Fort Walton Beach DUI Lawyer
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Fort Walton Beach can change your life. One or two counts of a DUI are enough to affect your driving record and lead to severe criminal charges.
Florida considers a DUI a serious offense. That’s why a DUI arrest could result in third-degree felony charges and a maximum of $2,000 to $5,000 in fines. Law enforcement officers will charge you with a DUI if you are driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.08%.
Whether this is your first DUI charge or you’ve been charged before, a Fort Walton Beach DUI defense law firm can help. If you need a DUI defense specialist, contact the Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group. DUI arrest attorneys can help you maintain your innocence, fight for milder penalties, and aim for reduced sentencing.
Florida DUI Charges
Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193, outlines the charges a person may face in a Fort Walton Beach DUI criminal case. Florida law defines drunk driving as:
- Operating a vehicle or being in physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida while under the influence of alcoholic beverages
- Operating a vehicle or being in physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida while under the influence of any chemical substance identified in Florida Statute Chapter 877, Section 111, or any controlled substance identified in Chapter 893
- Operating a vehicle or being in physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or has a BAC of 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, you may need an experienced attorney. Whoever handles your DUI needs to examine the facts of your arrest and develop a sound defense strategy to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Fort Walton Beach FL Driving Under the Influence Penalties
DUI penalties can vary depending on the severity of the offense. Individuals with prior DUI convictions may also face harsher penalties. Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193(2)(a), states that someone with one or two drunk driving convictions can face the following penalties.
Fines and Jail Time
Okaloosa County drinking and driving fines could be anywhere between $500 and $1,000 for the first offense. A second DUI may result in a potential fine between $1,000 and $2,000. Pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge may also lead to jail time.
Potential penalties can not exceed six months for a first-time DUI, but a second drunk driving conviction can result in potential penalties of up to nine months in jail. Repeated and more serious offenses could result in felony charges. If you’re facing drunk driving fines and penalties, contact a Fort Walton Beach law firm now.
Florida Statute Chapter 322, Section 28, states that a first-time drunk driving conviction can result in the suspension of your license for at least 180 days, but not more than one year. The statute goes on to say that if a second DUI conviction occurs within five years, then your license could be revoked for five years.
Ignition Interlock Device
A first driving while drunk conviction may result in the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. If the courts deem it necessary, you may be stuck with the ignition interlock device for six continuous months.
If you’re found driving in the Fort Walton Beach area with a BAC of .15 or higher, Florida’s criminal justice system will impose an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for six continuous months.
A second DUI conviction results in the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for one year at the convicted individual’s expense when the individual qualifies for a restricted or permanent license.
Under Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193(2)(b), a person with three or more DUI convictions faces:
- Fines range from $2,000 to $5,000.
- Prison time, ranging from 12 months to five years
- Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation for 10 years or permanently
- Ignition Interlock Device for two years at the convicted individual’s expense
When property damage or bodily injury occurs because of a DUI accident, Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193(3) states that these charges could result in enhanced penalties ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. If someone is killed, you could face fines up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison.
FAQs About Fort Walton Beach DUI
If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving after consuming alcohol, it can lead to many unanswered questions. You could be worried about the implications on your livelihood, driver’s license, and criminal record. Read on for more answers on Fort Walton Beach DUI cases.
Can first-time DUI cases be dismissed in Florida?
The help of a legal team could have your DUI charges reduced or dropped, especially if this is your first offense. Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group can examine the details of your arrest, police reports, your blood test, and field sobriety tests to build the strongest defense possible.
How likely am I to go to prison for my first DUI?
A first-offense DUI can be punished by up to six months in jail. However, this rarely happens. Normally, the court will sentence the offender to probation instead. Most first-time DUI offenders receive a probation term of three years.
How long is a DUI on your record in Florida?
Florida law considers driving under the influence to be a serious crime. Florida will keep a DUI conviction on your record for 75 years. Florida also does not allow any DUI criminal records to be expunged.
How can I beat a DUI in Florida?
Contacting a criminal defense attorney is one of the best ways to combat a DUI. Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group has helped their clients retain their licenses, gather crucial evidence, reduce a DUI charge, and avoid severe penalties.
How much does a DUI lawyer cost in Florida?
The cost of building a sound DUI defense varies depending on the lawyer’s experience, aptitude, and prestige. A DUI attorney’s fees can range from $1,500 to $7,500.
Do you need a lawyer for a DUI in Florida?
Seeking legal help can be beneficial to those facing criminal charges. DUI defense specialists recommend seeking legal help whether this is your first, second, or subsequent charge.
A lawyer may be able to help you get a driving under the influence charge reduced to a “wet reckless” or “reckless driving” charge. These charges carry less severe penalties.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, contact our law firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a DUI defense lawyer.