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Naples DUI Lawyers

Fort Myers Driving Under the Influence Legal Counsel

If you were arrested for DUI charges in Florida, you must contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and preserve your future. A DUI conviction (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) may result in life-changing consequences that upset their career, relationships, and freedom. Without a solid legal defense, you could be convicted and penalized by way of jail time, driver’s license suspension, legal fines, probation, and more. To avoid these catastrophic consequences, you need a sound legal defense.

Our attorney at Law Offices of Cavanaugh & Cavanaugh, P.A. has the experience and knowledge you need in your corner if you’re facing serious criminal charges. When you choose to work with our firm, he can analyze the details of your case to build a solid defense in your favor. Whether you were unfairly arrested, unjustly field-tested for sobriety, or otherwise wronged, we can pursue justice on your behalf and do everything in our power to see your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.

Ready to get started? Contact Law Offices of Cavanaugh & Cavanaugh, P.A. today to get in touch with our Naples DUI attorney.

What are the Penalties for DUI in Florida?

Penalties for a DUI depend on the circumstances of the incident. They can include jail, prison, probation, license suspension, DUI School, classes, thousands of dollars in fines and costs, installation of an ignition interlock device in your car and temporary loss of your motor vehicle.

For a first-offense DUI in Florida, the penalties may include the following:

  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Drivers’ license suspension
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Between $500 - $1,000 in fines
  • Probation
  • Mandatory community service

In some cases, the judge might also order an ignition interlock device for the offender’s vehicle. This device is usually only ordered if the driver’s blood alcohol content measured at .15 or above or if the driver had a minor in the car with them when they were arrested.

Florida Second & Multiple DUI Convictions

In the event that you are facing a second or third DUI charge, the penalties can be far steeper and may include thousands of dollars in fines, loss of driver’s license, incarceration, and more.

The penalties for subsequent DUI offenses are as follows:

  • For a second conviction for DUI in Florida, the penalties may include between $1,000 - $2,000 in fines, though it may range between $2,000 and $4,000 if the driver’s blood or breath alcohol level (BAL) was over .15. A second conviction can also result in up to 9 months in prison, though they may face up to 1 year if there was a minor in the vehicle or if the driver’s BAL was .15 or higher. Additionally, if the second conviction occurs within 5 years of the first conviction, the convicted person must be imprisoned for at least 10 days, two of which must be consecutive.

Because the consequences are so serious, seeking a reliable, experienced DUI defense attorney is of the utmost importance if you wish to preserve your freedoms, reputation, and your finances. Keep in mind, if your case involves a crash that resulted in serious bodily injury, you may be charged with a third-degree felony. Likewise, if the injured party dies in the crash, the charges may escalate to a second or first-degree felony, which may be pursued as DUI Manslaughter or Vehicular Homicide.

Field Sobriety Tests

DUIs are one of the most common, yet highly penalized criminal offenses one can receive in Florida. Mr. Cavanaugh was a former prosecutor who supervised other prosecutors handling DUI cases in Florida and Vermont.

Should you be stopped for suspicion of DUI, you will be asked to participate in Field Sobriety Exercises. These exercises are controlled by NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). It is important that law enforcement follows the rules carefully. The exercises are used to help the police officer decide if s/he thinks your normal faculties are too impaired for you to drive. It is a subjective decision that you should have reviewed by an experienced DUI attorney.

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - In this test the officer will observe the eyes of the person in question as they slowly move a pen back and forth to look for signs that the person is intoxicated.
  • Walk-and-turn test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to take nine steps, touching heel-to-toe in a straight line. The officer is looking for signs that the person is under the influence such as not being able to keep their balance or not following the instructions properly.
  • One-leg stand test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for about 30 seconds. The officer looks for signs such as swaying or using their arms to balance.

Breathalyzer & Blood Tests

You may also be asked to provide a sample of your breath for the purpose of determining your breath alcohol content. If you have a .08 or above, you can be convicted of a DUI. If you are involved in an accident, law enforcement may take a blood sample for this same reason. However, there are many rules law enforcement must follow to ensure the sample of blood is taken and preserved properly so that it can be reliably used as evidence.

In addition to the driver’s license suspension the prosecutor will seek in court, you can also have your license suspended by the State of Florida known as an administrative suspension. If you want to challenge that administrative suspension you or your attorney must request a hearing within ten days from the date you are arrested.

Choose the Law Offices of Cavanaugh & Cavanaugh, P.A.

Our criminal defense attorney, Dan Cavanaugh, has ample experience working on a wide variety of criminal cases throughout Florida, including DUI crimes. Depending on the circumstances of your case, he can evaluate the details and determine the best course of defense, whether he finds a break in the chain of evidence, unlawful grounds for arrest, or other useful strategies.

Breath or blood tests can be faulty and may reflect the effects of medications and other lawful outside influences, which is why our attorney leaves no stone unturned when he builds his clients’ defense.

Call (239) 309-2006 today, or fill out our online contact form, to get in touch with our firm. We handle cases throughout Florida, including Bonita Springs, Marco Island, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and the surrounding areas.

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