The Law in Plain English – Boca Raton ➔ Boynton ➔ West Palm Beach ➔ Jupiter’s Top Criminal Lawyer Joshua LeRoy, ESQ. on:DUI – F.S. 316.193
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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 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 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.
Could 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.
If you, or someone you know, have been charged with DUI 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.
Criminal Defense Attorney Joshua LeRoy, Esq. is dedicated to providing his clients with personalized, honest, and aggressive representation in any and all areas of criminal law in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach & the surrounding areas of Palm Beach County in the State of Florida.
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