If you’ve been arrested for driving while under the influence (DUI), you may wonder if there is any point in fighting these charges. DUI is a serious offense with severe penalties, including but not limited to significant fines, license suspension, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and jail time. Therefore, it’s imperative to aggressively challenge these allegations, as it may result in the case being dismissed, thereby avoiding negative consequences. Please learn how and when a DUI charge can be dismissed and how a proficient Pensacola DUI Defense Lawyer can fight for you today.
What are the consequences of a DUI in Florida?
In Florida, if you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater, you will be charged with DUI. That said, even if you have one or two drinks and then get behind the wheel, you could be subject to severe consequences. For a first-offense DUI, you could be subject to the following penalties:
- Six months of jail time
- A fine of up to $1,000
- License suspension for up to one year
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- One year of probation
- 50 hours of community service or $10 in lieu of each hour of community service
As you can see, this criminal offense carries harsh penalties that can negatively impact your life. It’s importnat to note that subsequent offenses will result in more severe penalties.
When can you get your charges dismissed?
In some cases, it’s possible, with the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer, to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. When you’re facing criminal charges, the prosecution is burdened with proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They must convince the jury without uncertainty about the defendant’s guilt to render a conviction. This requires substantial evidence. If there is insufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor may drop the charges.
In some cases, the police may have neglected to follow the required protocol for a DUI checkpoint or did not have probable cause to perform a traffic stop. Under these circumstances, the evidence collected against you would be inadmissible, as it was illegally obtained. Therefore, a qualified attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence, resulting in the prosecution having insufficient evidence to render a guilty verdict.
Furthermore, you can also potentially get your DUI charges dismissed if there was an error with the breathalyzer attest. It could have provided an inaccurate reading of your BAC level if it was not administered properly.
If you’ve been charged with DUI, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a qualified lawyer from The Law Office of James M. Burns, who can fight to protect you from an uncertain future.