Can I Have My DUI Penalties Reduced?
The penalties for driving under the influence in Florida can be devastating. Not only may you have to serve jail time, but the fines and other consequences of a conviction could also set you on the path to financial turmoil.
Fortunately, by attacking the state’s case against you, you might be able to have these penalties reduced or—depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest—even have the charges dropped. In this article, we take a closer look at the penalties for driving under the influence and some of the ways you might be able to fight the charges.
What Are the Penalties for Driving under the Influence in Florida?
Harsh penalties await anyone convicted for a DUI in the state, with even first-time offenders facing the threat of jail time and lengthy probationary periods. Typically, the severity of your punishment will depend on both the nature of your offense and whether you have any prior convictions.
For instance, if it’s your first offense, you could be ordered to pay up $1,000 in fines, sentenced to up to six months in prison, and have your license suspended for up to 12 months. Alternatively, if you’re convicted for a second offense within five years of your first, you could spend up to nine months behind bars, lose your license for up to five years, and be ordered to pay up to $2,000 in fines.
How Can I Fight My DUI Charges?
Fortunately, if you were arrested for driving under the influence, you will have an opportunity to defend yourself against the charges. The best way to proceed with your defense will usually depend on the nature of your case.
A skilled DUI defense attorney will typically begin by investigating the arrest starting from the moment you were stopped right up until the point you were released from police custody. Your attorney will be looking for any signs that the arresting officers infringed on your rights. For example, law enforcement officers require “probable cause” before they can stop someone on the road; so if you can show that they acted on a hunch and had no legal reason to pull you over, you could have the charges dismissed.
You may also be able to show that the arresting officers conducted field sobriety tests improperly or failed to consider how your age, stress levels, or a disability might affect the outcome of these tests. Alternatively, if there is evidence to show that the officers failed to calibrate their breathalyzer device correctly, the device malfunctioned, or the officer who conducted the breath test wasn’t qualified to do so, you might also be able to have these results suppressed.
Speak to a DUI Defense Attorney in Port St. Lucie, Florida Today
A DUI conviction can derail your life in an instant, leaving you without a license, on the hook for sky-high fines, and even sitting behind bars. As such, it’s important that you make the most of every opportunity to fight the charges and have your penalties reduced or the case dismissed.
Todd A. Kawecki is a Florida DUI defense attorney who knows what it takes to prevail in even the most complex cases. From the moment you hire him to oversee your case, you’ll have someone in your corner who will do everything in his power to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Dial 772-485-4500 or head over to our contact form HERE to request a free case assessment.