DUI Attorney Orlando
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense. A DUI charge can derail your life. A conviction can result in serious fines, time in jail, and loss of your license.
In many cases, the outcome of a DUI charge in Orlando, FL, will depend on the evidence against you, whether or not your rights were violated, your past DUI conviction history, as well as the criminal defense attorney you may choose to work with.
Those who choose to work with an experienced Orlando DUI lawyer have a greater chance of seeing reduced charges, reduced penalties, or having their cases dismissed.
Contact Parikh Law to Connect With Orlando, FL, DUI Lawyers Today
At Parikh Law, we fight for the 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—whether you have multiple DUI convictions in your past and whether your charges include manslaughter, reckless driving, or other traffic offenses—do not put yourself in further jeopardy by representing yourself.
Contact our criminal trial law firm as soon as possible for a free consultation regarding your DUI arrest and to learn how working with a trial lawyer can help you reach the best possible outcome under Orlando, FL, DUI law. Navigating the complex world of criminal court can be a challenge on your own.
Read on for more about Florida law and what happens after your DUI arrest.
DUI Statistics in Florida
In recent years, Florida has ranked as the second-worst in the United States for annual DUI-related deaths. This is bad news for the Sunshine State as the most recent data suggests there are more than 800 DUI-related fatalities and 32,000 DUI-related arrests annually.
Though the total number of DUIs is steadily decreasing, these accidents impact far too many people and families.
DUI accidents represent more than 26% 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 Florida annually. Nationally, more than 10,000 people die from alcohol-related crashes in the U.S. each year. The age groups most affected by DUIs are 25 to 29. The second most affected age group is 55 to 59.
The CDC estimates that these accidents amount to more than $44 billion in damages, but the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation has estimated costs reach as high as $132 billion.
Alcohol is not the only culprit that causes driver impairment. Approximately 16% of all vehicle crashes involve drugs other than alcohol—both legal and illegal substances. Fortunately, law enforcement agencies have stepped up their efforts to curb impaired driving by increasing the checkpoints and investing in drunk-driving campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2018 saw 32,177 arrests for DUI, including 69 juveniles. Some will face significant jail time, fines, probation, and other consequences. Others may have their charges decreased or dropped.
Luckily, DUI arrests have gone down steadily over the past decade. Public awareness programs are largely to thank for this trend. 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. Florida Statue 316.193 states a person can be charged with a DUI 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 controlled substance. With alcohol, Florida defines a DUI as one or both of the following:
- A driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) 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 should contact an attorney. Learn more about the types of DUI charges as well as penalties below.
DUI Charges in Florida
DUI charges are taken seriously at every level. However, Florida 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 and after – felony if there are prior DUI convictions within the past ten years
The charges above are not guaranteed, and every case is different. If a driver causes property damage or is cited for reckless driving while driving under the influence, it may be considered a first-degree misdemeanor. If a driver causes serious bodily injury to others due to a DUI, it can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony charge.
Furthermore, drunk drivers who cause death due to an 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 Orlando DUI lawyers.
DUI Penalties in Florida
Penalties for any DUI offense can be severe in Florida. They are some of the most stringent in the nation. Penalties for driving under the influence 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 increases your chances of avoiding the most intense consequences.
All DUI convictions will result in mandatory jail time, fines, vehicle impoundment, revocation or suspension of driver’s license, and probation. Learn more about the various DUI penalties in Florida below.
As a first-time DUI offender, you can expect fines between $500 and $1000. Furthermore, mandatory jail time ranges from eight hours up to six months. Courts also mandate that you complete at least 50 hours of community service. You can also expect a license suspension for six months to one year.
A second offense can result in $1000 to $2000 in fines, imprisonment of 10 days up to five years, six months to one year of probation, 30-day vehicle impound, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and a license suspension of up to five years. Additionally, you will be required to attend a Florida DUI school or alcohol treatment program.
The third time a person is convicted of a DUI, penalties 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 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 license suspension, 90-day vehicle impound, mandatory attendance of DUI school and alcohol treatment program, as well as community service.
Penalties can be increased if a driver causes property damage, bodily injuries, or has a minor in the vehicle at the time of the DUI offense. If you have been charged with a DUI in Florida, contact our Florida law firm to speak with an Orlando DUI attorney to discuss the potential implications of a conviction and how you can mount a successful criminal defense.
Why You Should Consider a DUI Lawyer
It doesn’t matter which DUI offense you are 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.
Defend Your Rights
In many instances, the arresting officers don’t follow protocol, the evidence is flawed, or a person’s rights are violated under either federal or Florida law. In these instances, the team at our criminal defense law office can push to have the charges decreased or have the case dismissed.
Reaching a Fair Plea Bargain Is Complicated
An Orlando DUI lawyer has the necessary knowledge to argue for a fair plea bargain. Criminal defense lawyers are likely to have a good relationship with prosecutors. This is an advantage for those charged with a DUI as it gives them negotiating power they would otherwise not have.
If the evidence against you is ironclad, your Orlando DUI lawyer can advocate for reducing your sentence and subsequent penalties. It is rarely a good idea to represent yourself in a criminal proceeding. This is especially true of those charged with a DUI offense.
Why Choose Parikh Law?
When choosing an Orlando DUI attorney, you should 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.
Results You Can Count On
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 hard for our clients and are more interested in results than your money.
Our staff is aggressive, experienced, and ready to take on the prosecution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did the Police Legally Stop Me?
Police typically need reasonable suspicion to stop you. 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 can investigate the circumstances of your stop and 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 and consequences apply to you. Florida has signed an agreement with 45 other states and 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 don’t always use them effectively. A DUI lawyer in Orlando gives 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 to continue with their suspected DUI arrest. In addition, it is important to note that a breath test 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 or prison.
Our Orlando DUI lawyers can improve your chances of a lessened sentence or dismissal. This will depend on the circumstances of your case, such as a violation of your rights, faulty evidence, or a potential plea bargain.
How do I Choose a DUI lawyer?
A DUI conviction is serious and can have lasting consequences. For your best chances to avoid penalties, you will need a criminal defense attorney to help get your charges dropped or reduced. You should interview multiple DUI attorneys because the more you speak to, 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. If you’ve hired an 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 attorneys who specialize in DUI defense.
You can also find potential criminal defense lawyers in Orlando by checking the Florida State Bar Association. Of course, you can also search online. Regardless, you want an attorney who is licensed to practice in the state of Florida. After you compile a list of potential DUI defense lawyers in Orlando, you should schedule a consultation with each of the DUI attorneys to discuss your case.