DUI Attorney in Walton County, FL
Have you been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in the state of Florida? Then you should immediately seek legal help from a Walton County DUI attorney. Even if you haven’t been arrested before, you could lose your driver’s license for six months to a year. Learn more below.
Florida DUI law
Under Florida criminal law, driving under the influence is defined as driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or above. You could face multiple DUI charges if you are arrested for drinking and driving. As stated by Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193, you may face a DUI conviction if:
- You drive while under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances (as stated in Florida Statute Chapter 877, Section 111), or controlled substances (as identified in Chapter 893)
- You have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or you have a BAC of 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Bear in mind that all DUI charges are severe, and being convicted can seriously impact your life. You may face serious consequences such as jail time, expensive fines, court costs, probation, counseling sessions, community service, or even mandatory classes.
Finding the proper Walton county DUI attorney to handle your DUI defense case can significantly change the outcome of your situation. Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group can get the charges against you reduced or even have the case thrown out altogether.
DUI Penalties in Walton County, Florida
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence, it is crucial to have someone from our team of Walton County DUI lawyers represent you in court. Our criminal defense attorney can challenge the evidence against you and change the outcome of your case. Contact our law firm at (850) 423-0035 right away to learn if you qualify for a free consultation of your case.
It is essential to know that DUI penalties typically vary depending on the severity of the offense and whether it is your first DUI conviction or not.
Penalties for a Person with One or Two DUI Convictions
According to Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193(2)(a), if it is your first or second conviction, you can face convictions such as:
Fines: A first DUI charge may result in fines between $500 and $1,000, and a second DUI conviction results in a potential fine between $1,000 and $2,000.
Jail Time: If it is your first charge, you can end up facing jail time not exceeding six months. A second DUI conviction can lead to nine months of jail time.
Driver’s license suspension: As stated by Florida Statute Chapter 322, section 28, your first conviction can result in the suspension of your driver’s license for at least 180 days, but not more than one year. The same statute claims that a second DUI conviction occurring within five years of a prior DUI conviction will result in the revocation of your driver’s license for five years.
Ignition Interlock Device: At the court’s discretion, your first conviction can result in the installation of an ignition interlock device for six consecutive months if your BAC is 0.08 or higher. If BAC levels are 0.15 or higher, then the installation on the device is mandatory for a period of six months. Moreover, a second DUI charge may result in installing the device for one year at your expense if you qualify for a restricted or permanent license.
Penalties for a Person with Three, Four, or More DUI Convictions
Under Florida Statute Chapter 316, Section 193(2)(b), if you are charged for your third or fourth conviction, you can face the following penalties:
Fines: A third DUI conviction within ten years of a prior DUI conviction is a third-degree felony. You will face a maximum fine of $5,000. If the third conviction happens after more than ten years, the fines will range from $2,000 to $5,000. A fourth DUI conviction (regardless of when it happens) is considered a third-degree felony and will result in fines of $2,000 or more.
Jail Time: A third DUI conviction within ten years of a prior DUI conviction will not exceed five years of jail time. The same goes for a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction.
Under Florida Statute Chapter 322, section 28, a third DUI conviction within ten years of a prior DUI conviction will result in a license revocation for ten years.
A fourth or subsequent DUI conviction will result in the permanent revocation of your driver’s license.
Steps of a DUI Criminal Case
If you were caught drunk driving and got arrested, but you think your arrest or subsequent charge is unlawful, then there is a chance a judge could dismiss your DUI charge. However, it is critical to have an experienced DUI attorney by your side to help you get a favorable result. Seek the legal help of a Walton county DUI lawyer immediately to start your DUI defense case. A DUI attorney will fight for your rights and help you navigate the criminal justice system at every stage of your DUI drug case.
The most common type of DUI stops are DUI checkpoints. The state of Florida has DUI law enforcement trained to identify, stop and test drivers who may be driving impaired. The law enforcement officers will observe you, ask questions, and check for signs of alcohol or drug use to continue further investigations.
If there is any suspicion that you are operating a car while intoxicated, the officers will ask you to perform field sobriety tests and submit to an alcohol breath test.
Under Florida law, any license holder is required to submit to alcohol chemical testing if ordered by law enforcement officers. If you refuse to do so, you will be punished with a minimum one-year license suspension. Additionally, law enforcement officers can legally ask for a blood sample to determine the blood-alcohol level of any suspected impaired driver.
Booking and Bail
After you have been arrested and chemically tested for alcohol and drugs, you will have the right to make a phone call. The call should be to a Walton County DUI lawyer. If your blood alcohol concentration percentage is under 0.05%, then you may be allowed to post bail and get released.
Arraignment is the next step in your criminal defense case. This is a court appearance in which the judge will read the formal charges to you. The judge will then ask you to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty and whether you have a DUI attorney. A plea bargain can reduce the charge from DUI to ‘wet reckless driving.’
License Suspension or a Formal Review Hearing
The license suspension punishments depend on whether you are under 21 years of age, you have additional criminal charges, you refuse the alcohol breath test, or you have any previous DUI criminal offenses.
Motion to Suppress Evidence
An attorney from the Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group will file a ‘Motion to Suppress Evidence’ in your criminal case. Following this step will challenge and prevent the admissibility of some or even all the evidence the prosecution may use against you.
A criminal trial results if you are found guilty of some or all the criminal charges filed against you. If you are found not guilty, all the charges will be cleared, and you won’t receive any penalties like fines, license suspension, alcohol or drug courses, or other punishments.
If found guilty of the criminal offense of drunk driving, you could receive the following punishments: fines, community service, incarceration, probationary period, criminal record, or vehicle impoundment.
Why Do You Need a DUI Attorney Walton County to Defend Your Rights?
If you have been arrested for DUI in Walton county, you have a lot on the line and could be facing severe consequences. You may avoid some of the harshest penalties, but our team of DUI lawyers may be able to get the charges against you reduced, or your case dismissed altogether. We will challenge the evidence against you and try to get your DUI offenses reduced to something lesser, like reckless driving.
Common ways to fight a Walton County DUI charge may include:
- Challenging the lawfulness of the initial traffic stop
- Challenging the accuracy of the field sobriety test, breathalyzer test, blood or urine test
- Suppressing statements made by the defendant (for example, if the arresting police officer fails to read you the Miranda rights)
Choose Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group Walton County
Being arrested for DUI can be intimidating and confusing. Feeling the handcuffs on your wrists may put you in an anxious state of mind. That is why it is critical to seek legal help, as our legal team will ensure that your rights are aggressively defended so you can stay out of jail, avoid expensive fines, and keep your driver’s license.
While the charges against you may not be dropped altogether, it is still possible for your DUI charges to be reduced and to lower the logistical, financial, and psychological consequences you could face.
At Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, our DUI lawyers have years of experience handling criminal cases while helping our clients keep their driving privileges and save their reputations. Don’t hesitate to call our office to schedule a consultation. Call Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group today at (850) 423-0035. It’s time to fight for your rights.