If you or a loved one were arrested or are facing charges for a DUI in Palmetto, it is important to seek help from a defense attorney as soon as possible. There is a limited time to fight the charges, and the penalties for DUIs in Florida can be severe. A DUI conviction can have devastating effects on your future and your ability to provide for yourself and your family.
The defense attorneys from Goldman Wetzel understand how difficult it is for you to be in this stressful situation. Depending on your circumstances and history, having a strong defense could result in reduced or dismissed charges. You do not have to face this alone. Call (941) 405-5193 today to learn more about how a DUI lawyer in Palmetto can help.
What to Expect After a DUI Arrest
If you are arrested or charged with a DUI, or driving under the influence, the police officer may take you to the local jail. Once there, the officer may ask you for a breath or urine sample in line with implied consent laws. You can politely decline to give samples, but if you refuse, your license will be automatically suspended. If you consent to the breath test, and blow a .08 or higher, you will be held at the jail until you are no longer impaired or for eight hours.
A DUI arrest leads to two separate cases: a criminal case and an administrative hearing with the DMV about your driving privileges. The administrative hearing is extremely time-sensitive, as you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the DMV. Failure to do so can result in automatic forfeiture of your license and related driving privileges.
At the hearing, your defense lawyer could convince the DMV not to suspend your driving privileges at all. We may also be able to fight for a limited license on your behalf, which would preserve your right to drive to specific locations, such as your workplace, school, or grocery stores.
Even if your license does get suspended during the hearing, your lawyer will now have more information about the state’s case against you and be better prepared to defend you during your criminal case. If you want to challenge your suspension or have any other concerns about a DUI arrest, contact Goldman Wetzel at (941) 405-5193 today.
DUI Penalties in Florida
Many factors affect the degree of punishment for a DUI in Florida. Potential penalties increase with the number of prior convictions you have and the time between them. The following information can help you understand the serious nature of DUI penalties in Florida.
Driving and License Changes Following a DUI
Following a DUI conviction, your license will be automatically suspended for a period ranging from six months to years. You could also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle, which must be bought and maintained at your own expense.
Fines vary depending on how many times you have been convicted of DUI before, and on whether there are exacerbating factors present in your case.
- 1st conviction: up to $1,000
- 2nd conviction: up to $2,000
These fines double if your Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) was 0.15 percent or higher, or if there was a minor in your vehicle at the time of your arrest. Your fines may also increase if you have a prior DUI conviction.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, you may face time in jail or prison. The penalty for a first offense is typically no more than six months, although the potential for jail time increases if your BAL was above 0.15 percent or if there was a minor in the vehicle. You may also face additional jail time if you have received multiple DUI convictions in the past. Those with three DUI convictions within a ten-year period, or with four DUI convictions across any length of time, can face felony penalties of up to five years in prison.
These are not the only penalties associated with a DUI conviction. Other penalties you may face include probation, community service, and the impoundment of your vehicle.
If you or a loved one are facing a DUI arrest or charge, it is important to take it seriously. Call Goldman Wetzel today at (941) 405-5193 to learn more about how we may be able to help with your defense.
How a DUI Lawyer in Palmetto Can Help You
At any point following your arrest, you have the right to legal representation. We recommend hiring the attorneys at Goldman Wetzel to be your advocates and protect your rights as early in the process as possible.
We understand many defenses that may apply to your case, including:
- False positives arising from medical conditions
- Lack of probable cause to stop you
- Improper use of BAC testing equipment
- Delays in taking you to the station and their effect on your blood alcohol level
- Lack of proof that you were driving
These are not the only defense strategies that may be available to you. Whatever the circumstances, having a defense lawyer at your side can help when seeking positive outcomes, which may include:
- Pleading to lesser charges such as a Reckless Driving to avoid having a DUI on your record
- Reducing license suspensions, fines, and sentencing to lower terms
- Challenging a suspension
- Securing a limited license to preserve your right to drive to essential locations
- Winning your case at trial
With significant fines and suspension at risk that can affect your job, family life, and freedom, it is important to retain legal assistance for your defense as soon as possible.
Call Goldman Wetzel Today for Help
Attorney Summer Goldman is a former prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office who understands the tactics that may be used against you, and attorney Maribeth Wetzel is a career defense attorney with a passion for protecting the rights of her clients. Together, the team at Goldman Wetzel will use their combined expertise to build a strong case on your behalf and to support you every step of the way.
If you are facing a DUI charge or if you have been arrested for DUI, a DUI lawyer in Palmetto may be able to help. Speak to Goldman Wetzel at (941) 405-5193 today to get started with a free consultation.