First offense DUI and DUI refusal
The Administrative Side of DUI
The most crucial point in your case is dealing with your potential driver’s license suspension. This is a point of confusion for many arrested for this offense and even lawyers who do not understand how to properly fight a DUI charge. If arrested for DUI and you have provided a sample above the legal limit of .08 or if you refuse to provide a sample of your breath, urine or blood, your license is to be taken and forwarded to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV. You only have 10 days following your arrest to challenge this suspension and if you fail to challenge this administrative suspension with the DMV, the DUI suspension will remain on your driving record.
Q. I have been told the DUI will “fall off” my driving record after 3-5 years?
A. NO, this is a common misunderstanding of the law as the DUI will remain on your record for 75 years and can be used by insurance companies to inflate your bill, your employers to deny employment and by the State Attorney to enhance future DUI charges.
Q. If I take my case to trial and win or my charges are dismissed, will the DMV suspension will be removed from my driving record?
A. NO, if you refused to provide a breath sample and take your case to trial and you are acquitted of all charges or if the state attorney dismisses your case, you will still have a DUI suspension on your record.
Q. I didn’t know that I only had 10 days to challenge my administrative license suspension; can I just explain this to the DMV?
A. NO, ignorance or a misunderstanding of the law will not excuse you from the 10 day timeframe. There are defenses available in certain circumstances that can excuse you from not filing in time, contact our office for further details.
Q. What happens if you win the DMV administrative hearing?
A. If your administrative suspension is invalidated then your driver’s license will be reissued and the suspension will be removed from your driving record. This will save you from higher insurance premiums, inability to rent a car and many other negative effects of a DUI suspension.
If you lose your administrative hearing the suspension will remain on your driving record unless you appeal the decision. Suspensions for a first time DUI are 6 months if you provided a sample(s) as requested. If you refused to provide a sample the suspension lasts for 12 months for a first refusal.
Q. Can I get a hardship license to drive even though my license has been suspended?
A. YES, in most circumstances a hardship license will be available for first time offenders after a 30 day or 90 day period has passed from the date of your suspension.
The Criminal Side of DUI
Florida Statutes 316.193 & 316.1932 explains the criminal sanctions involved with driving under the influence. If you are a first time offender found guilty of DUI you may be subject to the following sanctions:
- Mandatory conviction of misdemeanor crime
- Fines ranging from $500-1000 plus additional fees
- Up to 6 months in jail
- DUI school and counseling
- A revocation of your driver’s license for 6-12 months
- 50 hours of community service
- Impoundment of the vehicle involved.
- Victim impact panel
- Ignition interlock device
- 12 months of probation during which time you may not be able to drink alcohol, go to any establishments that serve alcohol and are subject to random testing.
- The penalties are enhanced if you provide a breath sample above a .15 and include an enhanced fine and mandatory ignition interlock device.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions when charged with DUI:
Q. I wasn’t read my Miranda rights, how will this affect my case?
A. Generally, the Miranda warning only applies if you have been placed under arrest and are being interrogated. This means the information you offer prior to an arrest is fair game to be used against you. There are certain exceptions and will vary on a case-by-case basis.
Q. I was not drinking and only had prescribed medication in my system, how can I be DUI?
A. You can be DUI on your own prescribed medication. If the medication impairs your ability to walk, talk, hear, observe and perceive what is happening around you. There are many defenses available to a DUI of this nature.
Q. I refused to provide a breath or urine sample how can the DUI be proven?
A. The elements of the crime of DUI can be proven in two ways, either by showing the presence of drugs and/or alcohol in your system or by showing you were impaired. Impairment is your ability to walk, talk, hear, see and follow instructions. When an officer requests that you do roadside tasks these can be evidence that you were impaired.
Q. What should I look for when hiring a DUI lawyer?
A. Ask the lawyer how many cases they have handled, how many cases have they taken to trial and what was the outcome. Most importantly, a DUI lawyer should know the answers to all of your questions on the spot. If there is any hesitation or uncertainty that should be a warning about possible inexperience with DUI cases. Moreover, if a lawyer promises you an outcome just to take your case ask him or her to put this down in writing and sign it…there are no guarantees in the law.
There are many available defenses to fighting and winning your DUI case. Finding the right DUI lawyer is the first step. Our clients can be assured that every case is handled with one goal in mind, providing the best possible outcome. Once you speak with DUI lawyer Michael Mastrogiovanni you will understand the difference. Not all lawyers are trained DUI lawyers.
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