DUI Attorney Orlando
Arrested for DUI? Let us Help!
Each year, thousands of people are arrested in the state of Florida on DUI charges. Some will face significant jail time, fines, probation, as well as other consequences. Others may have charges decreased or dropped. In many cases, the outcome of a DUI charge will depend on the evidence against you, whether or not your rights were violated, your past conviction history, as well as the type of attorney who you work with. Those who choose to work with an experienced Orlando DUI lawyer have a far greater chance at reduced charges, reduced penalties, or having their cases dismissed.
At Parikh Law, we are focused on fighting for the absolute best outcomes for our clients. We understand that you have rights, and we intend on advocating for them at every step of the process. If you have been convicted of a DUI offense in Florida, do not put yourself in further jeopardy by representing yourself.
DUI Statistics in Florida
Out of 50 states, Florida is ranked 40th for the total percentage of DUI-related accident deaths each year. While this is good news for the sunshine state, the most recent data suggests more than 800 DUI-related fatalities annually and more than 32,000 DUI-related arrests annually. Though the total number of DUI’s is steadily decreasing, there are still far too many that affect an excessive amount of people and families.
DUI arrests represent more than 26 percent of all traffic deaths in the state year over year. Furthermore, the most recent data reveals that there were more than 5,125 alcohol-involved crashes in a year in Florida. The age groups most affected by DUI’s are 25-29. The second most affected age group is 55-59. Nationally, more than 10,000 people die from alcohol-related crashes in the U.S. each year. These accidents amount to more than $44 billion in damages. However, alcohol is not the only culprit that causes driver impairment. Approximately 16 percent of all vehicle crashes involved drugs other than alcohol (both legal and illegal substances). Fortunately, every law enforcement agency has stepped up its efforts to curb drunk driving by increasing the number of checkpoints and investing in drunk-driving campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence. Furthermore, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have helped decrease the number of inebriated drivers on the road.
DUI Laws in Florida
Florida DUI laws are on par with national standards. Driving under the influence is a punishable offense under Florida laws. According to Florida Statue 316.193, a person can be charged with a DUI offense if they are driving or in actual control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of any “chemical substance” as defined by F.S. 877.111 or a substance that is controlled under chapter 893 of Florida Statutes (if the driver’s “normal faculties” are affected by the substance). With alcohol, Florida defines a DUI as the following:
- A driver has a blood-alcohol is at or above 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
- A person’s breath-alcohol level is at or above 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Being charged with a DUI offense in the state of Florida is no laughing matter. If you find yourself in this situation, you must contact an accomplished attorney. Learn more about the types of DUI charges as well as penalties below.
Types of DUI Charges in Florida
DUI charges are taken seriously at every level. However, Florida specifically categorizes DUI offenses based on the number of times a person has been convicted of such an offense. Listed below are the types of DUI charges that can be levied against a person suspected of driving while under the influence.
- First offense – misdemeanor
- Second offense – misdemeanor
- Third offense – misdemeanor (if there are no prior DUI convictions within the last ten years)
- Third offense or more – felony (if there are prior DUI convictions, in addition, these within the past ten years)
It should be mentioned that the charges above are not guaranteed. If a driver causes property damage while driving under the influence, it will be considered a first-degree misdemeanor. If a serious bodily injury is caused to one or more others due to a DUI, it can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony.
Furthermore, drunk drivers who cause death due to a DUI-related accident may face a second-degree felony charge. Whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI, it is in your best interest to seek the counsel of a proven Orlando DUI attorney in Florida. They will offer you the best chance of having the charges potentially dropped or reduced.
DUI Penalties in Florida
Penalties for any DUI offense can be severe. They are some of the most stringent in the nation. Penalties for drunk driving (and driving under the influence of drugs) increase with the number of convictions that a person has in the past. The more convictions, the more severe the penalties. Working with a DUI lawyer in Orlando dramatically decreases your chances of suffering the most intense consequences. All DUI convictions will result in mandatory jail time, fines, vehicle impoundment, revocation/suspension of driver’s license, as well as probation. Learn more about the various DUI penalties in Florida below.
- First-Offense DUI: As a first-time DUI offender, you can expect to face fines between $500 – $1000. Furthermore, mandatory jail time ranges from eight hours up to six months. Courts will also mandate that you complete at least 50 hours of community service. You can also expect your license to be suspended for six months to one year.
- Second-Offense DUI: A second offense can result in $1000 – $2000 in fines, minimum jail time of 10 days up to nine months, six months to one year of probation, a maximum of five years imprisonment, 30 days vehicle impound, as well as the installation of an ignition interlock device (at your own cost). License suspension of up to five years. Additionally, you will be required to attend a Florida DUI school or alcohol treatment program.
- Third-Offense DUI: The third time a person is convicted of a DUI, penalties begin to increase significantly. Third-time offenders face fines from $2000 to $5000, up to five years in state prison, potential ten years license suspension, 90-day vehicle impound, felony conviction, mandatory attendance of DUI school or alcohol treatment program, as well as community service.
- Fouth-Offense DUI (or more): Being convicted of a DUI four or more times carries the potential for the most extreme consequences. Those convicted may be fined $2000 to $5000, up to five years in prison, the possibility of five years of probation, lifetime driver’s license suspension, 90-day vehicle impound, mandatory DUI school, and alcohol treatment program felony conviction, as well as community service.
Penalties can be substantially increased if a person driving under the influence causes property damage, bodily injuries, or has a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense. If you have been charged with a DUI in Florida, speak with an adept Orlando DUI attorney to discuss the potential implications of a conviction and how you can mount a successful defense.
