A Daytona Beach DUI Lawyer Answers Your Questions
Whether you have dealt with drinking and driving charges in Florida before or this is your first time, you probably have many questions. You need to know what kind of punishment you could face if you are found guilty or enter a guilty plea. You also need to understand your legal rights and if the police violated those rights at any point during your traffic stop.
The Law Office of Tonya D. Cromartie, P.A., has compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions our DUI defense attorney, Tonya D. Cromartie, hears from her clients. Contact the firm for more detailed answers related to your specific case.
DUI Arrest FAQ
What Constitutes A DUI Offense In Florida?
State law defines Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as 1) driving or being “in actual physical control of a vehicle” 2) while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or above.
Can I Be Charged With DUI In Florida If I Wasn’t Actually Driving The Vehicle?
Yes, getting arrested on DUI charges is possible even if you were not driving. The state DUI statute makes it a crime to be “in actual physical control” of your car while legally impaired. This can include sitting or lying down inside your parked vehicle with the engine off and the keys in your pocket.
What Is Florida’s Implied Consent Law, And What Happens If I Refuse A Chemical Test?
The implied consent law states that, by driving in the state of Florida, you automatically consent to submit to a DUI breath, urine or blood test upon a police officer’s request. If you decline, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. Any subsequent refusals will result in an 18-month suspension and could be treated as a first-degree misdemeanor separate from any DUI charges. However, before demanding submission to any chemical test, the officer is supposed to have probable cause to believe the driver is over the limit for alcohol.
Driver’s License Suspension After A DUI Arrest FAQ
How Long Could My License Be Suspended For A First DUI Offense In Florida?
For a first offense with no aggravating factors like a car accident causing injury, the court will suspend your license for between 180 days and one year.
What Is A Florida DHSMV Administrative License Hearing, And How Do I Request One After A DUI Arrest?
When you get charged with DUI in Florida, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles automatically suspends your driver’s license. You have just 10 days from the date of your arrest (including weekends and holidays) to request an administrative hearing with DHSMV. When you request this hearing, DHSMV will issue you a temporary license for at least 30 days. At this hearing, you can show a DHSMV employee that you should have your driving privileges restored while your DUI case is pending.
What Is A Hardship License?
If the DHSMV will not reinstate your license, one option is to apply for a hardship license. This is a special type of driver’s license that temporarily restores limited driving privileges. For example, your hardship license could restrict your driving privileges to commuting to and from work or school only.
Possible Penalties After A DUI Conviction FAQ
What Are The Penalties For A First-Time Conviction In Florida?
With no prior DUIs on your record, a first offense can still result in up to six months in jail. But if your criminal record is fairly clean, you could be sentenced to probation and up to 50 hours of community service instead. The judge will fine you at least $500 and up to $1,000 and suspend your driver’s license for at least 180 days. You might be ordered to attend DUI school for evaluation, possibly followed by substance abuse treatment.
What Are The Consequences Of A Subsequent DUI Conviction?
The penalties increase for a second and third DUI offense. Just how much they go up depends on how much time has passed since the prior conviction. A second DUI conviction within five years of the first one can lead to a jail sentence of 10 days to nine months, up to a year of probation and the loss of your license for at least five years, after which you must use an ignition interlock device in your car for at least one year. For a third conviction within ten years of the second one, you will be fined $4,000-5,000, sent to jail for at least 30 days and up to a year, and lose your license for at least ten years.
If I’m Involved In A DUI That Results In Injury Or Death, What Penalties Could I Face In Florida?
A car accident involving serious injury makes DUI charges much more serious. Even a minor injury increases the charge to a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. A DUI involving a fatal accident is considered manslaughter, a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
How Can A DUI Attorney Help Me With My DUI Case In Daytona Beach, Florida?
Hiring an experienced defense attorney is the most important thing you can do to help your defense against a DUI charge. A lawyer can listen to your side of the story, examine the evidence and advise you on the best way to deal with the charges. In many cases, Tonya D. Cromartie can get the charges reduced or even dropped or dismissed. She will ensure you get a fair chance at an outcome that minimizes disruption in your life.