Everglades City, FL – Driving under the influence is taken very seriously in Florida. Penalties associated with a conviction can follow someone for a long time, and affect their ability to drive, work, and find future employment. For these reasons, it is important that anyone who has already been charged find legal help as soon as possible. The lawyer can try to assist the defendant in various ways that may avoid certain issues or penalties.
The penalties for a DUI case are set at mandatory minimums by the state legislature in Tallahassee. This means punishments will be comparable regardless of what city or county the arrest happened in.
There is a mandatory driver’s license suspension on all DUI convictions in Florida. This lasts at least six months, and can be increased for those who have prior DUI cases or aggravating circumstances. There are fines that range between five hundred and one thousand dollars.
Most importantly, because a DUI case is a first degree misdemeanor, it is possible that the defendant can potentially serve up to a year in jail. Those with felony DUIs for cases involving accident injuries or manslaughter face a longer possible sentence.
Penalties outside of the court system
Aside from these criminal penalties, drivers who are convicted may face other kinds of consequences. Their employer may choose to terminate their position if they are required to drive, or restrict their access to work vehicles. Insurance companies often penalize drivers who have been arrested or convicted by raising their rates. Professional licenses related to commercial driving or flying aircraft may be suspended as well. Dealing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for the administrative case tied to a driver’s license suspension is also separate from the criminal case.
How to respond after an arrest
Anyone who wants to try to avoid the worst consequences of a DUI should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest. A defense attorney can review all of the evidence related to the case and create a defense strategy. In some situations, it may be possible to have evidence excluded, which can ultimately lead to a reduction in sentence or dropped charges. However, each case is different and the lawyer needs to review whether the officers on the scene followed all of the proper procedures for a DUI investigation.
Talking with a lawyer after a DUI arrest
It is possible to get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Everglades City and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb is a firm that focuses on working with people who have been arrested for DUI.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901