I am facing DUI charges but, being this is my first arrest for drunk driving, I wanted to ask if I need an attorney?
Making the choice to drive too soon after imbibing is a serious crime in Florida but the DUI laws do not require that you appear drunk to be found guilty of a DUI charge. In Florida, a DUI is verified by impairment of your normal faculties or blood or breath alcohol level that is .08 or more. Impairment will be documented by your appearance, ability to coherently respond to the officer at the scene and the results of field sobriety, using either video documentation or testimony from the arresting officer.
In Florida, the consequences of the first DUI will include a fine that will be between $500 and $1,000, but the fine will be no less than $1,000 or no more than $2,000 if Blood Alcohol Level is found to be .15 or higher and there is a minor in the car. You will also be required to complete a total of fifty hours of community service or pay $10 in additional fines for each hour of community service. For a first conviction, the person who is found to have been intoxicated will face a maximum of one year incarceration and probation, with most DUI charges resulting in a six month jail term. If you are convicted of DUI charges and you were found to have a Blood Alcohol Level of .15, with a child in the car, you can expect to spend no more than nine months in jail.
Making the decision whether or not to discuss your case with an attorney is a personal choice. Here is one thing you should think about before setting anything in stone.
A DUI attorney will look at the laundry list of potential consequences and help you traverse the path of least resistance. In other words, a DUI attorney will try to find a way to limit the damage to your life and livelihood. The attorney will also help you understand the stipulations put in place by any potential plea agreement, ensuring that you can live up to the arrangement and not face additional jail time or penalties for failure to comply. Experience is one important role a DUI attorney can always add to your legal situation, and that is never a bad thing when dealing with the complexities of the legal system.
With the potential legal ramifications and long-term impact on your life and livelihood, it makes sense to contact a DUI attorney like the Demosthenous Law Office at 813-857-8237 to at least discuss your case.