Sarasota DUI Attorneys
Florida DUI Laws
If you are convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, the penalties can be severe and expensive. Under Florida law, a DUI offense occurs when a driver operates or is found in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired or with a breath/ blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher.
Administrative Driver’s License Suspension
When you are arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, your driver’s license may be suspended. If this is your first DUI offense and your blood alcohol level was measured at .08 percent or higher, your license will be suspended for six months. In the event that you refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for one year.
If this is not your first refusal of a lawful blood, breath or urine test, the penalties will be more severe. For those who refused a prior lawful breath, blood or urine test, your license will be suspended for 18 months, and an additional misdemeanor charge of “refusal” will be brought against you.
Florida 10 Day Rule
It is possible to preserve your driver’s license but you must act quickly! Under Florida law, you have the option to challenge your license suspension by requesting an administrative review hearing. Alternatively, if you have not been previously convicted of a DUI, you have the option to waive your right to the review hearing and request the immediate issuance of a Business Purpose Only (BPO) license. If you are issued a BPO license you will only be permitted to drive in order to maintain your livelihood (this would include driving for work, educational, church or medical reasons).
Regardless of which option you choose, you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to take action. There are certain procedures that must be followed no matter which option you decide is best for you. The legal team at Fowler Law Group has the experience to guide you through this process. Our experienced Sarasota DUI attorneys will carefully review your situation and advise you on all options that may be available to you.
DUI Fines, Penalties and Imprisonment
If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, the penalties and fines can be harsh. If this is your first conviction the fine will generally range from $500 to $1,000. In the event that your blood alcohol level is measured at .15% or higher, or a minor was in your vehicle, the fine will increase to $1,000-$2,000. The fine ranges for repeat offenders are higher and depend upon the number of earlier DUI convictions. Additionally, DUI fines and other penalties may be increased substantially if you are in an accident involving property damage, injury or death of another person while you are driving under the influence.
In addition to fines, if you are convicted of a DUI you may be subject to other penalties, including imprisonment. First time offenders can be sentenced to jail for a period of six to nine months depending upon their blood alcohol levels. Incarceration periods increase for repeat offenders and if the DUI driver is involved in an accident that causes property damage or injuries to another person.
Contact a Team of Skilled DUI Attorneys
A DUI conviction can have serious and long-lasting effects upon your life. If you are dealing with a DUI arrest, you should discuss your situation with a lawyer who is familiar with Florida’s DUI laws as soon as possible.
At Fowler Law Group, our experienced Sarasota DUI attorneys know how to effectively defend DUI cases involving alcohol and/or drug impairment. As a former Sarasota County and Manatee County prosecutor, James Fowler has a unique insight into how the State handles DUI cases. Mr. Fowler has completed training programs in “Prosecuting the Drugged Driver” and “Prosecuting Refusal Cases” and is an active member of the National College for DUI Defense.
The legal team at Fowler Law Group is committed to aggressively defending DUI cases. When we take your case, our firm will thoroughly review the evidence and work vigorously to protect your legal rights and driving privileges. If you have been involved in a DUI or have questions about Florida’s DUI laws, contact us today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.