Many individuals do not consider driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (DUI) to be a significant offense. It does not require any criminal intent and happens to many people regardless of age or demographic. Nevertheless, DUI penalties are serious and a DUI offence appears on employment background checks for the rest of that person’s life.
An attorney well versed in DUI law in Florida can help make sure this does not happen. Scott F. Kotler, P.A. focuses on criminal law in Southern Florida. As a prosecutor and a defense attorney with decades of experience, I have seen countless DUI cases. I know the technical aspect of the law that make a difference in a case.
What are the first-time DUI penalties in Florida?
It is easy to get arrested for DUI in Florida. The minimum threshold blood alcohol content is .08 percent, which requires only a small amount of consumption for most people. That minimum drops to .04 for commercial vehicle drivers and only .02 for people under the age of 21.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida, do not the the charge lightly.
Maximum penalties for a first offense include:
- Nine months in jail
- @2000 in fines
- A suspended license for 180 days to one year
- An ignition interlock device that can shut down your vehicle
- The impoundment of your vehicle for ten days
- A required course on DUI information
- 50 hours of community service
- Therapy sessions at your own expense
The loss of driving privileges, potential jail time and thousands of dollars in fines can be devastating to those who need their vehicle to commute to work. Significant jail time, loss of income and a criminal record can cripple a person’s future job prospects.
Florida police issue many DUI citations every year
According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, there were more than 55,000 DUI citations in the state, resulting in 33,000 actual convictions in 2011. Miami-Dade and Broward were among the top ten countless for DUI, with 2,274 DUI convictions in Miami-Dade and 985 in Broward.
However, there are defenses to DUI charges, especially those that resulted from a vehicle stop at a checkpoint. Police are allowed to stop vehicles at checkpoints in a random manner only, and a request to test a driver for alcohol consumption must be based on a reasonable suspicion. these and other requirements are extremely important, and if officers did not follow them precisely, the court may dismiss the charges. Speak to a DUI lawyer serving Miami to know more about your chances for a dismissal or reduction of your charges.
Call my office today to schedule a free initial consultation about DUI charges
DUI citations are serious, but a skilled attorney may be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed. Scott F. Kotler, P.A. represents residents of Miami-Dade, Broward and surrounding counties. I have practiced criminal law in Florida since 1987, and have seen every sort of case. If you face DUI charges, contact my office at 305-804-2436 or online to schedule a free initial consultation.
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