You’ve just been charged with a DUI, so now what do you do? What you do next is crucial to the outcome of your case. An experienced DUI defense lawyer at Moses & Rooth can assure the best results and guide you through the DUI nightmare.
First Step – Driver’s License Suspension Hearing
The first step after receiving a DUI charge is to contact a lawyer that can help you request an administrative review of your driver’s license suspension. A first time offender must act quickly. After being charged with a DUI the police officer takes the driver’s license, issues a 10-day temporary permit, and issues the driver a notice of suspension. According to Florida Statute 322.2615, first time offenders have only 10 days after the issuance of the notice of suspension to request a formal or informal administrative hearing through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to review the suspension. A driver with a suspended license may request a restricted permit to be used for business and employment purposes only. A qualified attorney can help you navigate the review process and insure the best possible outcome.
Second Step – Facing Criminal Charges
The second step after attending an administrative hearing to fight your driver’s license suspension is to face the criminal DUI charges against you. Your license can still be suspended depending on the outcome of your case, however, your conviction is not set in stone. A DUI defense lawyer may be able negotiate a lesser charge, dismiss evidence presented against you, present evidence on your behalf in order to prevent a conviction, or argue reduced fees, jail time, and driver’s license suspension period.
First Time DUI Conviction Penalties
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a first offense DUI conviction can result in:
- Fines from $500 to $1,000 (If your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is .15% or higher or if a minor was in the vehicle the fine can be up to $2,000),
- 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 per community service hour,
- Probation up to one year,
- Incarceration up to 6 months (If your BAL is .15% or higher, the sentence could be up to 9 months),
- Vehicle impounded for 10 days,
- Driver’s license suspension up to one year, and
- An ignition interlock can be issued for six months or more if your BAL is .15% or higher or if a minor was in the vehicle.
Even if this is your first DUI you could also face felony or manslaughter charges if serious bodily injury or death was caused. A driver causing serious bodily injury while driving under the influence may be convicted of a third degree felony and face up to $5,000 in fines and/or 5 years in prison. A driver causing a death while driving under the influence may be convicted of a second degree felony and face up to $10,000 in fines and/or 15 years in prison. If the driver leaves the scene of the accident the driver may face a first degree felony and 30 years in prison.
A DUI conviction can hold harsh penalties. If you have been charged with a DUI let the experienced DUI defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth in Central Florida fight on your behalf to insure the best possible outcome. Contact us today, so we can help you put your DUI charge behind you.