Now more than ever, law enforcement is cracking down on driving under the influence of both alcohol and controlled substances – including prescription medication. If you’re arrested for a DUI in St. Petersburg Florida, then you can face serious legal consequences if you don’t have the right legal counsel.
Here at Fletcher & Fletcher, we are a St. Petersburg team of defense attorneys that makes it our priority to ensure our clients are informed on all their options. Here’s everything you need to know about DUI in St. Petersburg, FL.
How is a DUI defined in Florida law?
Florida law states that drivers can be considered under the influence if they are driving, or in actual physical control of, a vehicle while under the influence of drugs to the point where their normal facilities are impaired.
When it comes to alcohol, the legal limit is less than .08 blood alcohol level.
When it comes to prescription or other drugs, then a DUI arrest relies more heavily on evidence of a driver’s impairment while driving.
What happens at a St. Pete DUI stop?
What many people don’t realize about DUI stops and arrests in Florida is that, other than large traffic stops, most stops that end in a DUI arrest are not initially DUI stops.
Instead, a law enforcement officer will usually pull someone over for reckless driving, swerving between lanes, running a stop light, running a red light, speeding, or some other traffic offense.
It is after an officer has pulled you over for reckless driving that they will usually be able to test your blood alcohol level or other impairment.
What is implied consent?
All St. Petersburg and Florida residents should know the state’s implied consent law.
According to the implied consent law, any person who accepts driving within the state gives consent to lawful requests for breath or urine testing for drug or alcohol – and therefore accepts the responsibility if they are found to be in violation of the DUI law.
Some people may still refuse this testing. However, since driving at all implies your consent to drug or alcohol testing, then refusal of that testing can come with consequences.
The consequence for your first refusal of a breath, blood, or urine test, comes with a one-year driver’s license revocation. Consequences can be higher for subsequent refusals.
What should I do after a DUI arrest in St. Petersburg, Florida?
It’s important that you contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Not just any lawyer can handle these cases, so you should work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the nuanced ins and outs of DUI cases in Florida.
A DUI lawyer can help you with this process, but you should also send a letter to request a formal or informal review hearing within 10 days of your arrest.
At the time of your arrest, your license will be immediately suspended, and you will only be able to use your citation as a permit for 10 days for business purposes.
However, you can have your license reinstated with a formal or informal review with the DMV.
This can all be handled with the support of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
DUI Penalties in Florida
Florida is cracking down on DUIs, so penalties for a DUI in St. Petersburg can be severe. The maximum penalties are lightest for the first offense, with increasing severity for each one during a 10-year period, from fines to even jail time.
Many people frequently ask questions about what exactly each offense can result in when it comes to consequences. The penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida are as follow:
- First-Offense: Fine between $500–$1,000, mandatory 50 hrs of community service, up to 6 months of jail time, license revocation for 180 days up to 1 year
- Second-Offense: Mandatory 10 days in jail, five-year driver’s license revocation
- Third-Offense: five years in prison, mandatory 10 year driver’s license revocation
Contact Fletcher & Fletcher St. Petersburg, FL DUI Lawyers Today
DUI charges can be severe, and even life-changing. However, you can make the best of your situation when you contact Fletcher & Fletcher St. Petersburg DUI lawyers. We are career defense attorneys that are willing to go to bat to defend our clients’ freedoms every day we go to work. We come to you with understanding, not judgment, and we’re here for you every step of the way.