It can be frightening to be pulled over for suspected drunk driving. You may be closely scrutinized, given various field sobriety tests, and arrested. You may feel that there is no point in trying to fight back if you had a positive Breathalyzer test. However, if you are charged with DUI, you should retain an experienced attorney to fight the charges. Jacksonville DUI lawyer Kevin M. Cobbin may be able to represent you.DUI in Florida
You can be charged with DUI if you drive or are in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams of alcohol per 100 grams of blood. You can also be charged with DUI if your breath alcohol concentration is .08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.Penalties for First-Time DUI
If you are convicted of a first DUI, you can face up to six months of jail time, $500-$1,000 in fines, a license revocation for 180 days to a year, 50 hours of community service, and 10 days of vehicle impoundment. The penalties will be harsher if you are transporting a minor or if you have a blood alcohol content of at least .15 while driving under the influence. When those circumstances are present, you may be sentenced to up to nine months in jail and fined anywhere from $1,000-$2,000. A Jacksonville DUI attorney can develop a strategy to try to avoid these consequences.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may also suspend your license if you were arrested for DUI or if you refused to take a blood, breath, or urine test. The suspension will last for at least six months. You can ask for an administrative hearing regarding a driver’s license suspension, and you may be able to ask for a hardship license, assuming that you meet certain conditions, such as not having more than two prior DUI convictions.Aggravated DUI
Under Florida Statutes Section 316.193(c)(1), you can be convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor if you caused property damage while driving under the influence. This is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. More serious consequences will be imposed if great bodily injury or death occurs in connection with your DUI. You could be convicted of a third-degree felony if you caused a serious bodily injury due to driving under the influence. A third-degree felony conviction would mean a potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. You should immediately retain a DUI attorney in Jacksonville in any of these situations.
If your DUI caused the death of another person, the consequences are grave. You could face a DUI manslaughter charge if you caused another person’s death. This is a second-degree felony that may be punished by a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of at least $10,000.
You could face a first-degree felony charge if you knew that there was a collision and that someone else was killed as a result, but you did not give aid or exchange information. The consequences for a conviction are very grave. You could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.Defenses
It is important to talk to an attorney rather than simply pleading guilty to DUI charges, even if you took a breath or blood alcohol test that showed that your blood alcohol content was greater than .08. We may be able to challenge police procedures to get key evidence suppressed and assert your constitutional rights. For example, the police must have a reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If an officer pulled you over on a mere hunch, it may be possible to get evidence obtained during the unlawful stop suppressed.Consult an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Jacksonville
You should take a drunk driving charge seriously. If you need legal representation from a Jacksonville attorney, you should consult Kevin M. Cobbin. He represents people throughout Duval County and the surrounding areas. Call him at (904) 357-8448 or complete our online form.