If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida you face a criminal charge and conviction, unless your case is dismissed because of lack of convincing evidence. As long as no-one was hurt or killed while you were allegedly intoxicated, the charge will be a misdemeanor, unless it is a fourth DUI arrest. The term ‘misdemeanor’ is a bit misleading because it implies that you have just been naughty. Nothing can be further from the truth. DUI penalties in Florida are some of the harshest in the nation. Even a first time DUI can lead to up to $1,000 in fines, up to 6 months in a county jail, community service, loss of driving privileges, the knock on effect on subsequent insurance rates and, worst of all, a criminal conviction.
Each following DUI conviction, if there are any at all, leads to stiffer penalties and finally, a felony DUI charge if it is the fourth time caught DUI. Penalties are also harsher if you are found to have a blood alcohol level of more than 0.15% or you have a minor in the vehicle with you.
You don’t have to be involved in an accident to be arrested for DUI. It may be because you were swerving all over the road or your lights weren’t on, or even that you were discovered sleep behind the wheel parked by the side of the road with the ignition keys still in place.
It is definitely not advisable to drink and drive. Deciding to have an alcoholic drink takes some pre planning. Know how much you can drink without being intoxicated or just don’t drink anything alcoholic if you intend to drive afterwards. Sleep it off where you have the drink, e.g. at a friend’s or relative’s place or in a hotel. Take a taxi or public transport to get home.
The reason why DUI penalties are so harsh is that so many drivers still ignore rational advice and end up hurting or killing themselves or others. If you do end up hurting or killing someone accidentally while driving you may not be doing anything illegal unless you were driving dangerously. Driving while intoxicated is one of the most common reasons for traffic injuries and fatalities. The fact that you may have been tested for DUI and found to have been over the legal limit and you injured or killed someone means you could face a DUI second degree felony charge.
If you are convicted, you face a minimum of 4 years in prison, hefty fines and other penalties. The actual penalties given vary quite widely and depend on a number of factors such as the effectiveness of the DUI attorney representing you, which county you were charged in, the exact circumstances of the crash, whether you have been convicted of any DUI charge before and how much alcohol you had in your blood.
Defense against a DUI manslaughter charge
You will need a determined and experienced criminal defense attorney who has a reputation for defending anyone who has had these sorts of charges before. Plea bargains in DUI manslaughter cases are rare, but the following are possible defenses.
• Miranda rights not read out after arrest;
• field sobriety tests proven to have been unreliable;
• penalties of refusing a blood alcohol test not spelled out appropriately;
• subjective determination of intoxication proven to be unreliable;
• blood alcohol test, whether by breathalyzer, urine or blood sampling not sufficiently accurate.
You do not want a DUI conviction, let alone a DUI felony conviction. Whatever the circumstances of the incident you were involved in, you are entitled to a robust defense. You cannot be convicted of a DUI felony charge unless the evidence is beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. In Miami, contact Albert Quirantes Esq. at his law firm office. You can phone his office at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.