A review of 17 KEY topics You MUST Know by ➪ Boca Raton ➪
West Palm Beach DUI Attorney Josh LeRoy on:

DUI and Related Charges

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An experienced West Palm Beach DUI Attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your final sentence – potentially years of your life.  A few charges that fall in the DUI category include, but are not limited to, the list below.

What do I need to know before looking for a West Palm Beach DUI Attorney?

Driving under the influence or DUI is a serious offense in the State of Florida. Anyone being charged of DUI should immediately consult with a DUI Attorney well versed in the nuances of DUI Law. There are long term consequences for your drivers license, extremely high auto insurance rates, loss of work and an unwanted criminal record.

YOUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON YOU FINDING AN EXPERIENCED DUI ATTORNEY

You’ve just been charged with DUI. Don’t assume that you’re going to be convicted because you didn’t do well on the field sobriety tests, or tested well over the legal limit. An experienced DUI Attorney in West Palm Beach can help ensure you get a reduced sentence.

Here’s what we’ll do for you when you put us to work…

  • We’ll first obtain and evaluate the evidence to locate the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case.

    DUI Lawyer West Palm Beach
    DUI Lawyer West Palm Beach
  • We’ll question whether the officer had the right to even stop you.
  • We’ll question how the standardized field sobriety tests were administered.
  • We’ll evaluate how the Breath Test – or other chemical tests were administered.
  • We’ll do whatever we need to do so you can avoid a DUI conviction in West Palm Beach.

Upon evaluation of the evidence, Mr. LeRoy, a seasoned DUI Attorney, will explain the factual and legal defenses available to you. You now have an advocate on your side working for you to build the strongest DUI defense possible.

Whether the case merits a motion to dismiss, a motion to suppress, or a trial – Mr. LeRoy will prepare the best DUI defense for your case. Should your case not got to trial, as he is an experienced DUI Attorney, Mr. LeRoy has a long track record of reducing the charge or mitigating sentences. The next step will be minimizing or eliminating any adverse effects on your driving record. Last will be addressing the other issues that come with DUI.

I was arrested for DUI, can I still drive?

Following a DUI arrest, your license is usually suspended for either 6 months or 12 months by the DHSMV. A 6 month suspension results from providing a breath sample greater than 0.08%, whereas a 12 month suspension results from refusing to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample. Your license can be suspended for 18 months if you refuse to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample and have previously refused to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample in the past.

Moreover, it is possible to be charged with DUI and not have your license suspended at all. After being arrested for DUI in most circumstances you are able to drive for 10 days. The DUI citation, which looks like a traffic ticket, serves as your license. During the 10 days following a DUI arrest you must decide whether to challenge the DHSMV suspension via a Formal Administrative Review Hearing.

Can a West Palm Beach DUI attorney give me a hardship license after being arrested for DUI?

If after being arrested for DUI you provided a breath sample greater than 0.08% or refused to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample, your license will be suspended by the DHSMV. You will be eligible to immediately obtain a hardship license permitting you to drive for BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY if you have not previously been convicted of DUI, have not previously had your license suspended for providing a breath sample over 0.08%, or previously refusing to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample.

In order to obtain said license you must enroll in DUI School and complete DHSMV form 72034 Request for Eligibility Review. The form along with the proof of enrollment in DUI School must be presented to your nearest DHSMV Bureau of Administrative Review. You must request the license within 10 days of your DUI Arrest.

What is a BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY driver’s license?

“A driving privilege restricted to business purposes only” means a driving privilege that is limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes.” Fla. Stat. §322.271(c)(1).

I passed the field sobriety (roadside) exercises, why did the officers arrest me?

Field sobriety exercises are abnormal acts, intentionally difficult to do, and even harder to understand. Luckily for you, unlike most other criminal cases, the entire DUI investigation is usually recorded on video. That means that you will have the opportunity to review your performance on the field sobriety exercises. In fact, you will have the opportunity to review the whole incident starting with the stop.

Is a DUI a felony?

A DUI is usually a misdemeanor. However, if you have previously been convicted of DUI twice before, one of which was within the last 10 years, or the DUI resulted in serious seriousl bodily injury or death to any person, than the charge can be a felony.

