Lakeland DUI Accident Lawyer
Even a first-time DUI in Lakeland, Florida, can lead to felony charges if an accident resulted in death or serious injury. Repeat offenses for boating or driving under the influence also lead to felony charges in Florida. A DUI lawyer in Lakeland can help get your charges dropped or reduced.
Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara
Content last updated on: May 19, 2023
A DUI accident in Lakeland, Florida, can bring serious, long-term legal consequences. If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges, you need to immediately consult with a DUI accident lawyer in Lakeland, Florida.
Failure to speak with a lawyer is a failure to fight for your rights. The tragic reality is that often individuals face DUI accident charges they don’t deserve—and they find themselves stuck with significant jail time, excessive fines and a lasting record.
A DUI accident doesn’t have to ruin your future, but it takes an experienced DUI accident lawyer in Lakeland, Florida, to build a case in your defense. Swift action is important to preserve evidence and protect your rights. Contact O’Mara Law Group’s Lakeland office today to begin speaking with a DUI accident lawyer about your options.
Is a DUI a felony in Florida?
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you’re likely wondering what sort of jail time and charges you’re facing. Specifically, you may be asking, “Is a DUI a felony in Florida?” Felony charges are those that bring a year minimum of sentencing time.
Unfortunately, a Florida DUI can lead to felony charges. This is a likely outcome in cases in which:
Even a first-time DUI can leave you facing felony charges if the accident caused severe injury. In the other two cases, the court tends to see a history of DUIs as a pattern of behavior that is continuing despite the past legal consequences.
In any Lakeland DUI case, you should work with a Lakeland DUI attorney to have your charges reduced or dropped entirely. This is particularly important when you meet the above criteria, as the penalties for a DUI felony can be severe.
What are the penalties for DUI in Florida?
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Lakeland, you’re likely wondering, “What are the penalties for DUI in Florida?” Unless a DUI accident resulted in death or serious injury, first and second convictions for DUI in Florida are misdemeanors. However, it’s a mistake to think you don’t need a lawyer for a misdemeanor charge.
Florida penalties for a first-time DUI can leave you facing up to six months in jail, while a second offense can bring a nine-month sentence. These penalties are also accompanied by fines of $500 to $1000 and $1000 to $2000 for first and second offenses, respectively.
The Lakeland DUI attorneys at O’Mara Law Group can help you fight to get these charges reduced or thrown out entirely. This can save you from spending many months in jail. Should a future DUI ever occur, involving a lawyer on a misdemeanor charge can save you from potentially facing a felony.
A third DUI in a 10-year period brings felony charges. Fourth, fifth and subsequent DUIs are felonies regardless of how much time has elapsed. These felonies can bring serious jail time, potentially resulting in lengthy prison sentences.
Boating Under the Influence in Florida
The abundance of coastline in Florida leads to an increased risk of accidents and charges related to boating under the influence (BUI). Operating a boat while impaired is illegal under Florida law. Laws regulating Florida BUIs are similar to those for DUIs.
If a person is operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, they face significant penalties. As with driving, boating while drinking is illegal if the vessel operator is impaired or has a blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.
Boating Under the Influence: Penalties
If you’ve been arrested for boating under the influence in Florida, your first question is probably, “What are Florida’s boating under the influence penalties?” Florida’s BUI penalties are similar to DUI penalties and depend upon prior convictions for the same charge.
If boating under the influence is a first offense, the penalties are a fine of $500 to $1000 and up to six months of jail time. For a second conviction, the penalties are a fine of $1000 to $2000 and up to nine months of jail time.
For a third conviction within 10 years of the most recent prior conviction, the penalty is a felony charge. When a third conviction occurs more than 10 years after the most recent conviction, you face up to a year in jail and a fine of $2000 to $5000.
Fourth, fifth and subsequent convictions are automatic felonies, with fines not less than $2000. However, the jail time for such convictions can be significant. The attorneys at O’Mara Law Group can help fight back against BUI charges in Lakeland, potentially saving you from spending years behind bars.
How much does a Lakeland DUI attorney cost?
The cost of a Lakeland DUI attorney depends on many factors. Some of these relate to the specifics of your case, including:
Other factors that impact attorney costs have to do with the firm you choose to work with. Typically a firm with an established local presence and a strong track record of success charges more. The cost reflects the outcome you can expect to receive when you choose an experienced and successful law firm.
Ultimately, the cost of a DUI attorney is an investment in your future. The cost of not working with a Lakeland DUI attorney is significant time behind bars and hefty legal fines.
What to Expect: Stages of a Florida DUI
O’Mara Law Group is experienced in improving the legal outcomes of clients facing DUI charges in and around Central Florida. We know that DUI charges lead to stress and uncertainty, and clients want to know what they should expect from the legal process.
After your DUI arrest, you should immediately begin working with a DUI attorney. This step has a significant bearing on your outcome. An attorney may be able to have your case dropped entirely or your charges reduced to a less serious offense, like reckless driving.
An attorney will also likely be able to waive your pre-trial appearances. This can minimize the stress and inconvenience of appearing in court.
The first appearance occurs within 24 hours of being booked into jail. At this time, bail or bond is set. From here, formal court proceedings begin. These usually follow the order of:
At the trial, you’ll hear the final verdict. Depending on the severity of the charges, you may receive a sentence at this time or at a follow-up hearing. Many Lakeland DUI cases don’t make it through all of these stages.
A Florida DUI can also lead to a suspension of your driver’s license. Within 40 days of your arrest, your attorney will arrange a review to contest the suspension of your license.
Don’t wait to begin working with a DUI accident lawyer in Lakeland, Florida. Contact O’Mara Law Group today to speak with an experienced DUI accident attorney in Lakeland.
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