Fort Myers DUI Lawyer

Whether this is your first DUI or a subsequent one, you will need a Fort Myers DUI attorney protecting your rights and fighting for you.

What is a DUI?

In the state of Florida, a driver can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more and seem to be deprived of the full possession of their normal faculties. They can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how many prior DUI convictions the driver had before the current one or other aggravating factors.

DUI

Why do you need a DUI lawyer?

When you have been pulled over for DUI charges, you risk going to jail, receiving an entry on your criminal record, losing your job, and adversely affecting your family. You could also be facing increased car insurance rates that can sometimes be thousands of dollars extra per year. You will also have to figure out how to get around for somewhere between 6 to 12 months because your license could be suspended for that amount of time, meaning you will have to rely on ride-sharing, public transportation, or carpooling to get around. A DUI stays on your record and cannot be expunged, so it is imperative to hire a skilled lawyer with experience in DUI cases.

There are numerous costs associated with a DUI conviction, but only some of them are outlined here. The fees that you will be responsible for depend on the circumstances of your situation. For example, if you qualify for a hardship driver’s license, you may have to pay up to $225 in fees. That is on top of your court fees and fines. You may also be looking at towing fees, probation costs, license reinstatement fees, and more.

DUI Laws In Florida

Florida Statute 316.193 lays out all the consequences for DUI violations involving alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances. They are broken down into the following:

DUI First Offense

A first conviction comes with fines between $500 and $1,000. However, if your blood alcohol level was .15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle, the fines are between $1,000 and $2000.You could also be facing time in jail or prison. If your BAC level was .15 or lower and you did not cause a car crash, you could be facing up to six months in jail. However, if your first DUI involved a car accident, then you could be facing up to 12 months in prison. If you refuse to submit to a breath or urine test or both, you could be facing a one-year driver’s license suspension that’s separate from your conviction.

DUI Second Offense

In these cases, the fines will be between $2,000 and $4,000. If your second DUI is within five years of your first DUI, you face at least ten days in jail if convicted. However, if your blood alcohol level was .15 or higher or if you were involved in a car crash, you could be facing a maximum sentence of one year in jail. Like with a first offense, the fines are higher if your BAC was .15 or higher or a minor was in a vehicle. If you refuse to give a breath test and it is your second time, you could be facing 18 months without a license. 

DUI Third Offense

If you have had a third conviction within ten years of your first and second DUI convictions, you could be facing fines between $2,000 and $5,000. If you were driving with a minor or had a BAC of .15 or higher, you would face fines no less than $4,000. If your other previous DUI convictions were more than ten years from your third conviction, then you could be facing fines on the lower end rather than the higher end.

DUI Fourth and Subsequent Convictions

Your fines start at $2,000 unless there was a minor in the vehicle or you had a BAC of .15, in which case your fines start at $4,000.

You may also be required to perform community service and attend a drug and alcohol education program. In some cases, you may even be required to attend rehab.

Underage DUI

If you are under the age of 21 and have a BAC of .02% or more, you could be facing a six-month license suspension on your first offense and 12 months after your second offense. If the underage person’s BAC was .05% or more, they might be required to attend an alcohol education program. 

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a type of breathalyzer that is installed in your personal vehicle that you are required to blow into using a mouthpiece before starting and operating your car. It tests the presence of alcohol in your breath. The court will sometimes order you to install an ignition interlock device at your own expense.

What is a hardship license?

You use your car to get around to the places where you need to be exactly when you need to be there. So having a restricted license could limit your ability to go to work, finish your education, meet the needs and demands of your dependents, or get medically necessary treatments. But the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles is not too keen on reinstating driving privileges for those who have been convicted of DUI. A hardship license grants drivers who have been convicted of a DUI limited driving privileges for necessary activities related to school, employment, and other listed necessities. A hardship license allows you to commute from your home to school, a job, the grocery store, and even church. Most likely, you’ll have to pay a $130 examination fee, a $45 reinstatement fee, and other fees as applicable.

Why Patrick McLain Law

Your initial consultation with Patrick McLain Law is completely free, so there’s no risk in calling and scheduling your case assessment. With memberships in Florida Bar, the United States District Court for the Middle and Southern District of Florida, the Lee County Bar Association, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, you can be confident in the aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Patrick McLain Law.