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Florida law imposes significant penalties on people who are caught driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). Many people are under the mistaken impression that a first-time offense is not a serious matter and believe that simply pleading guilty and moving on is the best way to handle the issue. In reality, the consequences of even a first-time DUI offense in Florida can be significant and affect your life for years. As a result, it is highly advisable for anyone who has been accused of drunk driving in Florida to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
There are a number of serious legal and administrative penalties that can occur after a DUI arrest, some of which are discussed below.
The administrative suspension of a person’s driver’s license occurs as a separate matter from the criminal portion of a DUI case. When a person is arrested for DUI, he or she is issued a 10 day temporary driving permit by the arresting officer. If the administrative suspension is not challenged with the 10 day period, the individual’s driver’s license will be suspended for a period of six months, for a first offense.
The criminal consequences of a Florida DUI can be extremely serious and often include the following:
In addition to these penalties, a DUI conviction can involve significant collateral consequences as well, including the inability to get a job and significant damage to your reputation, as well as others.
Anyone who is facing a Florida DUI case should retain qualified legal counsel as soon as possible. There are many potential defenses that can be raised in a DUI case, and an experienced attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and determine which, if any, may apply. Even if there is not a clear legal defense available in your case, the assistance of an attorney can often result in much more favorable plea arrangement offer than an unrepresented party would have been able to secure alone. To schedule a free consultation with board certified criminal trial law specialist Stephen G. Cobb, call our office today at (850) 466-1522 or send us an email through our online contact form available here.