential penalties on your life and work toward a more favorable resolution in your case.