Musca Law Blog

What To Do When You’re Underage and Charged with a DUI

Being charged with a DUI can be a life changing experience and there are many things to be taken into consideration when starting to defend your DUI case. Yet many people are unaware of what happens when a person under the legal drinking age of 21 is convicted of a DUI.

Firstly an officer will pull over a vehicle that he/she suspects is being maneuvered by someone under the influence of alcohol. Then, the officer has the right to request a BAC (blood alcohol level) test. If the driver has a BAC level that is over 0.02%, (the legal limit) the officer has the right to detain the driver regardless of age. If the underage driver refuses to “blow”, their license will be immediately suspended for one year, and if this is a second occasion, it will be revoked for 18 months.

After being detained, the driver has ten days to petition for a hearing. This is the ideal time to hire a lawyer because the hearing is what will determine the near future of the defendant’s driving capabilities. Driving under the influence while under the legal drinking age is neither a traffic violation nor criminal offense, unless the BAC is higher than 0.08% (which then it is automatically a criminal defense regardless of age,) and requires unique attention compared to traditional DUI cases.

Administrative Suspensions and Temporary Permits for Underage DUI

Underage drivers convicted of DUI will be granted a temporary driving permit, which is only valid for 10 days. Attaining a temporary permit is only possible by filing for an administrative review hearing. For the hearing, it is very important to have a lawyer represent you because the hearing will bring up evidence against you and only an experienced attorney can rightly defend you and the specifics of your case. Having a lawyer may also increase your chances of attaining a permit with a longer driving period.

Contact Musca Law and search our database of experienced lawyers to represent you in your Florida County. www.muscalaw.com

Musca Law Launches Campaign Urging Those Arrested For DUI to Learn How To Beat It

(Naples, FL) With society and the legal system toughening its stance on DUI crimes, it’s not surprising when arresting officers assume any erratic behavior on the part of a person pulled over means they’re intoxicated. Even when the accused is not over the legal limit, the common assumption by most arresting officers is that the responses to the DUI tests indicate intoxication. However, according to John Musca, attorney with Musca Law, these assumptions are all too often false.

Says Musca, “So many people assume if they’ve been charged with a DUI, there is no defense, but that’s simply not the case. There are a number of successful defenses a person charged can utilize with the help of their experienced attorney. Sometimes, it’s a case of poor police officer training or the inexperienced vision of the officer. Other times, a person may be on prescription medications or have balance issues causing them to perform poorly in a sobriety test. It’s not uncommon to be charged with DUI regardless of your blood alcohol level.”

For this reason, says Musca, it’s more important than ever to partner with a defense attorney from the very beginning. Musca elaborates, saying, “Whether you yourself have been arrested for DUI or you are helping a loved one or friend, it is imperative to access as much helpful legal information as possible. Fully understanding all of your legal rights and how to successfully defend against a DUI is extremely important. For example, it’s important to have an attorney on your side who is familiar with the common lapses that take place in arrest procedures as well as breath and chemical testing errors.”

Facing the legal system without an attorney is not advisable says Musca. “When you go through the process without an attorney, you are basically giving up opportunities to dispute the false charges as soon as possible. With a qualified and experienced lawyer, you can sometimes avoid a trial all together, or gain an acquittal by showing the ways your stop was illegal or medical issues played a role in how you acted at the time.”

Musca cautions, “The review of this material on the website, via emails and/or in the downloadable PDF version should not be construed as offering or giving legal advice. You should speak to a licensed Florida DUI lawyer as the circumstances and factors in your case may be unique.”

Musca concludes, stating, “It may seem easier to give in to the charges being held against you for DUI, but your freedom and reputation are worth the fight. Just because you’re arrested for drunk driving, doesn’t mean that you are guilty.”

 

About Musca Law:

With over 100 years of combined experience, Musca Law provides an aggressive, practical approach to client representation throughout the entire State of Florida. The law firm prides themselves on their experience, knowledge, and creative strategies to handle a wide range of cases, including, DUI, Theft, Drug and Juvenile offenses. Musca Law attorneys provide a team approach, building upon their combined strengths to expose cracks in the prosecution’s case.

What to Ask Your DUI Lawyer

If you are charged with a DUI, you should first find a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases. If you are in the Miami or Tampa area, Musca Law is an experienced and respected law group that specializes in DUI cases. Below are some important questions that you need to clear with your lawyer before your case.

Communicating for Success

The first question you should ask your lawyer is about experience. You might ask, “How much experience do you have with DUI cases like mine?” Your next questions should be about the process. Make sure your lawyer makes you as much of an expert on the process as he or she is. Ensure that your lawyer will be available to you if you have any additional questions. You may need to clear up some confusion before your trial, and your lawyer should be able to help you whenever you need it. Lastly, talk to your lawyer about his or her outcome record. You have a right to know if your lawyer is successful with cases like yours.

