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Jacksonville DUI Attorneys

Arrested for DUI in Duval, Clay, or Nassau County, Florida? We Can Help.

Depending on the severity of the DUI, a driver may face fines, jail time, license suspension or revocation, community service, and/or mandatory drug and alcohol treatment. In Florida, even first-time DUI offenders face harsh penalties, including jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, you need a Jacksonville DUI lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected.

Arrested for DUI? Call (904) 474-3115 or send us a message online to get started on your defense. Your initial consultation is FREE and confidential.

What Happens When You Get a DUI in Florida?

Getting a DUI in Florida is a serious offense with significant consequences. 

The exact sentences will depend on the facts of your criminal case, such as your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and whether you have any prior DUI criminal convictions.

In addition to the criminal penalties, you may also face civil consequences for a DUI conviction. These include increased insurance premiums, difficulty finding employment, and losing your driver's license.

Suppose you were under arrest for DUI in Jacksonville, Florida. In that case, speaking with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible is essential. A DUI lawyer in Jacksonville can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in court.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Florida, you only have 10 days to request an administrative license hearing (ALR) and stop the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

What Is a DUI?

In the state of Florida, a DUI is defined as driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are pulled over and suspected of a DUI, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test. If your BAC is over the legal limit, you will be arrested and charged with a DUI.

For drivers under the age of 21, Florida has a zero-tolerance policy regarding alcohol consumption while operating a vehicle. This means that any detectable amount of alcohol in the system of an underage driver can result in DUI charges.

Furthermore, for commercial drivers operating vehicles such as trucks or buses, the legal BAC limit is lower at 0.04%.

For a first DUI conviction, the penalties include:

  • Fine: Between $500 and $1,000.
  • License Suspension: Minimum 180 days up to 1 year.
  • Probation: Up to 1 year.
  • Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Mandatory if blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.15% or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle.
  • DUI School: Mandatory attendance.
  • Jail Time: Up to 6 months (though this is rarely imposed for first-time offenders unless there are aggravating circumstances).

What is Implied Consent?

By driving on Florida roads, individuals are deemed to have given their consent to submit to a chemical test to determine their BAC if lawfully arrested for DUI. This means that if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a driver is under the influence and lawfully arrests them, the driver is required to submit to a chemical test.

The chemical test typically involves the analysis of the driver's breath, blood, or urine to determine the presence and concentration of alcohol or drugs in their system. Breathalyzer tests are the most common method used for roadside testing.

Refusing to submit to a chemical test when lawfully arrested for DUI can result in administrative penalties, such as the immediate suspension of the driver's license. Additionally, refusal to submit to testing can be used against the individual in court as evidence of consciousness of guilt.

When is DUI a Felony in Florida?

In Florida, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) can be classified as a felony under certain circumstances. Typically, a DUI is considered a misdemeanor offense for a first or second offense within a specified time frame. However, it can be elevated to a felony if certain aggravating factors are present. Here are some situations in which a DUI can be classified as a felony in Florida:

  • Multiple Offenses: If an individual is convicted of a third DUI or more within a 10-year period, it can be charged as a third-degree felony.
  • DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury: If a DUI results in serious bodily injury to another person, it can be charged as a third-degree felony, even if it's a first offense.
  • DUI Manslaughter: If a DUI results in the death of another person, it can be charged as DUI manslaughter, which is typically classified as a second-degree felony. However, if the driver leaves the scene of the accident, it may be charged as a first-degree felony.
  • Previous Felony DUI Conviction: If a person has a prior felony DUI conviction, any subsequent DUI offense can be charged as a third-degree felony.

How Long Will a DUI Stay on Your Record in Florida?

A DUI conviction in Florida will typically remain on your criminal record permanently. This means that anyone who conducts a background check on you, such as potential employers or law enforcement agencies, may be able to see this conviction.

A DUI conviction also stays on your driving record for a lengthy period. In Florida, it generally remains on your driving record for 75 years. However, this can vary based on individual circumstances and any subsequent offenses.

Many employers conduct background checks as part of the hiring process. A DUI conviction on your record could potentially impact your job prospects, especially if the position involves driving or if the employer has policies regarding criminal convictions.

Lastly, a DUI conviction can also affect your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies often consider such offenses as high-risk behavior, which can result in increased premiums for several years following the conviction.

the Importance of Having a DUI Lawyer

Navigating the legal system can be a complicated and intimidating process, and having an experienced DUI lawyer in Jacksonville on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. A DUI lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action, and they will be able to represent you in court. They will also be able to negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges, and they will be able to work with the court to reduce your sentence or fines.

Reasons to Choose First Coast Criminal Defense

First Coast Criminal Defense is a top DUI defense firm in Jacksonville, FL. At First Coast Criminal Defense, our DUI lawyers in Jacksonville, FL are widely recognized as authorities on Florida DUI defense and have a proven track record of successful outcomes. Our firm is knowledgeable about the law and the legal system and will be able to provide you with the best legal advice and representation. Our firm has extensive experience on all sides of the state’s DUI laws and has handled thousands of DUI cases.

Here's how we can benefit you:

  • Legal Knowledge and Expertise: Our team of DUI lawyers specializes in this area of law. We stay updated on the latest regulations, precedents, and strategies relevant to DUI cases. This depth of knowledge allows us to navigate the legal system more effectively on your behalf.
  • Strategic Defense: We know that every DUI case is unique, and we tailor our defense strategies to fit your specific circumstances. Whether it's challenging the evidence, negotiating with prosecutors, or exploring alternative sentencing options, we'll work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
  • Protection of Rights: Facing a DUI charge can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go through it alone. We're here to ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. From advising you on what to say (and what not to say) to representing you in court, we're committed to safeguarding your interests.
  • Reduced Penalties: With our expertise in DUI defense, we may be able to mitigate the consequences of a conviction. This could mean reducing fines, avoiding jail time, or minimizing the impact on your driving record and insurance rates.
  • Emotional Support: Dealing with a DUI charge can be emotionally taxing. Our team provides compassionate support and guidance throughout the legal process, offering reassurance and answering any questions you may have along the way.
  • Familiarity with Local Courts: As a local firm, we're familiar with the courts and legal procedures in our area. This familiarity can be a significant advantage in building your defense and anticipating the strategies of the prosecution.
  • Peace of Mind: By hiring us as your DUI lawyers, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands. We'll handle the complexities of your legal situation, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life while we work to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Our entire team understands what you are up against, as well as the importance of acting quickly to protect your driving privileges, your freedom, and your future. We offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose by discussing your legal rights with our Jacksonville DUI attorneys.

How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Florida?

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"I have had the pleasure of working with First Coast Criminal Defense, and it was a wonderful experience, I would highly recommend this Firm. They are totally responsive and will walk you through each phase step by step!"
Vincent

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Awards & Accolades

  • America's Best Top 10 Attorneys Criminal Defense 2023
  • America's Best Top 10 Attorneys Criminal Defense 2024
  • Consecutively Earned Since 2021
  • Consecutively Earned Since 2021
  • Top 10 Criminal Defense Since 2018
  • Top 10 DUI Defense Since 2018
  • American Association of Attorney Advocates
  • Best of the Best: Top 10 DUI Attorney