Dedicated Orlando DUI Defense Lawyers Ready To Help You
Criminal traffic violations can lead to serious legal consequences.
Depending on the criminal charge, a conviction can lead to penalties ranging from points on your license to fines to driver’s license suspension, fines and a prison sentence.
One of the traffic violations that is taken most seriously by Florida law enforcement agencies and state prosecutors is intoxicated driving or driving under the influence.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Orange County, FL, it is imperative that you seek immediate legal help from an attorney experienced in criminal defense. The case against you can move very quickly.
At Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, our Orlando DUI defense attorneys are strong advocates for our clients.
We have the skills and experience needed to provide you with the top-quality legal defense that you deserve.
If you or your family member has been arrested for drunk driving or drugged driving in Orlando, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today for a fully confidential consultation.
We are a Full-Service Orlando DUI Defense Law Firm
If you have been charged with a criminal traffic offense, it’s important that you work with an experienced defense attorney who can work to protect your rights.
At the Orlando, Florida, law firm of Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, we are experienced in handling all major traffic violations and DUI charges, including:
- DUI and Manslaughter
- DUI Defense
- DUI Driver’s License Suspension
- DUI Penalties
- DUI and Personal Injury Enhancements
- Field Sobriety Test
- Multiple DUI Offenses
- Orlando Traffic Ticket Lawyer
- Prescription Drug DUI Charges
- Refusal of a Breath Test
- CDL Suspension
- Driver’s License Suspension
- Driving on a Suspended License in Florida
- Fleeing a Police Officer Charges
- Florida Toll Violations
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident & Hit and Run Charges
- Orlando Habitual Traffic Offender Lawyer
- Reckless Driving Defense
- Street Racing Defense
- Traffic Tickets
- Traffic Violations
Further, we have handled these charges on “both sides” of the law — as defense lawyers and as criminal prosecutors.
Understanding DUI Law in Florida
No matter the specific circumstances, a DUI is a serious offense in Florida. The potential penalties for a DUI can be severe.
The penalties in your case will depend on the nature of your arrest as well as your history of conduct. Still, even if you have no prior offenses on your record and you were only alleged to have been slightly over the legal limit, you still need to seek guidance from an experienced Orlando DUI lawyer.
There is no such thing as a minor DUI.
The Florida DUI guidelines are as follows;
- 1st offense—A fine of up to $500, a license suspension for up to 6 months, up to 6 months of jail time, and up to 50 hours of community service.
- 2nd offense—A fine of up to $1,000, a license suspension for up to 12 months, up to 9 months of jail time, and up to 50 hours of community service.
- 3rd offense—A fine of up to $2,500, a license suspension for up to 5 years, up to 12 months of jail time, and up to 50 hours of community service.
Notably, for repeat DUI offenders, the second conviction can come with mandatory jail time.
For example, a second DUI conviction in the same five-year period comes with a mandatory minimum ten-day prison sentence under Florida law.
Other aggravating factors can potentially turn a DUI into a felony charge.
For example, if the drunk driver was involved in a major accident, and that resulted in injuries, they may be charged with a felony. Similarly, if there was a child in the car at the time of the arrest, the defendant may face a felony charge.
How Our Orlando DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help Save Your License
Did you know that your driver’s license can be suspended before you have ever had your day in court?
Under Florida law, a person who has been arrested for a DUI is subject to an immediate administrative suspension of their driver’s license.
The good news is that you can typically stop this from happening.
From the date of your arrest, you have ten days to submit a request to have the administrative suspension review. To save your license, please get help from an experienced Orlando DUI defense attorney.
DUI Defense Strategies
Drunk or impaired driving poses a significant risk to public health and safety. Therefore, state and federal laws allow the police to identify offenders and charge them with the crime of DUI. However, the U.S. Constitution guarantees criminal defendants a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense.
In Florida, various defenses are available if the State has accused, arrested, or charged you with DUI. The defenses typically involve suppressing evidence, presenting an affirmative defense, or negating an element of the offense. Understanding your rights and remedies is crucial to presenting a compelling defense and minimizing penalties and consequences. It’s always wise to consult with a DUI attorney in Orlando to discuss potential defenses.
Those accused of DUI in Florida can challenge their charge based on constitutional, legal, or administrative grounds. These challenges typically involve filing a motion to suppress evidence. A motion to suppress asks the court to exclude certain types of incriminating evidence or statements, but it will only be successful if it is based on appropriate legal grounds. Some common grounds for a DUI motion to suppress involve challenging the following:
- Traffic stop,
- Field sobriety test,
- Breath test,
- Blood test, or
- Urine test.
Most of these challenges stem from improper procedures, mistakes, or constitutional violations by law enforcement.
Negating an Element
In Florida, the State must prove every element of a DUI case to secure a conviction. This means that prosecutors must prove the following:
- The accused was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle;
- While in control of the vehicle, the accused was under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and
- This influence impaired the accused’s faculties.
An accused may craft a defense based on negating any one of the above elements. For example, a defense that negates an element may include the following:
- Asserting that the State cannot prove who was driving;
- Contending that the State cannot prove that the accused was under the influence either because the tests were improperly administered or otherwise in error, or because the symptoms observed were due to a different illness; or
- Arguing that no one could drive the car because it was inoperable.
These are just a few possible ways to negate an element of a DUI charge. The viability of these defenses hinges on the unique circumstances of the offense and the experience of a DUI attorney in Orlando.
Generally, DUI defenses involve discrediting or disproving the government’s case. As such, the prosecutor maintains the burden to prove all of the elements of the offense, and a defense attorney will work to prevent the government from meeting that burden.
In contrast, an affirmative defense places the burden of proof on the person who is accused.
