Most of us understand that drinking and driving is something that you should not do. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 1.5 million people arrested in the United States every year for driving under the influence, despite the fact that in every US state, drinking and driving is illegal. This equates to 1 out of 121 licensed drivers in the United States. While getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after having only a beer or two seems innocuous enough, if you are arrested for DUI, the consequences can be life-altering and may even involve prison time.
Matthews & Jones, LLP offers DUI representation if you’ve been arrested in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, or the surrounding areas. Our DUI lawyers are compassionate, caring, and understanding. We work diligently to ensure you receive the most favorable outcome in your DUI case. Below, we’ll go over the consequences of DUI. Contact us today for a consultation!
CONSEQUENCES OF DUI IN FLORIDA
Being arrested and charged with a crime in the United States may hit your pocketbook. Depending on your arrest record, circumstances of your arrest, and more, you may be able to be let go without paying bail after you are processed at your local jail, or you may have to pay bail to get out. This varies by state and by case.
After you’ve been arrested, a court date will be set to hear the DUI charges against you. It is optimal that you obtain a top-notch DUI attorney in Florida before you go to your first hearing and for all subsequent hearings as well. As we’ve mentioned, the state of Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws on the books, so you don’t want to leave to chance what could end up affecting the rest of your life. Your DUI attorney can best advise you on your plea and your chances. However, odds are, you were video recorded taking the field sobriety test either by a cop’s dash or body cam or at the police station, so bear that in mind as well.
Loss of Driving Privileges
You can bet that if you are convicted of a DUI in the state of Florida that you will lose your driving privileges. A first time DUI offender will face a minimum of six months driver’s license suspension and a maximum of one year. You can request a hardship license, which is a special driver’s license that allows you to drive to and from work and for essentials, such as to the grocery store and the doctor’s office. However, with too many DUI convictions, this option won’t be available. You may have to undergo an alcohol and drug program as well before your driver’s license can be reinstated.
In addition, you can lose your driver’s license on the day of your arrest if you have refused to submit to a breath test or a blood or urine test and if your blood alcohol content is at .08% or above. This is legal because driving is a privilege, not a right, so the state of Florida can revoke your privilege anytime it has lawful reasons to do so. This is why obtaining a DUI lawyer in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Niceville is so very important.
Pay More Money
You will face fines if convicted of a DUI, DWI, DWAI, or a BUI in the state of Florida. To some, this is not a big deal; to others, it can be a lot of money. This amount varies as well by the number of DUI convictions you’ve had and by the judge’s discretion. In addition, there are attorney’s fees and loss of wages for the time you were in jail upon your arrest, as well as on-going time lost when attending court dates and preparing with your DUI attorney.
Probation & Treatment Options
You will probably have probation time if you are not sent to jail for your DUI conviction, or you could instead be ordered to undergo an alcohol treatment program. Another consequence of being convicted of a DUI offense is that you may be required to install an ignition interlock device that requires the driver to have alcohol-free breath before the vehicle will start. Usually, this cost is passed onto you, which can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars, as well as the monthly fee for the service.
If you thought car insurance was expensive before, if you are convicted of a DUI, you will have to get a special type of auto insurance policy called SR-22 insurance. This special insurance will double or triple what you were paying, and you will have to carry it for up to three years.
Being arrested for DUI can be embarrassing and can cost you your career as well. It can also cause major feelings of guilt, especially if you were involved in a car accident and hurt someone else. Many people struggle with depression after being arrested for any crime, especially if their friends or family members are now shunning or shaming them. It’s best to seek professional help if you are struggling emotionally with your DUI arrest.
CHOOSE MATTHEWS & JONES, LLP AS YOUR DUI ATTORNEY OF CHOICE
Matthews & Jones, LLP offers DUI attorneys who will work diligently to ensure you have the best possible outcome in your DUI case. We understand how devastating a DUI case and conviction can be to your life and how monumental the consequences are. Outside of fines and jail time, your life could be impacted significantly in many other ways. Because DUI can cause such pain for families who had a family member killed by a drunk driver, those who are arrested for and convicted of DUI face harsh judgement from society. Our DUI lawyers work hard to ensure that does not happen.
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be extremely costly, financially, emotionally, and personally. Our DUI attorneys will do our best to mitigate these consequences. If you need a DUI lawyer, call Matthews & Jones today!