Tag Archives: florida dui attorney

DUI: Drunk vs. Under the Influence

Driving under the influence generally refers to a person who has physical control of a vehicle while that person’s normal faculties are impaired by any type of drug, including alcohol and prescription medication.

Under Florida State Statute 316.193, being under the influence pertains to both alcohol and drugs. Therefore, if you are under the influence of drugs and are in actual physical control of a vehicle, you can potentially be charged with a DUI.

In Florida, a blood alcohol level of .08 or more constitutes alcohol impairment beyond the legal limit. However, a police officer may still arrest you for a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if they suspect that your normal faculties are impaired while operating a motor vehicle. Having a BAC under a .08 will increase your chances of overcoming the DUI conviction, but you may still be arrested and endure several hassles that go along with combating a DUI charge.

Police officers will pull drivers over for a number of traffic offenses, even minor ones, and initiate immediate conversation to determine the potential impairment of the driver. To assess the physical signs of impairment, Police will be looking for the ability to maintain eye contact, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol on a driver’s breath, or bloodshot eyes.

Know that your behavior once you’re pulled over is being scrutinized immediately, especially when pulled over late in the evening or after leaving a bar. Therefore, being polite, answering questions respectfully, and not making legal arguments is in your best interest.

While it is your right to not answer any questions without a lawyer present, not doing so will certainly raise the officer’s suspicion and they will likely investigate further. It is wise to answer questions vaguely and avoid delving into specifics, including any amount of alcohol you have consumed, or that you just left a party, bar, or football game.

If the Police are suspicious, they will tell you to exit the vehicle, and you must. However, you may refuse to submit to any sobriety tests conducted. Even if you think you can pass the sobriety exercises, it is likely in your best interest to politely refuse because the officer determines whether you passed based solely on their own judgment. Know that you always have the right to contact Tampa Criminal attorney before you submit to any test.

If you are charged with DUI, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately! Call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840. Make an appointment for a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer to determine what your options are moving forward. Attorney, Michael Blickensderfer has 25 year’s legal experience and is licensed in Florida, New York and New Jersey. Blick Law Firm seeks to help the hurting and those in need. Think quick, call Blick!

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DUI penalties in Florida

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) has severe consequences which not only affect your immediate lifestyle, but affect you financially as well. There are certain factors involved in DUI cases that can determine how severe your sentence(s) may be, thus resulting in financial hardship.

A determining factor to the severity of a drinking and driving case may result from past record(s). If you are a first time offender your sentence(s) are typically made up of:

1) Serving 50 + hours of community service
2) Court fees
3) DUI School
4) Attending Victim Impact Pane
5) Possible ignition interlock

Charges for a first time offense start at $500 and can be as high as $1,000 in court fines; depending upon the severity of your blood alcohol level at the time of arrest. All cases may be faced with jail time. Repeat offenders are more likely to incur higher court fines and/or community service hours.

According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Fine Schedule s. 316.193(2)(a)-(b), F.S.

  • First Conviction: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000. With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
  • Second Conviction: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $2,000, or more than $4,000.
  • Third Conviction: More than 10 years from second: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $4,000.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not less than $2,000.

Blood alcohol level also plays a part to the results of one’s case. Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. In many cases the more severe the blow, the higher the punishment of one’s case.

These are just a few factors that determine the sentence of one’s drinking and driving offense. Hiring a Tampa DUI attorney may be beneficial to the outcome of one’s case. An experienced attorney attempts to avoid jail time at all costs and keep punishments to a minimum, allowing the defendant to cope and move on with their life.

If you are in need of a DUI criminal attorney, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840, for a free consultation. Attorney, Michael C. Blickensderfer, not only helps those in need with their legal rights, but assists in guiding clients in the right direction for a better and prosperous future. Think quick, call Blick!

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DUI conviction remains on your record for life!

No one can drink alcohol and still drive safely. Drinking and driving causes accidents and deaths every day and therefore the penalties in Florida are tough.

If you drink and drive the result may be:

  • Jail time
  • Loss of your Florida drivers’ license
  • Heavy fines
  • Increased auto insurance rates

A conviction will stay on your Florida driving record for life.

If it is going to stay on your record, why hire a DUI criminal attorney? While the conviction can not be dismissed, a DUI attorney advocates on behalf of the client for a better outcome, which will impact life as it relates to school, work, insurance rates, etc.

Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida drivers’ license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and then drive.

For drivers over 21 the legal limit in Florida is .08. Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is a serious offense. Below summarizes the penalties in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI.

Florida Penalties for DUI First Conviction:

  • Fine – $250 to $500
  • Community Service – 50 Hours
  • Probation – Not more than 1 Year
  • Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
  • Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
  • License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
  • DUI School – 12 Hours

For more information regarding Florida DUI conviction’s penalties and seeking legal representation to better the outcome of your situation, contact Blick Law Firm today! 813-931-0840.

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