What kind of factors can make a DUI more serious in Florida?

A DUI takes place at 0.08 BAC and an enhancement occurs at 0.15, which is almost double the legal limit. The fine is doubled, when a person has a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.15, from a $500 to $1,000 fine to a $1,000 to $2,000 fine. A person who blows over a 0.15, if he is convicted, is subject to a mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device in his vehicle for at least six months. 

How Are The Penalties Enhanced When Injury Or Death is Involved In A DUI Related Accident?

When there is an injury, enhancements depend on the severity of the injury. There are additional penalties for even minor injuries and property damage. When a DUI accident results in what is known as “serious bodily injury”, it renders the crime a felony and subjects the person to incarceration in the department of corrections for up to five years. Serious bodily injury is an injury to a person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition which creates substantial death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ. There is a considerable amount of case law on the issue of whether the particular injury constitutes a serious bodily injury and it has been held that things like a broken leg do not amount to serious bodily injuries. 

Can Someone Face Additional Charges If They Have a Child Accompanying Them In A DUI Arrest?

I have handled many cases featuring a person with a minor in the car. Not only is the penalty enhanced under a DUI charge but the driver can be charged with felony child neglect, which is more difficult to deal with. Even on a first offense DUI with a minor in the car, it increases the jail time from six months to nine months. In a second offense DUI, it increases the jail time from a maximum of nine months to twelve months. 

Is There A Look Back Period For Prior DUI Offenses In Florida? What does it entail?

There is a mandatory jail sentence if you have a second DUI and your recent conviction is within five years of the new arrest. There is a mandatory ten days in jail. On the third arrest, there is a mandatory 30 days in jail, if it comes within ten years after the most recent DUI conviction. The period of time is measured from the date of the old conviction to the date of the new arrest. In the first DUI with no aggravating circumstances, a judge could send you to jail for six months, so even if you have a second offense where there is no mandatory jail time, there is nothing that can keep the judge from giving you jail time. There is a certain amount of political caution that judges exercise. You might have a prior which is beyond the look back period but that does not mean that the judge won't see it and give you a sentence that is harsher than he would give a first offender. 

What Is The General Protocol Followed By Police In Investigating A DUI Related Accident?

There are many states where, if you are under suspicion of a criminal offense, you may invoke your right to remain silent. Florida does it differently and has a rule that if you are involved in an accident, you have to report the accident. You have to tell the police how the accident occurred but there is what is called a crash report privilege. The crash report privilege says that nothing you have said to the police in reporting the accident can be used against you in any later civil or criminal context. What that means is if the police arrive at the scene, the person suspected of DUI is expected to give a full account of how the accident occurred. 

The officer who conducts the DUI investigation will announce to the defendant that he is “changing his hat” after investigating the accident. At that point, the officer will warn them of their right to remain silent. Many times, when they are given their Miranda rights, people say they don't want to say anything before they talk to their lawyer. Police will often try to persuade a suspect to at least engage in a field sobriety test. This is very often a very grey area, as far as whether or not a police officer is infringing upon a person's right to remain silent after they invoke their rights.

For more information on Having A BAC Of Double The Legal Limit, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (941) 219-5553 today.

Board Certification in DUI Defense

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Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Examination (written and oral) in Honolulu in 2008, and was recertified in 2013. He was one of the first 50 lawyers granted national board certification in DUI Defense, and is nationally recognized as an authority in DUI law.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor. Florida's State Delegate to the National College for DUI Defense.