Affirmative defenses are available in Florida DUI cases. However, this strategy can be risky and involves a comprehensive understanding of complex legal concepts. If your lawyer wants to use an affirmative defense, that means that you admit you were driving under the influence, but circumstances excuse or justify your behavior. Let’s look at some affirmative defenses for a Florida DUI case.
Necessity involves admitting to DUI but arguing that some emergency created no other option. Necessity is not a common defense to DUI charges in Florida because the threshold for what amounts to an emergency is high.
Duress involves admitting to DUI but arguing that you had no choice because someone made you commit the crime through force, coercion, or duress.
You may assert an entrapment defense if you can successfully argue that law enforcement caused you to commit a crime you would not otherwise commit. While this defense can work in some cases, it is not as likely to work for a DUI.
Involuntary intoxication may be a viable defense if you can prove you did not consume the drugs or alcohol of your own free will.
Affirmative defenses are case-specific. You should work with an Orlando DUI lawyer to ensure the defense does not compromise your rights.
Sentencing and Post-Conviction Considerations in Orlando
Florida maintains a set of mandatory penalties for those convicted of DUI. Accordingly, judges do not have discretion and must impose certain restrictions. These repercussions include:
Judges have the discretion to impose additional punishments. However, a DUI defense attorney can help you secure less severe punishments.
Sentencing Options for Those Convicted of DUI in Orlando
Under Florida law, judges can order alternative sentences as credit toward jail time. However, these alternatives are typically only available for first-time offenders with misdemeanor DUI convictions. DUI offenders in Florida may be eligible for electronic monitoring, work release, and residential treatment programs. Further, an attorney may help facilitate DUI courses and community service options and assist with license revocation issues.
Possibility of Appealing a DUI Conviction
Those convicted of DUI in Florida may challenge their conviction or sentence. Appeals are much more complicated than initial trials and require a comprehensive understanding of complex appellate procedures and substantive laws. However, a successful appeal can lead to a reversal, a new trial, or a new sentencing hearing.
Expungement of a DUI conviction
Florida has some of the strictest expungement laws in the nation. As a result, Florida DUI convictions cannot be expunged or sealed. However, those whose DUI charges were dismissed, dropped, or reduced may be eligible to have their records sealed or expunged.
Orlando DUI FAQs
What Should I Do After Being Pulled Over for a Suspected DUI?
In the event that you are stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving, you have a duty to bring your vehicle to a stop as quickly as it is safely possible to do so. Do not make any sudden or suspicious movements.
What Are the Different Types of DUI Charges in Florida?
In Florida, those accused of DUI may face the following charges;
- Misdemeanor DUI,
- Felony DUI,
- Underage DUI,
The level of crime the State charges you with depends on the circumstances of your case.
How Can a DUI Attorney Help Minimize the Consequences of a DUI Conviction?
DUI attorneys can help minimize the consequences of a DUI by filing suppression motions that prevent the prosecutor from pursuing charges or motivates the prosecutor to reduce the charges to something less serious like reckless driving. Your attorney can also use various angles, like asserting that the State’s case is weak, to negotiate a plea deal that minimizes penalties.
What Is the Legal Limit for BAC in Florida?
Under Florida law, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08%. Anything at or above that means you were over the legal limit. However, the legal BAC drops to .02% for those under 21 years old.
Should I Make a Statement to the Police?
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to remain silent. If you were pulled over for a possible DUI, it is crucial that you exercise this right. It is not advisable to make any statements to the police. Do not try to talk your way out of a DUI arrest.
Remember, police officers are investigators — their job is to look for information that can be used against you in court. You should always ask to speak to an Orlando DUI defense lawyer before making any statements.
Am I Required to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Florida?
Florida has an ‘implied consent’ law. Under this law, all drivers are required to submit to a breathalyzer test when asked to do so at a DUI stop. You consented to this when you obtained your license.
If you refuse to do so, you will face the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. You should contact a DUI refusal lawyer immediately. Action can still be taken to protect your rights.
Do I Have to Take Other Types of Field Sobriety Tests in Florida?
Beyond a breath test, you may also be asked to take other types of field sobriety tests (FSTs) at a traffic stop.
For example, you may be asked to take the horizontal gaze nystagmus, where the officer will move their finger back and forth and watch your eye movement.
Alternatively, you may be asked to do the one-legged stand. These tests are far more challenging than many people realize. In Florida, you are not required to participate in these types of field sobriety tests. There are serious questions about their reliability.
Will I Lose My License If Arrested for Drunk Driving?
If you are arrested for intoxicated driving in Florida, your license will be automatically suspended. Indeed, you will face the administrative suspension of your license well before you get your day in court.
Do not accept this fate.
You have ten days to challenge the administrative suspension. By doing so, you can preserve your license. As ten days is a very short period of time, defendants should not wait to contact an Orlando DUI attorney.
Can You Go to Jail for a First-Time DUI in Florida?
Yes. A first-time DUI conviction in Florida could result in as much as six months in jail.
That may come on top of other penalties as well — potentially including the suspension of a driver’s license, significant fines, and increased insurance costs. Of course, not every defendant goes to jail following a first-time DUI arrest.
While this is a very serious criminal charge, you still have options available. It is crucial that you seek professional legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact an Orlando DUI defense lawyer who can help protect your rights and your freedom.
Contact Our Orlando DUI Defense Attorneys Today
Whether you are a Florida resident or a tourist from another state, Florida traffic violations can affect your driving privileges, finances and your freedom. Make sure you understand your rights. At Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, we have provided diligent criminal defense legal services to numerous clients facing criminal traffic charges. To schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Orlando DUI defense lawyer, call our Orlando office.