Punta Gorda DUI Lawyer

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DUI Defense Attorney in Punta Gorda

Historically, March has the highest number of DUI and open container law violations in Florida, possibly due to the state’s reputation as a Spring Break destination. If you were arrested for driving under the influence, you can hire a Punta Gorda DUI lawyer to protect your rights while you remain under criminal charges. A DUI carries the potential for serious penalties. You can reduce the risk of jail time and heavy fines by working with an experienced lawyer from Ruhl & Lux, P.A.

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Florida DUI and Penalties

Someone can be charged with the crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if they drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance that impairs normal bodily function. This often includes alcohol levels of .08 or above.

Someone found guilty of driving while impaired could be subject to serious penalties, which could include fines and jail time.

  • First Conviction: First-time convictions come with a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $1,000. Prison time can be waived by a judge and cannot exceed six months.
  • Second Conviction: Upon a second conviction, the fees will range between $1,000 and $2,000. Prison time can be waived by a judge and may not exceed nine months.
  • Third Conviction: Fines range between $2,000 and $5,000. Mandatory jail time is 30 days, with at least 48 hours of consecutive confinement.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: This results in a minimum fine of $2,000 and imprisonment for no more than five years.

The criminal penalties for DUI go up considerably when the defendant is found to have a high blood alcohol content or if there was a minor in the car at the time of the offense. Even for a first-time offense, the minimum fine for a DUI goes up to $1,000 when there is a blood alcohol content level of .15 or higher or a child in the car.

These penalties only apply upon conviction. Your criminal defense attorney can work to reduce the criminal charges you are facing and/or their potential penalties.

Possible Defense Arguments Against a DUI

There are many benefits to hiring an experienced criminal law attorney in Punta Gorda, Florida. Your attorney can work to get your side of the story out and weaken the state’s case against you. That could mean exploring the possibility that the evidence used against you was gathered unlawfully.

Defendants have constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures under the U.S. Constitution and the Fifth Amendment. Your lawyer can explore whether the police had probable cause to pull you over. Without probable cause, your lawyer could weaken the prosecutor’s case or even have certain types of evidence removed by filing a motion to suppress evidence.

The equipment used by law enforcement could be unreliable. Police departments are required to maintain records of how often their breathalyzer devices are calibrated. Even when you are arrested, the state may be unable to prove that their evidence is reliable. Some blood tests even came back negative after the police believed that the driver was intoxicated.

If you were on prescription medications at the time of your arrest, your medical records could be used to demonstrate that you did not violate the law. You may not have been aware that certain prescription drugs could inhibit your reaction time.

Even when there is evidence that you were impaired at the time you were arrested, your defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution by explaining that you are a productive member of society who made a one-time regrettable error. Through plea bargaining, you may face reduced penalties that allow you to move on with your life and put the regrettable actions of one night behind you for good.

Punta Gorda DUI FAQs

Q: How Much Does a DUI Attorney Cost in Florida?

A: The cost of a DUI attorney in Florida depends, in part, on the severity of the criminal charges. During your initial consultation, your attorney can assess your case. Attorneys charge fees proportional to the time and resources it takes to represent a client. A good attorney will only accept a case if they believe that they can help the client improve their prospects. Criminal defense lawyers either charge a set fee or an hourly rate, usually through a lump-sum retainer.

Q: What Is the 10-Day Rule for DUI in Florida?

A: If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, you have ten days from the date of your arrest to take action to protect your driving privileges. Your driver’s license will be immediately suspended upon your DUI arrest. The officer involved in your case will issue you a temporary permit that is valid for 10 days from the date of arrest as long as you are otherwise eligible.

Q: How Do You Get a DUI Dismissed in Florida?

A: You can get a DUI dismissed in Florida by working with a criminal defense attorney who has represented DUI defendants before. One way your case may be dismissed is if someone involved in your arrest violated your Fifth Amendment rights or any of your constitutional rights. Your attorney could also find that the breathalyzer involved in your case was not properly calibrated.

Q: How Likely Is Jail Time for the First DUI in Florida?

A: For first-time offenders, jail time is not mandatory. Jail time is always a possibility, but the judge involved in a case may suspend jail sentences in certain cases. When aggravating factors are involved, like excessive blood alcohol content, resisting arrest, or endangering a child, the judge may order jail time. Some repeat offenders may face mandatory jail sentences.

Schedule Your Florida DUI Consultation Today

Having a DUI on your criminal record can be costly. A conviction could make finding work more difficult, and the prospect of jail time could have serious consequences for your personal and professional life. With the right legal counsel, you can reduce the chances that you will face the worst-case scenario.

Ruhl & Lux, P.A., has helped many DUI defendants navigate the criminal justice system with favorable outcomes. To schedule your DUI consultation, please contact our office today.


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