A driving under the influence charge is a criminal traffic violation. A common misperception about driving under the influence, or DUI, is that those facing charges simply face points on their driving record and possibly a driver’s license suspension.
However, a DUI is a serious criminal charge in Wellington that could result in jail time in addition to a license suspension. In fact, a first-time DUI conviction could lead to six months in jail, hundreds of dollars in fines, and other stiff penalties.
Anyone facing a DUI should take it seriously. If you fall into this category, call a Wellington DUI lawyer for help today. A qualified criminal defense attorney could work hard towards attaining a positive result to your case. En Español.
Legal Definition of DUI
In Wellington, a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The State accuses most people facing DUI charges of driving while intoxicated. Each state has its own legal definition of intoxication. The law in Wellington, Florida considers those with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher to be legally intoxicated.
When police suspect someone of driving while intoxicated, they typically administer an alcohol breath test to determine the driver’s BAC. In some cases, the arresting officer may administer a blood or urine test to determine whether a driver is intoxicated. Any driver who refuses to take a breath, blood, or urine alcohol test will face a separate criminal charge for their refusal if they have refused such a test previously.
What Are the Penalties of a DUI in Wellington?
Penalties for first-time DUI conviction can be harsh. Penalties increase for subsequent convictions, depending on how much time passes between each conviction. For a first offense, a person could receive a maximum jail sentence of six months. They may also lose their driver’s license for between 180 days and one year and pay a maximum fine of $1,000. They may also have to complete community service and a mandatory DUI education course completion.
A second offense within five years of the first could mean a maximum jail sentence of nine months and a driver’s license suspension of up to 5 years. The person could have to pay a maximum fine of $2,000 and have a minimum one-year installation of an ignition interlock device. Penalties also include a mandatory ten days in jail for a second conviction within five years of any prior DUI
A third offense within ten years could result in a maximum sentence of 12 months and a driver’s license suspension for up to ten years. An individual could also have to pay a maximum fine of $5,000 and have a minimum two-year installation of an ignition interlock device. This charge can also be elevated to a felony. A Wellington DUI lawyer could attempt to mitigate the charges that an individual may face.
Is There a Charge in Wellington for Driving While Impaired by Drugs?
Unlike nearby States, Florida does not have a separate charge for driving under the influence of drugs. Motorists under the influence of any controlled substance may face a DUI charge. This is true regardless of whether the controlled substance was a legal prescription, such as OxyContin or Xanax, or an illicit drug, such as marijuana or heroin. Drivers in possession of an illegal substance could face drug charges in addition to a DUI charge.
Why Should Someone Speak with a Wellington DUI Attorney?
A DUI case is often expensive and may cost you your driver’s license. Your best chance of getting through your case unscathed may be to contact a Wellington DUI lawyer for help.
Call now to discuss your legal defense with an experienced criminal attorney.