Can a West Palm Beach DUI Attorney get my DUI expunged or sealed?

No.DUI conviction cannot be expunged or sealed. In fact, a DUI conviction will prohibit you from ever having any criminal case expunged or sealed in Florida.

How can a DUI Attorney help me if I am charged with DUI: F.S. 316.193?

A DUI in Florida results from driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle when the person is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the extent that their normal facilities are impaired. In Florida, Drinking and driving is legal, which is why all bars have parking lots. Driving when your “normal facilities” are impaired by alcohol is illegal. Normal facilities “include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.” Fla. Standard Jury Instruction 28.1.

Driving under the Influence or DUI is a crime capable of being committed by anyone. The problem with these cases is that when drinking alcohol a person loses the ability to properly gage their own level of sobriety. Therefore when drinking we don’t realize that a couple glasses of wine with dinner, a few beers at the bar after work, or a couple drinks at a BBQ can push our blood alcohol content past the legal limit of 0.08. That is why DUI arrests are so common. It is not intentional. It is a crime of poor judgement. Very good people, who have no inclination to ever commit a crime, can make the bad decision to drive after drinking 1 drink too many. In fact, just recently a series of judges were arrested and charged with Driving under the Influence.

It is a serious crime, whether convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, a conviction results in large fines, mandatory

DUI, F.S. 316.193
DUI, F.S. 316.193

driver’s license suspensions, the impoundment or immobilization of your car, mandatory educational courses, mandatory alcohol and/or drug treatment, mandatory community service hours, mandatory attendance of the victim impact panel, and potentially jail time. Depending on the facts of the DUI and the number of prior Driving under the Influence convictions you possess, regardless of when or where the convictions occurred, you could be charged with a felony DUI.

Most felony DUI arrests result from the person having multiple DUI misdemeanor convictions. DUI is a crime of enhancement: the more convictions, the harsher the mandatory sentencing.

It can be proven if the blood/alcohol level is .08 or higher, drugs are found in blood or urine sample, or even by the observations of the police officer alone. A third DUI within a ten (10) year span, or any subsequent DUI, can be charged as a felony DUI, which clearly results in a much harsher sentence than a misdemeanor DUI. The sentence for a third or subsequent DUI conviction is up to five years in prison. A third DUI conviction can include a mandatory 10 year driver’s license suspension, whereas a fourth DUI conviction requires a lifetime driver’s license suspension.

DUI causing serious bodily injury to another person is also a third degree felony. But, if another person dies as a result of the accident you can be charged with DUI manslaughter which is either a second degree felony or a first degree felony. In those situations, when a car accidents results in serious injury or death, the police are not required to ask for a breath, blood or urine sample, they are permitted to have a doctor or nurse take a blood sample without your consent. In other words, if charged with a DUI causing serious bodily injury or DUI manslaughter, you can refuse to consent to providing a sample of blood, but over your objection, your blood can be forcefully drawn without your consent.

The weight and stress of a DUI conviction is immense. It takes a skilled  DUI Attorney to work a Driving under the Influence case. I have had numerous DUI jury trials and have prevailed in many. Contact our office immediately to discuss your case.

What are related fines, if discovered guilty?

  • Between $500 and $1,000 for your 1st conviction.
  • Between $1,000 and $2,000 for a 2nd conviction
  • What is the necessary detainment, if discovered liable?
  • Less than 6 months for a 1st conviction.
  • Less than 9 months for a 2nd conviction.
  • 10 days detainment, if 2nd conviction happens inside of five years of first conviction.
  • 30 days detainment, if a 3rd or consequent conviction happens inside of 10 years after previous conviction.

Can a West Palm Beach DUI attorney arrange it so I serve my time in a recovery facility as opposed to prison/jail?

Yes. A litigant may be obliged to serve all or any bit of a term of detainment to which the defendant is sentenced in a private alcohol abuse treatment facility or a private drug abuse treatment program. Whatever time spent in such a system must be credited by the court toward the term of detainment.

What is the difference between DUI and Felony DUI?

