Penalties for drunk or impaired driving are becoming more and more harsh around the entire country as cases of drivers injuring or killing people while under the influence receive national attention. As a result of this focus on the dangers of drunk driving, Florida is a state that has chosen to have all people charged with DUI subject to minimum penalties that usually cannot be changed because they are set by the state legislature. This means that a defense lawyer cannot merely negotiate a better deal with the local State Attorney’s Office.
The FLHSMV regulations
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides an overview of penalties, license suspensions, and other conditions and punishments related to various forms of the crime of driving under the influence on their website. As a general rule subsequent offenses for someone with prior DUI convictions, a high blood alcohol level, or incidents that involve property damage or injury to others have more severe penalties than a first DUI that does not result in harm to anyone.
Because these mandatory minimum sentences are severe and cannot be changed in most normal circumstances, it is important to hire an attorney who will be able to expose weaknesses in the state’s case against you or get the charges reduced or dropped. Otherwise, your sentence will reflect the mandatory minimums and all the long-term consequences associated with this sentence.
The mandatory minimum plea
In the state of Florida there are serious mandatory minimum penalties for a first DUI set by the state legislature. These include a six month license suspension, $500-$1000 fine, one year of probation, jail time on the day of arrest, a ten day vehicle impound, community service hours, and attending one or more programs related to substance abuse treatment or victims of drunk drivers. If you go to trial and lose, the penalties may even be increased by the prosecutor. Realistically, these conditions will drastically change a person’s life for up to a year after the arrest due to restrictions on the ability to drive and other conditions that must be met. A DUI conviction or no contest plea may also appear as part of a criminal background or driving records check and prevent a person from accepting certain types of employment.
Be sure to get the right lawyer
To be sure that your case is handled properly and any possible defenses are raised, it is imperative to get an aggressive attorney who will review all possible issues and file any necessary motions to get your charges reduced or a better plea deal. If your lawyer does not do any of these things on your behalf, it is essentially the same as representing yourself and taking the state’s first offer. Only an experienced DUI lawyer can find ways to get around these mandatory minimum charges within the confines of the law.
Talk to DUI defense lawyer in the Daytona Beach area
There are lawyers who specialize in defending DUI charges in Daytona Beach and nearby areas who may possibly be able to get your charges reduced or case dismissed. The attorneys at Pappas and Russell are available to defend your rights and advocate on your behalf against the state’s charges.