When to Consult Your Lawyer

People often go to their lawyers when times are difficult, but that isn’t always the case. There are plenty of circumstances that call for a consultation with your lawyer that you may not know about.

Safe Rather than Sorry

If you have just been charged with a crime in the state of Florida, you should call your lawyer. Same as if you have been arrested, you should call your lawyer. These are the obvious times when everyone knows they should seek help. Other, subtler situations require consultations with a professional who has expertise in Florida laws. If you think you are a suspect in a crime, you should contact your attorney. The general rule of thumb is that you would rather be safe than sorry. Talking to your lawyer can give you clarity in a tough situation, and you can get valuable advice. Whether it’s a criminal or DUI case, talk to a reputable Florida lawyer about your legal problem. He or she will know what action to take, if any.

Life after a DUI: Job Hunting

You were convicted of a DUI, but life goes on. When you apply for a job after getting a DUI in the state of Florida, you are probably worrying that your potential employer won’t be impressed with your criminal record. The first thing to remember is to be open and honest. Writing down your record shows you are an honest person who is willing to come forward about your mistakes, and some employers will respect that.

The Job Search

It helps to apply to as many jobs as possible. Be prepared to answer questions about your DUI conviction by planning thoughtful responses. Show how you have learned from your mistakes. Do you volunteer now? Do you care more about your health by exercising? These positive steps show evidence of a person who has grown. If you should ever find yourself with another DUI charge, contact a trusted and experienced Miami area DUI lawyer who can help with your case.

Florida Felony Info

A felony conviction in the state of Florida is characterized by jail time of a year or more, depending on your record and the circumstances of your charges. According to the official site of the Florida state legislature, if you are charged with arson, robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated stalking, armed burglary, or other similarly serious crimes, you could be convicted of a felony. Your case’s individual characteristics make a big difference in your sentence, so talk to a Florida criminal lawyer about the potential outcome of your case.

Finding a Criminal Lawyer

It’s a good idea to find a lawyer as soon as you are charged with a crime. If you have multiple DUI charges, you will especially need a lawyer with experience. Find a team with a great track record, and make sure they specialize in Florida criminal law. For the best results, find someone who frequently handles cases like yours.

Wrongly Charged with DUI?

If you believe you were wrongly charged with a Florida DUI, you should contact an experienced DUI lawyer, immediately. An experienced lawyer can help you figure out how to handle your case and what your likely outcome will be.

Getting Professional Guidance

The state of Florida set up strict DUI laws, to prevent people from drinking and driving, and hurting themselves or others. If you believe you were wrongly charged with a DUI, or you refused a Breathalyzer for health reasons, you need to get professional help. Read about Florida DUI law and familiarize yourself with the consequences that could apply to you. Also, you could read testimonials from people who were in similar situations. It’s not a certainty that you will be convicted, but you will fare better during a trial if you have help from a DUI expert who has seen cases like yours.

Talking to Your Lawyer about Your Case

If you were charged with a DUI in Florida, you might be wondering what comes next. One good idea is to talk to your potential DUI lawyer about what might happen during your case. If you find a Florida lawyer with experience, he or she could tell you what is typical for your case, including if you will have jail time, fines or other punishments, if you are convicted.

Important Questions

When talking to your lawyer, you should communicate your goals and expectations for your case. Ask your lawyer what type of law he or she practices, and if he or she has handled cases like yours before. Ask how many DUI cases your lawyer has handled and if he or she has always worked in Florida DUI law. You might ask if he or she has seen a similar case to yours, in the past year. Your lawyer could provide you with an overview of that similar case, including how he or she handled it. This is a valuable question, because you can walk through the trial process and find out an outcome from a similar case to yours.

Ways to Avoid a DUI Charge

If you have already been charged and convicted with a DUI in the state of Florida, you know the process and consequences that come from it. Florida law makes a DUI charge costly, to deter future DUIs. Other than costing you a lot of money, the DUI likely took a toll on personal aspects of your life. You want to avoid a future DUI. Below are some tips to avoid one.

No More DUIs

To state the obvious, don’t drink and drive. If you drink, plan on getting a sober ride home, beforehand. Your judgment is affected after drinking, so be sure to tell the people about your alternative ride home. If all else fails, hire a taxi or use public transportation. Remember that punishments for multiple DUIs are harsher than one DUI in Florida. If you are pulled over for drinking and driving, remember to be polite and cooperative.

DUI Courses

So you have to take a DUI course as part of your sentencing. Here’s a compilation of information you should know about DUI classes in Florida.

What You Should Know

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, DUI classes are offered by nonprofit groups to “provide education, a psychosocial evaluation and treatment referral services” to offenders. You can register for classes online, and locations for classes are available throughout the state. There are two levels of classes for people convicted of DUI: Level I and Level II. If you are a first-time offender, you will take Level I classes for a minimum of 12 hours. After your first offense, you will take Level II classes for a minimum of 21 classroom hours. Level II classes are done in a group setting. Talk to your attorney for more information and to find out if you will likely need to take a class.

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