Pensacola DUI Attorney
Have you been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs? If you are facing DUI charges, an experienced DUI lawyer from the Cobb Law Firm can help you build a viable defense in court.
In Pensacola, Florida, a DUI is considered a grave offense that can result in 3rd-degree felony charges and a maximum of $5,000 in fines. Your risk for being charged with a DUI crime increases if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) exceeds 0.08%. Being convicted of multiple DUI offenses can result in more severe punishment.
According to the state of Florida and Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193, you can face a DUI conviction if you have done the following:
- Operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or more
The penalties that you may face depend on the severity of the offense, whether this is your first offense, and whether anyone was injured or killed.
Penalties if You Have Had Prior DUI Convictions
If you have had one or two DUI convictions, you may face the following penalties:
- Fines: A first offense can result in fines between $500 and $1,000, while a second offense can result in fines between $1,000 and $2,000. A third or fourth DUI faces a $5,000 fine.
- Jail: A first offense can result in a maximum jail time of six months, while a second offense can result in nine months. A third or fourth DUI carries a jail time of five years.
- Driver’s license suspension: A first offense may result in a driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 180 days. A second offense within five years of the prior DUI conviction can result in a suspension of five years. A third or fourth DUI can result in a ten-year suspended license.
- Ignition device: A first offense may necessitate an ignition interlock device for six months, while a second offense has a mandatory installation period of one year. A third or fourth DUI can result in an ignition interlock device installation of two years.
If a drunk driving accident has resulted in property damage or bodily injury, it may result in separate enhanced penalties.
We Can Help You Keep Your License
Your driver’s license is typically removed during your DUI arrest and replaced with a ten-day temporary permit.
After ten days, you may not get your driver’s license back for at least six months or longer, depending on many variables in your case.
However, there is a small window during these ten days where you can request a hearing regarding your driver’s license suspension. Our DUI lawyers can represent you in a hearing before the DMV. We will fight to get your driver’s license reinstated as quickly as possible under the law so that you never have to suffer undue hardship from a suspended driver’s license.
The Burden of a DUI Conviction in Pensacola, Florida
Without a Pensacola criminal attorney to protect your rights, you are much more likely to end up convicted, even if it’s your first DUI offense. A conviction can carry colossal consequences that can impact your future. Even if a Pensacola prosecutor offers a plea deal, it is still a conviction.
If you are convicted, you could face:
- Deportation: Green card holders could lose their privileges if they are convicted
- International travel: Some countries, like Canada, may not allow you entry if you have a DUI conviction
- Employment: Since Florida is an at-will state, your boss can fire you for getting a DUI. Additionally, it can be difficult to find gainful employment with a criminal record
- Education: Some admission policies may make it challenging to apply if you have a criminal record
- Custody: You may lose your parental control after multiple DUI offenses. Family law judges have the discretion to assign custody, even after a first DUI offense
- Securing a loan: Some loan applications will deny the process if you have a record. On top of that, your credit could be affected due to the financial cost of a DUI
Some Little Known DUI Facts
- Did you know that refusing to take a DUI test can be considered a crime? By securing a driver’s license in Pensacola, FL, you implicitly consent to a chemical DUI test upon request. Refusing to take a DUI test can be a misdemeanor, which means that even if you are not convicted of a DUI, your driver’s license will still be suspended.
- You don’t have to be driving to get a DUI. Since intoxicated drivers are not allowed to have physical control of a motor vehicle, you may be arrested for DUI if you are found sleeping in your car, do not have the keys to the car or more.
- Even if you blow under a 0.08, your arresting officer may still arrest you if you appear impaired from drugs or alcohol.
- If your personal property exceeds $2,500 in value, you will not qualify for a public defender. This leaves the majority of drivers in Pensacola, Florida with just two options: hire a defense lawyer or face the prosecutor without assistance.
Everyone can benefit from hiring an attorney to fully understand DUI laws and fight for their rights.
How an Experienced Pensacola, Florida DUI Attorney Makes a Difference
The law applies to everyone equally, but how it’s practiced depends on the DUI defense lawyer who is advocating for you. The experience, knowledge, and networking that your lawyer has developed over their career could mean the difference between a year in jail or a clean record. For many people, their personal freedom and ability to drive is worth hiring a professional and competent DUI lawyer.
The state of Florida takes a drunk driving offense very seriously. Your Pensacola DUI lawyer can help you fight your driving or drug charges, including the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. We will represent you during your Formal Review hearing so that you can obtain a hardship license that allows you to continue to drive to work.
The first step to your DUI defense in Pensacola is to contact a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer. It’s important that you fight any allegations against you due to the severe ramifications that result from a conviction. If the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence against you, they and the court may drop their charges, which is the best possible outcome. Some reasons why they may drop their charges against you include entrapment, illegal search and seizure, inaccurate breathalyzer test results, and lack of probable cause. In these cases, the prosecutor may decide to drop the drunk driving charges down to reckless driving, hoping to strike a plea deal.
At Cobb Law Firm, your Pensacola DUI attorney will also ask the judge to throw out any evidence illegally obtained, which can weaken their case and strengthen your defense. Having an experienced criminal attorney can help decrease the DUI charges against you to reckless driving, significantly reducing fines and penalties.
Always remember that there is no criminal penalty if you refuse to perform the field sobriety exercises. You have the right to refuse any field sobriety tests that law enforcement may try to require. Refusing to perform these sobriety tests forces law enforcement officers to make a decision on arresting you based on the evidence presented to them.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI charge, it’s imperative that you contact your Pensacola, FL attorney as soon as possible. Time is of the essence if you need to reinstate your suspended driver’s license: you only have ten days from the date of your arrest to do so.
Call Cobb Law Firm right away so we can help you fight your charges. A DUI conviction can follow you for the rest of your life. We will work hard to clear your record and reduce your charges.