DUI

DUI Lawyer in Kissimmee

Like all the other states in the country, Florida has laws against driving under the influence. Whether you were operating a truck, car, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle, these are serious criminal offenses. You can lose your license, pay a fine, or face prison time. If you have been charged with a DUI, you need the assistance of an experienced lawyer in Kissimmee

What is DUI?

When the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal drugs, you could be charged with a DUI. The driver also needs to be intoxicated at a level above the established DUI standards. Some tests can confirm your intoxication levels, such as a breathalyzer analysis on the scene or a blood draw at a local hospital.

Field Sobriety Tests

When a law enforcement officer pulls you over, he or she may conduct a field sobriety test. You will have to consent to these tests. With a field sobriety test, you will be asked to perform a series of tasks to assess your impairment of cognitive or physical abilities. Some of these field tests include:

  • Walking a straight line
  • Eye and penlight test
  • Reciting the alphabet backwards

Along with that, a chemical test could be conducted at the traffic stop. If you take a breathalyzer test, your blood-alcohol content/concentration (BAC) is measured. You might be taken to a hospital for a blood or urine test.

What Is Implied Consent?

Every state has a law known as implied consent for drivers. With these laws, drivers must submit to a field or chemical test if there is a suspected case of DUI. Many states considered driving to be a privilege on the roads and highways. 

 

By traveling on these roads, the driver has already given consent to any type of testing. If the driver refuses a test, they could face severe penalties, such as suspending the driver’s license.

 

If you have failed a DUI test, there are harsher penalties for the driver, including loss of driving privileges. 

Refusing a Field Test

If you refuse to take a breath test, it is not an automatic suspension of your driving privileges. At the scene, the arresting officer does not take away your license. Instead, it is a decision up to the Florida DMV at a formal hearing. 

 

However, if you do not challenge the test in 10 days, your driving privileges will be revoked. You always have the right to contest losing your license. At the hearing, your DUI lawyer will provide evidence in your defense.

"Per Se" Laws in Kissimmee

Every state can deem “per se” intoxication for any driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above a specific limit. In Florida, that limit is .08. Anyone with a BAC of .08 or above is considered intoxicated, even if the driver is not showing signs of impairment. 

 

However, “per se” intoxication is not the only proof for intoxicated driving in the state. A driver with a lower alcohol level can be arrested for DUI if he or she erratically operated the vehicle or had physical signs of intoxication. 

Criminal DUI Penalties in Kissimmee

A DUI charge in Kissimmee is a serious offense with stiff penalties, such as fines, community service, jail time, and probation. In Florida, after a previous conviction, you might have trouble finding an insurance company to insure your vehicle. Your license could also be suspended or revoked. 

 

Penalties for these offenses are as follows:

  • First DUI conviction: $500 to $1,000 fine, six months in jail, one year of probation, and vehicle impounded. 
  • Second DUI conviction: Fine ($500-1,000), nine months in jail, enrollment of ignition interlock program, vehicle impoundment for 30 days, and suspended license for one year. 
  • Third DUI conviction: Fine between $2,000 – $5,000, a third-degree felony, minimum two years of ignition interlock program, license revoked for 10 years, and 90-day impoundment of the vehicle. 
  • Fourth DUI conviction: $2,000 fine, five-year prison sentence, a third-degree felony, six months of ignition interlock program, permanent revocation of license, and 90-day vehicle impoundment. 

 

As you can tell, the punishment for a DUI conviction is severe. You will face suspension, jail time, fines, and enrollment in certain programs. 

 

An ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle is often a requirement of sentencing. You will have to pay for the installation and monthly fees of the device. Before you can drive your vehicle, you must breathe into the system. The vehicle will only start when your BAC is under a certain level.

 

Vehicle impoundment is another form of punishment. After multiple drunk driving convictions, you could forfeit the car or truck. 

 

There are some enhanced penalties under specific circumstances, such as:

  • BAC higher than 0.15 percent
  • Refusing to submit to a field or chemical test
  • Reckless driving while intoxicated
  • Intoxicated driving with a minor in the vehicle
  • Drunk driving that causes an accident

Consequences of DUI in Kissimmee

Once you have been convicted of DUI in Florida, you will need to fill out an FR-44 form. This form outlines your financial responsibility, and you must send this paperwork to your insurance company in the state. This form allows them to increase your rates for three years. You will see your rates rise higher than the required minimum in Florida.

Hardship License

You might be able to apply for a hardship license. When your license is suspended, you can request a temporary one. You can only use this license for specific situations, such as driving to work. The hardship license will allow you to continue to support yourself while under heavy restrictions on the road. If you need a hardship license, you must seek help from an experienced DUI lawyer.

Contact a DUI Lawyer in Kissimmee

If you are facing DUI charges, you will want to have a competent Kissimmee criminal defense attorney handling your case. Alexander Smith-Johnson has experienced defending clients against DUI charges. He will examine the facts of the case. You can trust in his experience to help defend you against these serious charges. To schedule a consultation, make sure to contact the Kissimmee office.

Let Alex help you!

If you have any questions, call or email Alex today for a free case review/consultation.

Call : (407) 392-1299

asmith-johnson@smithandeulo.com 7 days/week 24 hours