While driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense that can result in severe punishment, a DUI attorney can help lessen the blow of the charge. If you or someone you know has recently been charged with a DUI in Florida, an attorney can guide you through the legal process, providing you the counsel and representation you need to get through this difficult time and to come out victorious on the other side. But remember, time is of the essence when it comes to criminal cases, so we recommend contacting an attorney right away, so you can rely on their knowledge and expertise to win your case.
The Repercussions of Being Charged with a DUI in Florida
As you may know, DUI laws vary per state. Even the term that is used to refer to the criminal act of driving under the influence, can change depending on the state and jurisdiction you find yourself in. Some states call it DWI (driving while intoxicated), others refer to the offense as OUI (operating under the influence), and there are some that call it OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence). Not only can the terminology used to define the crime change based on the state, but the legal consequences you will faced for having committed the offense could also differ. In the state of Florida, for instance, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, those who are convicted for the first time, will pay between $500 and $1,000, if blood/breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000. [May face] imprisonment for not more than six months, if BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than nine months.” Those who are convicted for the second time will pay a fee of “not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000, if BAL was .15 or higher, of if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000. Imprisonment for not more than nine months, if BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than 12 months. If the second conviction was within five years of a prior conviction, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.” Of course, in the state of Florida much like in most states, the stakes get higher and higher depending on the number of times you are charged with a DUI.
How Can a DUI Attorney Assist You?
According to VeryWell Mind, what “an attorney can do for you is make sure you are prepared to go to court by helping you understand what is going to be expected of you. [They] can [also] help you complete some requirements prior to your court appearance. For example, [he or she] may help you obtain SR-22 auto insurance and file the proper forms with the department of motor vehicles.” If you or someone you know has recently been charged with a DUI, we encourage you to hire a DUI attorney in Punta Gorda, Florida.