Orlando Drunk Driving Lawyer
A drunk driving arrest may seem like an embarrassment or inconvenience at the time, but the consequences are actually quite serious. You’ll be fined, lose your car for several days and your license for several months, and you could even go to jail. Losing your driver’s license can range from an inconvenience to the loss of your job. Additionally, having a criminal conviction on your record can haunt you for years, hampering your ability to get a job, an education, housing or credit, or a professional license. DUI charges don’t always stick, however, and you may have options available. Do what you can to keep your license and keep your record clean. Call an Orlando drunk driving lawyer at the O’Mara Law Group in Orlando for advice and representation from a team of experienced and successful DUI and criminal defense lawyers.
Facts about Florida DUI Law
In Florida, you can be arrested for drunk driving if testing shows you have a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08 or more. This is a per se violation of Florida DUI law, but you can also be arrested for less than .08 BAL if the police have other evidence that your driving was impaired.
DUI penalties include a six-month suspension of your driver’s license and a fine anywhere from $500 to $1,000. It is also possible to be sentenced to spend as much as six months in jail. Other penalties include having your vehicle impounded for ten days or more and being sentenced to as many as 50 hours of community service. Other more severe penalties may be imposed if you had a higher BAL or previous DUI convictions. These punishments include having an ignition interlock device installed on your car and maintained at your own expense and being referred for psychosocial evaluation. In some cases, DUI may be charged as a third-degree felony, with up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines if convicted.
How Our Orlando DUI Defense Lawyers can Help
Even if you were drinking at some point before driving, this does not mean that you were driving under the influence or that your driving was impaired. Police officers do not always use objective measures or scientifically-sound procedures to decide you should be stopped, tested or arrested. There are often many ways to challenge a DUI arrest in court:
- Was the Breathalyzer used on you in good working order with proper documentation about its calibration, and were proper procedures used to obtain an accurate result?
- Were you subjected to so-called field sobriety tests beyond the one or two accepted as valid by the scientific community?
- Were you asked incriminating questions without first being advised of your rights?
- Did the police have cause to stop you in the first place?
DHSMV Driver’s License Suspension in Addition to Criminal Court
Separate and apart from any criminal DUI prosecution, Florida’s administrative suspension law can also result in a suspension of your driver’s license. This suspension is six months for a first offense or one year for a subsequent offense. For a refusal to submit to a test of your BAL, your license is suspended for one year for a first refusal or 18 months for a subsequent offense. There will be a separate fee to reinstate your license with the DHSMV and you’ll have to pay to retake the driver’s exam. In addition, car insurance rates after a DUI or DUBAL are much higher, even thousands of dollars more than you were paying before.
This suspension is effective immediately upon arrest, and the arresting officer will take your license on the spot. What’s more, this administrative suspension proceeds whether you are eventually prosecuted for DUI or not! It’s possible to challenge this suspension or to get your license reinstated for certain purposes. Your attorney can advise you on your options and help you with your administrative license suspension as well as your DUI arrest, but you must act quickly after your arrest to secure your rights.
Help is Available for DUI in Orlando and Orange County
The Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the O’Mara Law Group are here to help with DUI defense in Orange County. Call our office at 407-634-6604 for a free consultation after a DUI arrest.