First DUI Offense in Pensacola, FL
Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be stressful at any stage in an individual’s life. If you are a professional, a DUI charge could mean the end of your career. If you underage, it could mean a juvenile record that could affect college and job applications.
There are a whole host of collateral consequences that follow a DUI conviction. Fortunately, for first-time offenders, there are other options that he or she may take to avoid conviction entirely, have their charges reduced to “wet reckless,” or enter into a diversion program.
At the outset, it is imperative that a first-time DUI offender speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about alternatives to DUI conviction, how to obtain a hardship license, and the possible consequences of conviction.
Attorney for a First Time DUI Charge in Pensacola, FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the first time in Pensacola, Florida, particularly in Escambia County, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The right attorney will work to get the alleged offender a hardship license within the first ten (10) days of a DUI charged, and fight to get an alleged offender’s charges completely dropped.
Contact the experienced criminal defense firm of The Law Office of James M. Burns for a free, no obligations consultation, and to learn more about fighting a DUI charge.
Driving Under the Influence Information Center&
- How Can I Be Charged with DUI
- What Are the Consequences of DUI Conviction
- Can I Get My License Back?
- Where Can I Find Out More Information About a First DUI in Pensacola?
Driving under the influence of alcohol in Pensacola, Florida means operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of at or above 0.08; the State’s legal alcohol limit.
Florida Statute § 316.193 outlines the standard for what is considered drunk driving in Florida. The Statute states operating a motor vehicle means that the actor is in actual physical control of a vehicle or is driving a motor vehicle.
Moreover, a person may be charged with DUI if an individual has consumed an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired.
Whether an individual’s normal faculties are “impaired” is a more difficult standard to prove. The Florida Jury Instructions state that a prosecutor must be able to show that the actor’s faculties, such as the ability to do the following:
- judge distances
- drive an automobile
- make judgments
- act in emergencies; and
in general, perform the formal mental and physical acts of a person’s daily life, were impaired.
In Pensacola, Florida, the penalties for a first-time DUI conviction will depend on the circumstances under which the offense took place. If there was property damage, personal injury, or other harm outside of the driving under the influence charge, then a person could face DUI manslaughter, DUI with property damage, or other felony driving under the influence charges.
A first time DUI conviction, without any aggravating factors, may be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months (6 months) in jail and up to $1,000 fines.
In addition to criminal charges, an individual may face other administrative consequences that could include the following:
- Florida Driver’s License Revocation – for up to twelve (12) months;
- Monetary Fine – of up to $1,000. If the offender’s BAC was 0.15 or higher, then the fine may be up to $2,000.
- Ignition Interlock Device – an IID may be required if the offender’s BAC was 0.15 or higher.
- Vehicle Impoundment – an offender’s vehicle may be impounded for at least ten (10) days.
- DUI School – an offender may be required to complete DUI School a either Level I or II.
- Community Service – an offender may be required to complete fifty (50) hours minimum of community service.
If you have been convicted of driving under the influence for the first time in Pensacola, FL, then it is important to understand how to obtain a hardship license while you wait on your license to be reinstated.
Unless a Florida court grants a hardship license, an individual’s license will be suspended for at least six months. To reinstate your Florida driver’s license, you must visit the Florida DMV and pay a reinstatement fee, after you complete the requirements imposed by your convicted offense.
Reinstating your Florida driver’s licenses after a DUI conviction usually requires enrolling in DUI School and proving that you have Florida bodily liability insurance. Speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney to find out more.
Florida Statute §316.193 –Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language regarding driving under the influence in Escambia County, Florida. Online Sunshine provides access to all official versions of the Florida Statutes, including the administrative codes and the criminal codes.
Reinstating License After DUI – Visit the Florida DMV for more information about the steps a DUI offender in Santa Rosa County, FL must take in order to reinstate his or her license or apply for a hardship to have your license reinstated for business or employment purposes after a first-time DUI charge.
Find an Attorney for a First-DUI in Escambia County, FL
If you are charged with a DUI, especially if it is the second or third offense, it can result in many lifestyle changes, including changes in the way you travel. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately and demand a formal review hearing.
Contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of James M. Burns. Our attorneys take cases throughout the Florida Panhandle, specifically in Pensacola, and in the surrounding areas of Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Florida.
Call (850) 457-6002 to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our attorneys.
Our offices are centrally located at . If you have been charged with a DUI in Milton, Pace, Perdido Key, or Fort Walton Beach, FL, then contact our office.
This article was last updated on November 31, 2017.
- DUI / Drunk Driving