DUI Defense Attorneys
in Brevard County, Florida
The prospect of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges can feel overwhelming. Getting the right legal counsel is essential in protecting your right to a fair defense. At Gutin & Wolverton: Harley I. Gutin, we provide professional criminal defense counsel for individuals facing DUI charges in Cocoa, Florida, and throughout Brevard County. We proudly serve folks in neighboring areas such as Titusville, Melbourne, and Palm Bay with trusted legal counsel, so if you’re in the area, reach out today for guidance.
DUI Charges in Florida
Drunk driving charges are serious business in Florida. According to statistics, 7,573 people died in accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver from 2009 to 2018, and these numbers don’t even include those injured. These alarming statistics underscore why DUI/DWI charges can have significant legal consequences in Florida.
In Florida, a DUI charge means that a person operated a motor vehicle or was in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that their normal faculties were impaired or had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida vary depending on the circumstances of the offense, including the offender's prior DUI convictions and whether there was property damage or injury to another person. Possible penalties for a first-time DUI charge can range from temporary license suspension to incarceration.
For subsequent DUI offenses, the penalties increase significantly and can include longer jail time, higher fines, longer license suspensions, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
It's important to note that DUI charges are serious and can have long-term consequences on an individual's life, including their driving privileges, employment, and reputation. It is highly recommended that individuals facing DUI charges in Florida seek the advice of a professional criminal defense attorney.
For the Experienced
Get in Touch
Advocacy You Deserve
Sobriety Tests & Driver Rights in Florida
Sobriety tests are commonly used by law enforcement officers to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Florida. Several types of sobriety tests can be used, including field sobriety tests and chemical tests.
Field sobriety tests are used to assess a driver's physical coordination and cognitive abilities. These tests include the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, among others. These tests are not foolproof and can be affected by a variety of factors, including nervousness, fatigue, and certain medical conditions.
Chemical tests, on the other hand, measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in a driver's system. The most common chemical tests used in Florida are breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests. Refusal to submit to a chemical test can result in an automatic suspension of the driver's license.
It is important to note that drivers in Florida have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test. However, if an officer has probable cause to believe that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer can require the driver to take a chemical test.
If a driver is arrested for DUI in Florida, they have the right to request an administrative hearing to challenge the suspension of their driver's license. Also, always remember: if you’ve been arrested for any reason, you also have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. Make sure to exercise those rights.
Possible Penalties for DUI Charges
The possible penalties for DUI charges in Florida depend on the circumstances of the offense, including the offender's prior DUI convictions and whether there was property damage or injury to another person. Here are some of the potential penalties for a first-time DUI offense in Florida:
A fine of $500 to $1,000
Jail time of up to 6 months (if BAC is over 0.15 or there was a minor in the vehicle, the maximum jail time increases to 9 months)
Driver's license suspension of 6 to 12 months
Completion of a DUI program
Installation of an ignition interlock device on the offender's vehicle
For subsequent DUI offenses, the penalties increase significantly and can include longer jail time, higher fines, longer license suspensions, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. For example, a second DUI conviction in Florida within five years of the first offense can result in a fine of $1,000 to $2,000, jail time of up to nine months, and a license suspension of five years.
In addition to the legal penalties, a DUI conviction can also have long-term consequences on an individual's personal and professional life, including difficulty finding employment, higher insurance rates, and damage to one's reputation.
Florida's Ignition Interlock Program
The Ignition Interlock Program in Florida is a requirement for certain individuals who have been convicted of DUI. An ignition interlock device is a device that is installed in a vehicle that requires the driver to provide a breath sample before the vehicle can be started. The device measures the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the BAC is above a certain limit (usually 0.025%), the vehicle will not start.
The purpose of the Ignition Interlock Program is to prevent repeat DUI offenses by requiring offenders to demonstrate their sobriety before driving. The program is intended to promote public safety and reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities on Florida's roads.
In Florida, the Ignition Interlock Program is mandatory for first-time DUI offenders who had a BAC of 0.15% or higher, and for second or subsequent DUI offenders. The program requires the offender to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a period of time determined by the court, typically between six months and two years.
During this period, the offender is required to pay for the installation and maintenance of the device, as well as any additional costs associated with the program. Failure to comply with the Ignition Interlock Program can result in the revocation of the offender's driver's license.
DUI Defense Attorneys in Brevard County, Florida
At Gutin & Wolverton: Harley I. Gutin, we go the extra mile to protect our clients’ right to a fair defense. Don’t face DUI charges on your own. Protect your rights by getting the right legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney today, and call to schedule a consultation with our attorneys.