A Felony DUI is a serious crime, whether convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, a conviction results in large fines, fees, the impoundment or immobilization of your car, mandatory educational courses, mandatory alcohol and/or drug treatment, mandatory driver’s license suspension, mandatory community service hours, mandatory attendance of the MADD victim impact panel, and potentially jail time. Depending on the facts of the DUI and the number of prior DUI convictions you possess, regardless of when or where the convictions occurred, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony.

Felony DUI
Felony DUI

Most felony DUI cases are the result of multiple DUI misdemeanor convictions, which is the result of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs while your normal facilities are impaired. A DUI can be proven if the blood/alcohol level is .08 or higher, drugs are found in blood or urine sample, or even by the observations of the police officer alone.

A third DUI within a ten (10) year span, or any number thereafter, can be charged as a felony DUI, which clearly results in a much harsher sentence than a misdemeanor DUI. The sentence for a third or subsequent DUI conviction is up to five years in prison. A third DUI convictions includes a mandatory 10 year driver’s license suspension, whereas a fourth DUI conviction requires a lifetime driver’s license suspension.

DUI causing serious bodily injury to another person is also a third degree felony. But, if another person dies as a result of the accident you can be charged with DUI manslaughter which is either a second degree felony or a first degree felony. In those situations, when a car accidents results in serious injury or death, the police are not required to ask for a breath, blood or urine sample, they are permitted to have a doctor or nurse take a blood sample without your consent. In other words, if charged with a DUI causing serious bodily injury or DUI manslaughter, you cannot refuse to provide a sample of blood.

What should I know about a DUI Causing Serious Injury or Death charge before hiring my West Palm Beach DUI Attorney?

A DUI Causing Serious Injury or Death is a Felony DUI. However, drinking and driving is not illegal. Driving under the Influence is not against the law. A person is allowed to drink alcohol and then drive a car.

Why do you think bars have parking lots?

What is illegal, however, is Driving Under the Influence or DUI when your normal facilities are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Normal facilities “include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.” Fla. Standard Jury Instruction 28.1.

Driving under the Influence or DUI is a crime capable of being committed by anyone. The problem with DUI is that when drinking alcohol a person loses the ability to properly gage their own level of sobriety. Therefore when drinking we don’t realize that a couple glasses of wine with dinner, a few beers at the bar after work, or a couple drinks at a BBQ can push our blood alcohol content past the legal limit of 0.08.

That is why DUI arrests are so common. No one intends to commit a DUI. It is a crime of poor judgement. Very good people, who have no inclination to ever commit a crime, can make the bad decision to drive after drinking 1 drink too many. In fact, just recently a series of judges were arrested and charged with DUI.

I understand that good people make mistakes. I also believe that police make mistakes in making DUI arrests. I believe that a bad choice by a client or a mistake by an officer should not impact a client’s entire life. While DUIs are punishable by incarceration, most first time offenders, assuming that they did not cause an accident, have a minor in the car, did not have a blood alcohol content of over 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit, and did had a valid driver’s license at the time of the offense, are offered probation. However, probation for a DUI is one of the most costly and labor intensive. There are a lot of conditions that usually go with DUI probation.

To date, I have handled hundreds of DUI cases. I have tried many many DUI cases, routinely with favorable results for the client. I have filed and argued many Motions to Suppress Evidence in DUI cases. Furthermore, I have negotiated many plea agreements to lessor charges, including Reckless Driving.

Dui Causing Serious Injury Or Death – F.S. 316.193(3)
Dui Causing Serious Injury Or Death – F.S. 316.193(3)

A recent DUI trial involved a client which came to me after paying another attorney a significant amount of money. He was unhappy with the representation he was receiving. He had been arrested for DUI and Driving without a License. He felt that the other attorney was very positive about the facts of the case until the client made the final payment. Once the final payment was made, the attorney began encouraging the client to take a plea. Thereafter, I was retained. I filed and argued a Motion to Suppress. Following the Motion hearing, a jury trial was held. The Driving without a License

charge was dismissed by the Judge during the trial for lack of evidence, and the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty to the DUI.

I don’t believe that I caused the accident, or their injury. Can I still be charged?

Whether you caused the accident or not, if you contributed to another’s injury while under the influence, which is enough for a DUI with serious bodily injury charge. It is not needed to be proved that you were the cause of the traffic accident.

What does my BAC need to be in order to be charged with DUI with serious bodily injury in Palm Beach County?

