Boca Raton DUI Defense Attorney
Last year, over 43,000 arrests were made for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and more than 2,500 of those arrests were made in Palm Beach County alone. Drinking and driving is unsafe as well as illegal, and enforcement of state DUI laws can help prevent crashes, DUI related deaths and tragic injuries. However, DUI arrests may be based on an officer’s subjective opinion of whether a driver is impaired, improper training, faulty equipment and other factors may result in a person being unfairly arrested, prosecuted and punished for drunk driving. At Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. our experienced Boca Raton DUI defense attorneys examine all the facts of the case and provide a strong, effective defense against DUI charges.
Types of DUI
A charge of DUI can be applied to any incidence of Driving Under the Influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances or controlled substances. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest, more serious charges may also be filed, such as:
- Misdemeanor DUI – causing property damage or personal injury while driving under the influence is a first degree misdemeanor
- Felony DUI – being convicted of a third DUI within 10 years or being convicted of any fourth or subsequent DUI is a Third Degree Felony; also, causing serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is a Third Degree Felony as well
- DUI Manslaughter or Vehicular Homicide – causing the death of another while driving under the influence is a Second Degree Felony; if also guilty of Leaving the Scene, the charge becomes a First Degree Felony
Lesser charges can also be applied to somebody whose driving was impaired, such as Reckless Driving. A reckless driving conviction can have less severe penalties and less long-term consequences than a DUI conviction. Sometimes a plea to reckless driving is preferable than a trial to both the state and the accused. Our DUI attorneys advise our clients on their options and help them make the best decision in their particular case. Contact our Boca Raton DUI attorneys for more information.
Penalties for DUI
Upon conviction of a DUI first offense, you can be fined anywhere from $500 to $1,000, and this amount can be doubled if you tested with a Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or more, or if there was a minor in the car when you were pulled over. You can also be sentenced to perform fifty hours or more of community service. Finally, you can be sentenced to jail or into residential treatment for up to six months, or up to nine months if your BAL was .15 or higher or if there was a minor in the vehicle.
In addition to these criminal penalties, other consequences of a DUI include having your car impounded for ten days and having your driver’s license revoked for anywhere from six months to a year.
These penalties all increase for second, third and fourth or subsequent DUI convictions. For instance, on a fourth conviction for DUI, you can be sentenced to five years in prison and fined $2,000 or more, and your driver’s license will be permanently revoked.
Boca Raton DUI FAQs
What are the possible consequences of a DUI charge?
A DUI can cause a lifetime of problems: loss of license, community service requirements, insurance rate increase, fines, perhaps even job loss or jail time. It is very important to seek qualified attorneys to handle your case.
What happens if I do not submit to the breathalyzer?
Your license will be suspended as of the arrest date for one year for the first offense and 18 months for any consecutive offenses. You will be given a 10-day permit on the date of arrest. It is imperative you speak to an attorney about your options. You may obtain a hardship license to drive for business purposes. No hardship license is permitted if you have refused to submit to a breath test or blood draw two or more times.
Will I lose my driver’s license?
Ten days after an arrest in Florida, you will automatically lose your license. There are alternate options available to get you back on the road. You need to respond, or have a lawyer respond for you, to challenge this.
Is my professional license or commercial driver’s license in jeopardy?
A conviction can mean the loss of your right to practice in your profession. This is a compelling reason to contact a lawyer. If you have a commercial driver’s license, a DUI conviction may cause you to lose your livelihood.
Can my arrest affect my firearms license?
A conviction may result in the suspension or loss of your firearms license.
Our Boca Raton DUI Defense Attorneys Can Help
The penalties for a Boca Raton DUI conviction are in many ways more serious than other misdemeanor criminal offenses and can greatly impact your home and work life for years to come. A DUI can be particularly damaging if your job requires you to possess a driver’s license or a clean driving record, or if you cannot get around without a car. The Boca Raton DUI attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. can help. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Boca Raton, contact our office at 561-395-0000 for immediate assistance.