DUI Defense Attorneys in Ocala, Florida
No one gets behind the wheel of their car, intending to be pulled over and charged with a DUI. Your life as you know it can be completely derailed, and the ramifications can linger for many years. We’re aware of the short-term loss of driving privileges, fines, and alcohol abuse programs that you may be ordered to attend. But, once you receive a DUI conviction, the long-term effects are what can prevent you from obtaining future opportunities. You won’t qualify for certain employment positions, auto insurance rates will increase, your professional reputation will be harmed, and if you’re a student, you may not qualify for scholarships or entry into a particular college or university. It’s a permanent strike on your criminal record that will follow you around for life.
DUI Charges in Florida
It's crucial to your livelihood to locate a criminal defense attorney who truly has your best interest in mind. Being charged with drunk driving in Florida means your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was found to be .08% or higher. If you’re operating a commercial vehicle, that percentage drops to .04%. You can also be charged with a DUI if you’re under the influence of harmful chemicals or an illegal controlled substance. Florida considers you under the influence if you aren't in full possession of normal faculties.
In cases where you aren’t driving but are deemed to be in physical control of the vehicle, you can still be charged with a DUI. Physical control, according to Florida, is when the accused is physically inside the vehicle and has the capability to operate the vehicle. That includes anyone sleeping while parked with the keys in the ignition; anyone slumped in the driver’s seat holding keys, and anyone alone with the keys in the glove compartment. The location of the key and knowledge of the key’s location are determining factors when establishing physical control of the vehicle. To have a clear understanding of your rights, reach out to us if you’re in Ocala, Marion County, Belleview, Dunnellon, or Silver Springs, Florida.
DUI Test Results and Your Rights
Under Florida’s implied consent law, police officers can ask any driver suspected of driving under the influence to perform a few field sobriety tests. These include a breathalyzer, walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, finger-to-nose test, and other testing methods they see fit to perform. While the officer has the right to request a test, the driver has the right to refuse. You may still be arrested for a DUI and face immediate license restrictions for refusing the tests.
However, the burden is on the state to show you were driving while under the influence, and they do so by using your field sobriety tests. If they don’t have any to present in court, the claim becomes much harder to prove.
Penalties vary depending on the number of DUI offenses on your record. Your punishment can include jail time, fines, license revocation, and probation. First offenders can expect to receive one year of probation and may qualify for a diversion program. Participation can help them avoid some of the other consequences related to DUI convictions.
Ignition Interlock Program
Depending on the severity of the DUI conviction, drivers may apply for a restricted or hardship license. It grants them driving privileges during specific times of the day or to particular places, such as work, their children’s school, or a medical facility for emergency treatment. One of the qualifying conditions is that an ignition interlock device (IID) is placed in the vehicle.
An IID is a mechanism wired to your vehicle’s ignition that requires a breath sample before driving. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle won’t start. The goal of the IID program is to reduce the number of DUI offenses and convictions for public safety. The person convicted of the DUI is responsible for the device and installation costs.
DUI Defense Attorneys
in Ocala, Florida
If you’re in Ocala, Florida, or the neighboring areas of Marion County, Belleview, Dunnellon, or Silver Springs, and you’ve been charged with a DUI, call us now. Don’t wait until it’s too late; our experienced attorneys are ready to hear you out and develop a plan for your defense.