Your blood alcohol level needs to be .08% or higher in order to be charged.

What does “serious bodily injury” consist of?

Serious injury can cause the victim a risk of death, disfigurement, or impairment of their body or an organ in their body.

Is DUI causing injury a felony?

Yes, and there are varying degrees of the felony, depending on how injured the victim is.

Should I hire a West Palm Beach DUI lawyer for a Open Container charge: F.S. 316.1936?

If driving a car, or riding as a passenger in a car, or even just sitting in a parked car, Florida law prohibits you from having an open container of beer, wine, or liquor of any kind in your hand or anywhere immediately accessible to you. While the offense is a non-criminal one, it nevertheless can become significant if police use the law to stop, question, and search you, events that often lead to more serious criminal charges.

What defense would a West Palm Beach DUI Attorney use for an Open Container charge?

Open Container, Florida Statutes S.316.1936
Open Container, Florida Statutes S.316.1936

If, after stopping a vehicle, a police officer charges you with driving with an open container of an alcoholic beverage, you can win the case if the officer himself violated the law that regulates when agents of the government can stop citizens. This happens more often than you might think. For example, if the officer stopped you because you drifted slightly into a neighboring lane, he would not have grounds to direct you to stop your vehicle. You can also have the charge against you dropped if evidence shows that the car in which you possessed an open container was located on private property.

What are the penalties for driving without a license, or with an expired license in Palm Beach County?

Violation of the Open Container law by a driver is a noncriminal, moving traffic violation, punishable by a fine. Violation of the same law by a passenger is a non-moving traffic violation, also punishable by a fine.

How can a West Palm Beach DUI Lawyer help me with a Refusal To Submit To Breath, Urine, Or Blood Test charge (F.S. 316.1932, 316.1939)?

According to Florida law, driving is a privilege, and it’s a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Hence, the law in Florida considers every driver in the state to have consented to submit to breath, urine, and blood tests when, after arresting the driver for driving under the influence of alcohol or other chemical substances, the police officer deems such tests appropriate.

Refusal To Submit To Breath, Urine, Or Blood Test, Florida Statutes S.316.1932, S.316.1939
Refusal To Submit To Breath, Urine, Or Blood Test, Florida Statutes S.316.1932, S.316.1939

What defense would a West Palm Beach DUI attorney use for a charge of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer?

If, with sound evidence, you can show that the arresting police officer failed to inform you, as strictly required by law, of certain legal facts, you have a strong basis to seek dismissal of the case against you, or acquittal if the case goes to trial. What are the facts that the arresting police officer is required to tell you: that failure to submit to the proposed test will result in (a) the suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year for a first refusal, and (b) for a second refusal, the suspension of your license for 18 months as well as misdemeanor charges.

What are the penalties for refusing, pursuant to an arrest for driving under the influence, to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test in Palm Beach County?

The State of Florida classifies a second refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test, where the prior refusal resulted in suspension of the driver’s license, as a 1st degree misdemeanor, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation to up to one year in the county jail. The driver’s license will also be suspended for 18 months. A first refusal is punishable by suspension of the driver’s license for 12 months.

Related Cases

Case: DUI & Driving Without A License

  • The Incident: The Client was stopped at 12:50 a.m. for a DUI. He performed the roadside tasks and was subsequently arrested because of his “poor performance.” Officers soon realized that the client also did not have a license, and he was arrested.
  • The Charges: DUI and Driving Without a License.
  • My Counsel & Defense: When the State refused to negotiate a Reckless Driving charge, the client and I decided to proceed to trial.
  • The VERDICT: The Judge dismissed the Driving Without a License charge because the State could not prove all the elements of the crime. More importantly, the jury acquitted him of the DUI. The client left the courtroom with his wife and a big smile on his face. Not Guilty of DUI, Judge dismissed Driving Without License Charge.

related laws:

Driving Without a License

If You Have Been Charged Call West Palm Beach DUI Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford to Lose?

If you, or someone you know, find yourself in need of a DUI Attorney in Palm Beach County (from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and up to Jupiter), or any of the surrounding areas use the form below to drop me a note. Let me know a bit about yourself, what’s happened, and a good time to contact you.

-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

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