In Florida, driving under the influence carries harsh penalties. Even though many people view DUIs as common offenses, these types of charges should not be taken lightly. Depending on their professions, licensed professionals could potentially suffer license consequences and a potential loss of their careers if they are convicted of DUIs. The potential consequences of a DUI conviction make it important for people who are charged with DUIs to retain an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer at Hassett & Associates, P.A. following a Fort Lauderdale DUI arrest. Attorney Kenneth Hassett has helped many people secure successful resolutions to their DUI cases, including in a recent case described below.
Fort Lauderdale DUI Arrest Following Crash
Recently, attorney Kenneth Hassett was retained by a licensed professional following a Fort Lauderdale DUI arrest. The man was a licensed professional who was charged with a DUI after being involved in a single-car crash. He was taken into custody and charged with a DUI. If he had been convicted of the DUI, his career could have been placed in serious jeopardy. Recognizing the potential criminal and career consequences the man was facing, attorney Hassett immediately began building a strong defense case and negotiating with the prosecuting attorney on his client’s behalf.
Understanding DUI Charges in Florida
Under § 316.193, Fla. Stat. (2021), people can be charged with DUIs in a couple of different ways. The police can charge you with a DUI if your blood alcohol content measures at 0.08% or higher on a blood or breath test. However, you can also face DUI charges if your driving ability is impaired by any amount of alcohol or other substances. This means that the police could charge you with a DUI when your BAC is lower than 0.08% if the amount of alcohol you ingested impaired your driving abilities or when there are no blood or breath test results.
Police officers can charge motorists with DUIs based on their observations during DUI stops. For example, an officer can pull someone over on suspicion of a DUI by observing bad driving. Officers continue to observe motorists from the time they walk up to their vehicles to look for signs of impairment, including bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, slowed movements, unsteadiness on their feet, the smell of alcohol, and other potential indicators. They might also ask the drivers to submit to field sobriety tests. If the police believe they have enough evidence to support probable cause, they will place the drivers under arrest for DUIs.
Penalties for a DUI in Florida
The criminal penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida include the following:
- Fine from $500 to $1,000
- Up to six months in jail
If the person’s BAC tests at higher than 0.08%, the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles the person drives for at least six months. The penalties are higher for second and subsequent offenses, and additional penalties apply when the person causes a crash that damages the property of another person or seriously injures or kills someone.
In addition to criminal penalties, DUI convictions can cause broad collateral consequences in other areas of a person’s life. For example, if a person is sentenced to serve time in jail, he or she might lose his or her employment. Licensed professionals might face license consequences, depending on their professions.
Positive Outcome Through Skilled Negotiations
Attorney Kenneth Hassett met with the prosecuting attorney and negotiated on his client’s behalf. Through his experience and legal skills, attorney Hassett was able to convince the prosecutor to reduce his client’s DUI charge to reckless driving. This was a very successful outcome and allowed his client to avoid a DUI conviction and continue on in his career.
Get Help From an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer
If you are facing DUI charges or any other type of criminal charge, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Hassett & Associates as soon as possible. Attorney Kenneth Hassett has almost 30 years of experience fighting for his clients’ rights and can help you understand your legal options and the potential defenses that might be available. Contact us today for a confidential consultation at (954) 791-3939.