Why You Need a DUI Lawyer
It doesn’t matter which DUI offense you are being charged with; the consequences can have profound implications for your life. Charges levied against those driving under the influence are severe because of the danger that a drunk driver puts others in. Though it may sometimes seem like it, DUI cases are not precisely “shut and close” cases for the prosecution.
In many instances, the arresting officers don’t follow protocol, the evidence is flawed, or a person’s rights are violated. In these instances, a DUI attorney in Florida can push to have the charges decreased or have the case dismissed.
Furthermore, an adept Orlando DUI lawyer will have the necessary experience to argue for a plea bargain effectively. The more experienced the lawyer is, the more likely they are to have a good relationship with the prosecution. This is an advantage for those charged with a DUI as it gives them negotiating power that they would otherwise not have.
If the evidence against you is ironclad, your Orlando DUI lawyer can advocate reducing your sentence as well as subsequent penalties. It is rarely a good idea to represent yourself in a criminal proceeding. This is especially true of those who have been charged with a DUI offense.
Why Choose Parikh Law
When choosing an Orlando DUI attorney, you must work with a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. Attorney Rahul Parikh is a former state DUI prosecutor who has law enforcement training in DUI investigations. He has taken many courses on DUI and understands both the technical, substantial, and scientific background of DUI prosecutions. At Parikh law, we have successfully handled many DUI cases. We are battle-tested. We know that you have rights and are ready to protect them. We fight harder for our clients than other law firms that are more interested in your money than helping you win your case. Attorney Rahul Parikh and his staff are aggressive, experienced, and ready to take on the prosecution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did the Police Legally Stop Me?
In most cases, police conduct DUI stops when they recognize driving patterns that can be considered reckless, like swerving, speeding, or not paying attention to traffic laws. However, these claims are not always easy to prove. A skilled DUI attorney in Florida will investigate the circumstances of your stop and will move to suppress your case (if applicable).
What If I Was Visiting Florida When Charged With a DUI?
If you are an out-of-state driver, the same rules, as well as consequences, apply to you. Florida has signed an agreement with 45 other states (as well as Washington D.C.) called the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. This means that DUI arrests and convictions will likely be reported to your home state, and they will suspend your license as well as levy other applicable consequences against you.
Though prior DUI charges from other states can be used against you, prosecutors are not always proficient enough to effectively utilize them. A DUI lawyer in Orlando will give you the best opportunity to combat the use of past convictions from other states.
Should I Take the Field Sobriety Test or Breathalyzer?
In the state of Florida, you are not required to take a field sobriety test. Adhering to an officer’s request can give them more evidence against you. If you are asked to take one, it is well within your rights to politely decline.
However, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, your license can be immediately suspended, and law enforcement will likely obtain a warrant to draw your blood. In addition, it is important to note that a breathalyzer is much easier for your lawyer to discount than a blood draw (which is far more accurate). Therefore, in most cases, it is in your best interest to take a breathalyzer.
If Charged With a DUI, Do I have to Spend Time in Jail?
In short, yes. If the police find that your BAC is at or above 0.08, you are required to spend at least eight hours in jail. Those convicted of a second offense or beyond are likely to spend some time in jail (up to multiple years in prison). A proven DUI attorney in Florida can significantly improve your chances of a lessened sentence or not having to serve any jail time. Of course, this will depend on the circumstances of your case, such as a violation of your rights, faulty evidence, or a potential plea bargain.
How much does a DUI lawyer cost in Florida?
For a misdemeanor DUI, your attorney fees could be as low as $1,500. If your misdemeanor offense was more egregious but not a felony, then your cost could range between $7,000 and $8,000. However, a felony will require a longer process, more documentation, and more work in general. For this reason, if you are facing felony charges, then your attorney costs could be as high as $10,000. You will need to schedule a consultation with one of our defense attorneys to find out more about how much your DUI case will cost.
How much does an OUI lawyer cost?
Operating while under the influence (OUI) is usually associated with municipal fees that a defendant will have to pay. These types of laws do not apply in the state of Florida. This is why it is so crucial that you hire an Orlando DUI law firm. You should only be facing penalties related to a DUI, which our criminal defense DUI lawyers are ready to fight.
How do I choose a DUI lawyer?
A DUI conviction is serious indeed and can have lasting consequences even if this is your first time. For your best chances to avoid penalties, you will need criminal defense so you can win your case and have your charges dropped or reduced. You should interview multiple attorneys because the more you speak, the more likely you will find the best DUI defense.
You can start by asking anyone you know who has been in a similar situation for personal recommendations. Or if you’ve ever hired another attorney for any other reason, whether you got a divorce or use one in your business, then you can ask them if they know any defense attorneys who specialize in DUI defense.
You can also find potential lawyers in Orlando by checking the Florida state bar association. Of course, you can search online. Regardless, you want an attorney who is licensed to practice in the state of Florida. After you compile a list of potential lawyers in Orlando, then you should schedule a consultation with each of them to discuss your DUI case.
Should I get a lawyer for First OWI?
Each state has different names for similar crimes. For example, operating while intoxicated or driving while impaired, commonly referred to by the acronym OWI, is the same in Florida as getting a DUI. The language is different, however.
Anytime you have to show up to criminal court, you should have an Orlando criminal defense attorney representing you to improve your odds of getting your charges dropped or dismissed. Speaking to one of our DUI attorneys in Central Florida is the first step in developing the best DUI defense for you. As mentioned, there are many consequences that you can face if convicted that will impact you for the rest of your life. Call now to schedule your consultation with one of our DUI attorneys if this is your first time.