Frequently Asked Questions on DUI Charges by Onek Mawn P.A.
DUI Defense in Titusville and Melbourne, FL
When you’re charged with a DUI in Florida, the arresting officer may consider additional charges, beyond just driving under the influence. These charges may include DUI with personal injury, property damage, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to render aid, and DUI manslaughter. In order to protect your rights and ensure you have the best defense possible, you should hire an experienced DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer will walk you through every step of the court proceedings so you know what to expect, and will give you the best chance of a successful outcome in court or at trial. At Onek & Mawn, PA, our experienced, reliable criminal defense attorneys will give you the best chance of fighting DUI charges. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our DUI lawyers.
Do you have questions about your DUI charges, what to expect after your arrest, and how you can fight DUI charges in Florida? Take a look at these DUI FAQs that our attorneys hear from our clients. If you have more questions about your DUI arrest or DUI charges in Florida, call us today to set up a free consultation.
When Is a DUI a Felony?
Most DUI arrests in Florida are considered misdemeanors. The State can choose to charge you with felony DUI if you are involved in an accident that caused serious bodily injury or death, or if it is your third DUI arrest within 10 years of a previous conviction or a fourth offense or more. A felony DUI in Florida carries a possible sentence of five years year or more in prison.
Will a DUI Affect My Employment?
Having a DUI arrest or conviction on your record will show up in an employer’s background check and can affect their decision in the hiring process, regardless of your field. Certain professions, such as teachers, medical professionals, attorneys and , paralegals, and truck drivers, can’t have a criminal record or can’t have a DUI on their record. You may also have trouble finding work if you lose your driver’s license due to a DUI conviction.
What Are the Penalties for a First DUI Offense in Florida?
The legal penalties for a first DUI offense in Florida include mandatory DUI Level 1 school, fines, court costs, license revocation, vehicle imbolization, 50 hours of community service, and up to six months in jail. Even if it is your first arrest for DUI, there may be aggravating factors that affect your sentencing, such as additional charges, an interlock device, increased fines, or increased jail time.
What Kind of Sobriety Exercises Can I Expect?
The arresting officer has the right to ask you to undergo several different types of field sobriety exercises if they suspect that you have been driving under the influence. These include the walk-the-line exercise, one-leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nastagmus exercise. You are not legally required to agree to a field sobriety exercise; however, if you refuse, the arresting officer might take that as a sign that you are impaired. A refusal may also make an arrest more likely, at which point you would be legally required to submit to a breath or urine test. If you refuse these tests, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend your license for one year and 18 months if a second refusal.
What Are “Enhanced DUI Penalties?”
Enhanced DUI penalties in Florida are aggravating factors that can result in harsher sentencing after an arrest for DUI. A police officer or prosecutor may ask for enhanced penalties if you have a prior DUI conviction, if a minor was in the car with you at the time of your arrest, or if your breath test was over 0.15. If you are subject to enhanced DUI penalties, you may need to have an Interlock Ignition Device installed in your car, and you may be subject to increased fines and jail time.
How Does an Officer Justify a Stop?
A police officer can only stop a vehicle in Florida if there is probable cause for a traffic violation or reasonable suspicion that the driver is sick, injured or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a police officer arrives on the scene of an accident or comes upon a vehicle that is disabled along the roadway and notices the odor of alcohol or signs of visible impairment in the driver, this is probable cause to investigate for signs of DUI.
Will I Have a Criminal Record After a DUI Conviction?
A DUI conviction will appear on a criminal background check. Related charges, like property damage, impaired driving, or refusing a breath test, might also show up on a criminal record search. Background checks and criminal record searches are used by employers, landlords and property management companies, professional associations, and educational institutions. Some people qualify to have their DUI arrest record sealed if the DUI is reduced to reckless driving and they receive a withhold of adjudication (no conviction) if they have no prior convictions and have not previously sealed or expunged a criminal charge. A DUI attorney in Florida can help you with this process if you qualify.
Will I Lose My Driver's License?
For a first-time arrest for DUI or a failure to consent to a breath or urine test, you will lose your driving privileges for at least six months and up to a year. For a first-time DUI arrest or conviction, you may qualify for a hardship license for business purposes so you can drive to and from work, school, church, medical appointments or to maintain your livelihood. . You can drive for up to 10 days after a DUI arrest, but you will need to use your DUI traffic citation as your license during this period.
How Long Will I Be in Jail After a DUI Arrest?
Your jail time depends upon your charges, and whether you can afford to bond out. Citizens must wait at least 8 hours before being released on bond. Your initial appearance will be within 24 hours of your arrest at which time the court will set your bond amount. Depending on the DUI offense, bond will start at $500.00. You will remain in jail until your bond is posted.
Do You Have More Questions? Call Us Today!
If you have more questions about your DUI arrest or DUI charges in Florida, call us today at Onek & Mawn, PA. Our attorneys have decades of experience in handling DUI charges, whether we’re fighting for our client’s rights in court or negotiating plea deals with the prosecution. We want our clients to be fully informed of their rights, so we carefully explain each step of the legal process and keep them updated throughout their case. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, just call us today or contact us online.