Orlando, FL DUI Lawyers
What is a DUI
In Florida, the legal blood alcohol content level is 0.08. Once you reach this level you might start experiencing symptoms that can lead to dangerous driving conditions. You will be experiencing poor muscle function, slower reaction time, blurry vision, impaired judgment, lack of control and difficulty detecting danger. If you are found driving while having a BAC level of 0.08 or higher then you can be arrested for a DUI. Driving while under the influence is a serious offense and can be left on your record for up to 70 years. A DUI is almost impossible to get expunged from your record.
A DUI conviction can lead to multiple penalties. The penalties may vary depending on previous convictions, BAC level, casualties, or damages. In Florida, insurance companies are allowed to raise your rates due to DUI convictions. Some companies will also refuse coverage if you have a DUI conviction on your record. Your license can also get suspended or even revoked depending on how many convictions you have or if you took the breathalyzer test.
In Florida, if you are convicted for a DUI then you have to fill out an Fr-44 form. The FR stands for “financial responsibility”. This is a form for your insurance companies and allows them to increase your payments for a minimum of three years. The rates can increase every year and can be higher than the states required minimum.
A hardship license is a limited license that is obtained during the time period of a suspension. This license is temporary and can be only used for specific situations that will be discussed when you put in your application. The purpose of a hardship license is to allow the person to have transportation that can support their day to day lives but with heavy restrictions. An experienced DUI lawyer would be able to assist you in getting a hardship license.
Refusing to take a breathalyzer:
– The very first time you refuse to take the breath test it is not a crime by law. By Law, the crime of refusal requires that you have once before refused to blow.
In other words, if you are arrested for a DUI and you refuse to take the breath test for your first time, the only thing the police can arrest you for is the original DUI that you were already arrested for. They cannot tack on an additional charge for refusal or resisting.
– If you refuse to take a breath test, you will not automatically lose your license. This is a common misstatement of the law and a faulty premise. The reality is that you WILL LOSE your license if you do not challenge it within 10 days. In other words you have a right to contest the loss of your license.
That contest looks like a mini trial, your DUI lawyer can be present and you can present evidence. This hearing looks like a mini trial. If you win, you KEEP your license.
– If you refuse to take a breath test, the Officer himself does not revoke your license, it’s the DMV.
– If you ACTUALLY take the breath test and YOU PASS, guess what, you are STILL UNDER ARREST. What? Yes, believe it or not you will still remain incarcerated for the night. In essence the officer is asking you to take an impossible test to win on. If you take it and pass you are still under arrest for DUI because the officer cannot technically un-arrest you.
However, if you refuse to take the test, the State bears the burden of proving that you were actually intoxicated despite having no breath test to support that. They are left with NHTSA indicators that officers are taught at the police academy.
– Read the DUI Refusal Statute for yourself and keep yourself informed. Click here.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Orlando, FL contact us for a free consultation with a criminal lawyer, or give us a call now to be connected right away. We also have offices in Jacksonville, Tampa, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Daytona Beach and Ocala.