Gainesville DUI Lawyer
Imagine waking up one morning in a jail cell with only a hazy memory of previous night’s events. If this has happened to you, it is very likely because you were arrested for drinking and driving. What started as a night of fun out with friends quickly turned into a nightmare, leaving you with many unanswered questions and very real fears about what could happen next. If you find yourself in such a situation and are concerned (as you should be) about what to do, call the DUI lawyers at Katz & Phillips, P.A. We can help.
Enhance Your Defense With a Seasoned Gainesville DUI Attorney
Contacting a trusted Gainesville DUI lawyer at Katz & Phillips is the first–and most important– step to alleviating your stress. A Katz & Phillips DUI lawyer is an experienced professional you can depend on to answer your questions, review your case and provide you with the proper defense.
DUI cases are not always as “open and shut” as prosecutors may like you to think. Your Katz & Phillips Gainesville DUI defense attorney will help identify and utilize the evidence and precedents necessary to your best defense and provide the peace of mind you will gain from knowing that you are not facing the situation alone.
Penalties for DUI Convictions in Gainesville, FL
Since driving while intoxicated is a very dangerous–or even deadly– act, and the direct cause of many injuries and deaths, the penalties you may face under Florida law can be quite severe. A Gainesville DUI lawyer from Katz & Phillips may be able to help lessen the consequences by providing you with a proper, professional defense.
The first time you are convicted of driving under the influence, you can expect to pay large fines, complete community service, spend time on probation and perhaps even log some jail time. The potential consequences include:
- A mandatory fine of $250 to $500 (The amount doubles if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is over .20 percent or you were driving with a minor in the vehicle)
- Up to one year probation
- 50 hours of community service or another $500 fine ($10 per hour of assigned community service)
- Eight hours to six months in jail (Increasing to nine months for a BAC of .20 percent or higher)
- A minimum of two years in jail for an accident-related death or injury
- A minimum driver license suspension of six months
- 10 days of vehicle impoundment
You can expect that any time you are convicted of another DUI, the penalties will become more severe, and you need the defense of a skilled DUI attorney in Gainesville, Fla. If you are facing a second DUI charge, the consequences may include:
- $500 to $1,000 in fines (Double for a BAC of .20 percent or higher or if you were driving with a minor)
- Up to nine months in jail (with a BAC of .20 or higher up to 12 months in jail)
- Vehicle Impoundment
- Driver licenses suspension for at least six months
If this is your second conviction within five years, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days, you will spend 10 days in jail (mandatory) and your driver’s license will be revoked for five years (However, you can apply for a hardship license after one year).
A third DUI conviction raises the stakes even higher, and you could face life-changing penalties, including:
- Fines of $1,000 to $2,500, which double if it is your third DUI conviction within 10 years
- Thirty days (mandatory) to 12 months in jail
- Vehicle impoundment, up to 90 days if it is your third conviction in 10 years
- Five-year (minimum) driver’s license suspension (up to 10 years if it is your third conviction within 10 years)
All Subsequent DUI Convictions
If you are convicted of a fourth or beyond DUI, you may expect to spend a great deal of time and money paying your debt to society, including:
- $1,000 minimum fine, with no maximum
- Up to five years in jail
- Mandatory driver license revocation, with no eligibility for a hardship reinstatement
License Reinstatement After a DUI Conviction
After you’ve been convicted of a DUI and you want to get your license back, you may be able to apply for a hardship license, which allows you to drive to and from work only. In order to receive a hardship license, you must to successfully complete a DUO program and, most likely, have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for a period of six months to two years, depending on your conviction.
The ignition interlock device requires that the driver provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle. If the sample shows a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.05 percent or higher, the vehicle will not start. Even if the car does start, the device subjects the driver to “rolling retests,” in which an alarm sounds and the driver has to provide another breath sample while driving.
These penalties may seem harsh, but they are the best case scenario for any driver convicted of DUI, and represent the relatively lenient outcome reached with the representation of a Gainesville DUI lawyer. Going to court without a Gainesville DUI lawyer can result in higher penalties than you deserve. A competent Gainesville DUI lawyer will provide your best possible defense, and may be able to help negotiate reduced penalties.
What Else Might You Face?
If you are under 21 years of age and convicted of DUI with a BAC of .02 (which most people reach with only one drink) or higher, you will automatically lose your license for six months. The other penalties listed above only apply to drivers who are of legal drinking age and do not cause any harm to people or property. Harsher penalties will be assessed if you cause an injury, death or property damage, .
DUI charges are often classified as misdemeanor and felony, depending on the severity of the offense. Causing property damage or personal injury while under the influence can result in a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a $1,000 fine and jail time of up to one year.
A driver convicted of four DUIs (or three within a ten-year period), or who has caused serious injury to others during the commission of a DUI, has committed a third-degree felony, which imposes a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail.
If someone is killed as the result of DUI, the driver is charged with a second-degree felony, which carries fines up to $10,000 and jail sentences of up to 15 years. Leaving the scene after killing someone during a DUI upgrades the charge to a first-degree felony, which can land you in jail for up to 30 years.
A Gainesville DUI Law Firm Who Will Defend Your Rights
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials would like you to believe that DUI cases are “open and shut.” This is untrue. If you are charged with DUI in Gainesville, you need an experienced defense lawyer, such as a DUI lawyer from Katz & Phillips, on your side to fight for your rights and help resolve your case as successfully as possible. Your defense lawyer will carefully evaluate all the evidence, defend you to the best of their abilities and advise you on what to say, do and expect. Without a lawyer, you will most likely face the harshest penalties allowed by law.
The State of Florida takes DUI cases very seriously and will not let you off with a slap of the wrist.. Of course it is best to avoid drinking and driving, but if you have been arrested, you need a skilled Gainesville DUI lawyer on your side. Call the offices of Katz & Phillips immediately.