Orlando DUI Lawyer

Have you been arrested for drunk driving in Orlando or the Central Florida area? A DUI conviction can change your life forever, which makes it imperative to fight back. Set yourself up for the best possible outcome by contacting the experienced Orlando DUI lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara

Content last updated on: March 25, 2024

When you choose our Orlando law firm to handle your DUI case, you’ll benefit from a team that’s led by a former prosecutor with over 35 years of experience in the criminal justice system. Attorney Mark O’Mara is also Board Certified in Criminal Law by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

The O’Mara Law Group has been standing up and advocating for clients facing serious DUI charges in Florida for years. If you have questions about your DUI case check out our criminal law FAQ page. Don’t hesitate to call us for help so that we can fight for you, too.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me After a DUI Arrest in Orlando?

When you’re charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you’re facing the possibility of probation, expensive fines, jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license.

Don’t think the charge will just go away or that there won’t be consequences. In fact, a DUI arrest will trigger both criminal and administrative processes. You will have to take prompt action to limit the damage that can be done.

Hiring an Orlando criminal defense attorney with experience handling complex DUI cases is the best decision you can make.

 The O’Mara Law Group will be ready to tackle every aspect of your DUI case to get you the best possible result.

  • Request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest to challenge your license suspension
  • Determine if your traffic stop was lawful or if police lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over
  • Identify the grounds on which the officers came to have probable cause that you were, in fact, driving under the influence in violation of Florida state law
  • Pinpoint potential issues with field sobriety tests, breathalyzers, or other tests that may have been conducted by the arresting officer(s)
  • Determine if you were the victim of an illegal search and seizure or if your Constitutional rights were violated at any point in time
  • Challenge the validity or reliability of evidence offered by the state
  • Lead conversations with the police, investigators, and the State Attorney’s office
  • Prepare your case for trial if the state refuses to negotiate fairly or offer a reasonable plea deal

Additionally, while expunging a Florida DUI record isn’t possible, our experienced attorneys can explore options and strategies to mitigate the impact of the charges against you. Get our award-winning, nationally-recognized DUI attorneys in your corner. Give yourself every opportunity to protect your license and avoid time behind bars.

florida dui case timeline

What Is a DUI in Florida?

Under Florida state law, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

There are two ways you can be considered “under the influence”. Those ways include:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal level (.08 percent), or
  • Police have probable cause to believe that your “normal faculties are impaired” by the drugs or alcohol you’ve consumed.

So, you don’t technically have to blow a .08 on a breathalyzer to be arrested, charged, or convicted for a DUI.

Police can use evidence of an elevated BAC along with circumstantial evidence to make a DUI case against you.

Evidence of impairment might include:

  • Weaving between lanes 
  • Swerving
  • Speeding or driving well below the speed limit
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Illegal turns
  • Open containers, drugs, or paraphernalia in the vehicle
  • Alcohol on the breath 
  • Slurred speech
  • Erratic behavior
  • Incoherent answers to questions
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Failed field sobriety test

These things, considered together, may be sufficient for the state to prove that you were impaired while operating a motor vehicle in Orlando. Note that Florida has a separate statute for boating under the influence (BUI).

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Florida?

The penalties for a DUI will ultimately depend on how many convictions you’ve had and if there are any aggravating circumstances present (e.g., BAC at or above .15 percent or whether you had a child passenger in the vehicle).

First DUI

A first DUI offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • 6 months in jail
  • $500 to $1,000 in fines
  • License revocation for one year
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days
  • 1 year of probation, and
  • 50 hours of community service.

If your BAC was .15 percent or higher, then you may also be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on your vehicle for up to 6 months.

Second DUI

A second DUI is a misdemeanor. The penalties will depend on whether your charge occurs within 5 years of a prior.

Within 5 years of a prior, a second DUI carries:

  • Between 10 days and 9 months in jail
  • $1,000 to $2,000 in fines
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days
  • 1 year of probation, and
  • IID installation for at least 1 year.

When not within 5 years of a prior, a second DUI carries:

  • One day to 9 months in jail
  • Between $1,000 and $2,000 in fines
  • 1 year of probation
  • License suspension for 6 months to 1 year
  • IID installation for at least 1 year

You may also be required to complete a substance abuse evaluation and complete a treatment program.

Third DUI

If you have two prior DUI convictions, you can face a third-degree felony charge. Your third offense must have occurred within 10 years to be considered a DUI felony.

When it’s considered a felony, a third DUI charge in Orlando is punishable by:

  • Between 12 months and 5 years in prison
  • License revocation for 180 days to 10 years
  • Fines between $2,000 and $5,000
  • IID installation for 2 years

You’ll also be required to complete probation and community service.

Felony DUI

Fourth offense DUIs and subsequent charges are typically third-degree felonies in the state of Florida. 

A felony DUI is punishable by:

  • Between one day and five years in prison
  • $1,000 to $5000 in fines
  • Probation for between 1 and 5 years
  • Permanent loss of your driver’s license
  • IID installation for at least 2 years

A DUI conviction – whether a misdemeanor or a felony – will remain on your criminal record for 75 years. The penalties you face can change the course of your life forever. Hiring an experienced Orlando attorney is the best way to protect your future and limit the consequences you may experience.

What Are Defenses to Drunk Driving Charges in Orlando, FL?

At the O’Mara Law Group, we’ll carefully evaluate your DUI case and identify any potential defenses to the charges against you.

We may be able to implement any one of the following strategies in your defense:

  • Breathalyzer, blood, and urine test results are inaccurate and, therefore, unreliable
  • The arresting officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle
  • The field sobriety test was conducted improperly
  • The chain of custody of the evidence in your case has been broken
  • Your BAC was not above the legal limit while you were driving

Our DUI attorneys will attack the state’s case at every turn, working to identify problems with your arrest and any evidence that may have been obtained. If we can get evidence dismissed or prove that the government infringed your rights in any way, a judge may have no choice but to dismiss your case. If prosecutors doubt their ability to win at trial, they might come to you with a favorable plea deal.

Call Our Trusted Orlando DUI Lawyers for a Consultation

You have 10 days to challenge the automatic administrative suspension of your driver’s license. The state will begin to work on its criminal DUI case against you right away. The time to begin defending yourself is now.

Contact the O’Mara Law Group for help. Our Orlando DUI lawyers are ready to take on every aspect of your DUI case – including criminal charges and administrative penalties that can accompany an arrest.

The legal team at our Orlando law office is standing by to take your call and provide the guidance you need right now.

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221 NE Ivanhoe Blvd. Suite 200 Orlando, FL 32804
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