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 into 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 facing a charge of DUI should immediately consult with a DUI attorney well-versed in the nuances of DUI law. There are long-term consequences for your driver’s 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 you will 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 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 even to 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 so you can avoid a DUI conviction in West Palm Beach.

Upon evaluating the evidence, Mr. LeRoy, a seasoned DUI attorney, will explain the factual and legal defenses available. You now have an advocate working for you to build the most vigorous 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 get 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 to minimize or eliminate any adverse effects on your driving record. Last, I will be addressing the other issues that come with DUI.

I have a DUI arrest; can I still drive?

Following a DUI arrest, your license is usually suspended for either six 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 give 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 or have previously refused to give a breath, urine, or blood sample.

Moreover, you can be charged with DUI and not have your license suspended. In most circumstances, after being arrested for DUI, you can drive for ten days. The DUI citation, which looks like a traffic ticket, serves as your license. During the ten 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 provide a breath sample greater than 0.08% or refuse to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample, the DHSMV will suspend your license. You will be eligible to immediately obtain a hardship license permitting you to drive for BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY if you have no prior convictions of DUI, have not previously had your license suspended for providing a breath sample over 0.08%, or have previously refused to give a breath, urine, or blood sample.

To obtain said license, you must attend DUI school and fill out DHSMV form 72034, Request for Eligibility Review and present it and proof of enrollment in DUI school to your nearest DHSMV Bureau of Administrative Review. You must request the license within ten days of your DUI arrest.

What is a BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY driver’s license?

According to F.S. 322.271(c)(1), “a driving privilege restricted to business purposes only” refers to any driving necessary to maintain a livelihood, such as driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and medical purposes.

I passed the field sobriety (roadside) exercises. Why did the officers arrest me?

Field sobriety exercises are abnormal acts, intentionally challenging 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 you will have the opportunity to review your performance on the field sobriety exercises. You will have the chance to review the whole incident, starting with the stop.

Is a DUI a felony?

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

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

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

Before I hire a West Palm Beach DUI attorney, what should I know about a charge: 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 faculties 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, generally, 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 gauge their level of sobriety. Therefore, when drinking, we don’t realize that a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, a few beers at the bar after work, or a few 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 judgment. Very good people, with no inclination to ever commit a crime, can make the wrong decision to drive after drinking one drink too many. In fact, a series of judges were arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

It is a severe crime, and whether convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, a conviction results in hefty fines, mandatory

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

driver’s license suspensions, impoundment or immobilization of your car, educational courses, alcohol and/or drug treatment, community service hours, mandatory attendance at 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 may face 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 samples 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 results in a much harsher sentence than a misdemeanor DUI. The punishment 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.

A DUI causing serious bodily injury to another person is also a third-degree felony. But, if another person dies due to the accident, you can be charged with DUI manslaughter, either a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony. When a car accident results in severe 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 provide a blood sample. Still, despite your objection, authorities can draw your blood 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 of them. Contact our office immediately to discuss your case.

What are the 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 six months for a 1st conviction.
  • Less than nine months for a 2nd conviction.
  • Ten days detainment if 2nd conviction happens within five years of the first conviction.
  • Thirty days detainment if a 3rd or consequent conviction happens within ten years after the previous conviction.

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

Yes. A litigant may be obliged to serve all or any bit of a term of detainment 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, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony regardless of when or where the convictions occurred.

Felony DUI
Felony DUI

Most felony DUI cases result from multiple DUI misdemeanor convictions, which result from driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs while your normal faculties are impaired. The State can prove a DUI if the blood/alcohol level is 0.08% or higher, drugs are found in a blood or urine sample, or even by the observations of the police officer alone.

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

A DUI causing serious bodily injury to another person is also a third-degree felony. But, if another person dies due to the accident, you can be charged with DUI manslaughter, either a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony. When a car accident 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, you cannot refuse to provide a sample of blood if charged with a DUI causing serious bodily injury or DUI manslaughter.

Before hiring my West Palm Beach DUI Attorney, what should I know about a DUI Causing Serious Injury or Death charge?

A A DUI that causes 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 alcohol or drugs impair your normal faculties. 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, generally, 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 gauge their level of sobriety. Therefore, when drinking, we don’t realize that a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, a few beers at the bar after work, or a few 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 judgment. Very good people, who have no inclination to ever commit a crime, can make the bad decision to drive after drinking one drink too many. In fact, just recently, a series of judges were arrested and charged with DUI.

I understand good people make mistakes. I also believe that police make mistakes in making DUI arrests. I feel a client’s bad choice or an officer’s mistake 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, had a minor in the car, did not have a blood alcohol content of over 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit, and did have a valid driver’s license at the time of the offense, are offered probation. However, probation for a DUI is one of the costliest and most labor-intensive. There are a lot of conditions that usually go along with DUI probation.

To date, I have handled hundreds of DUI cases. I have tried 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 for lesser 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 who 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 optimistic about the facts of the case until the client made the final payment. Once the client made the final payment, the attorney began encouraging the client to take a plea. After that, I was retained. I filed and argued a Motion to Suppress. Following the motion hearing, the judge dismissed the charge 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, that is enough for a DUI with a serious bodily injury charge. The State does not need to prove you were the cause of the traffic accident.

What does my BAC need to be to for a charge of DUI with serious bodily injury in Palm Beach County?

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

What does “serious bodily injury” mean?

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

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 an Open Container charge: F.S. 316.1936?

If driving a car, riding as a passenger in a car, or even just sitting in a parked vehicle, 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 noncriminal, 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 violated the law that regulates when government agents can stop citizens. It 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 on private property.

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

A driver’s violation of the open container law 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 a breath, urine, and blood test 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 refusing to submit to a breathalyzer?

Suppose, with sound evidence; you can show that the arresting police officer failed to inform you, as strictly required by law, of specific legal facts. In that case, you have a solid basis for seeking 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 one 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 a suspension of the driver’s license, as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation to up to one year in county jail. The State will also suspend a driver’s license 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 for his “poor performance.” Officers soon realized that the client also did not have a license.
  • 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. Not Guilty of DUI, Judge dismissed Driving Without License Charge.

Related laws:

Driving Without a License

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 West Palm Beach County (Palm Beach County from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and up to Jupiter), or any of the surrounding areas, use the form below to drop me a note.

Tell me about yourself, what’s happened, and when would be a good time to contact you.

-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

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