Officers stopped a driver for making an improper right-hand turn. The driver exhibited signs of intoxication and had difficulty exiting his car. He admitted to drinking beer earlier in the evening and failed field sobriety testing. The defendant refused to participate in a breathalyzer test. Officers arrested the suspect on charges of DUI.
DUI charges in Florida are very harsh, in fact, they are some of the harshest in the nation. DUI (driving under the influence) has many penalties, including:
- Fines from $500 to $1,000 unless the blood alcohol level is .15% or higher. Then the fines will start at $1,000 with a maximum of $2,000.
- 8 hours to 6 months of jail time for a blood alcohol level of up to .08%. If the blood alcohol level was greater than .15%, jail time will be increased to up to 9 months.
- 50 hours of mandatory community service. A judge may allow the defendant to buy these hours off at a rate of $10 per hour.
- Up to one year of probation.
- 10 days of vehicle impoundment.
- Driver’s license revoked for up to one year.
Reckless Driving Charges
Reckless driving could result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on if there was an injury that took place because of the reckless driving. The act of reckless driving is carried out when a person operates a motor vehicle in wanton disregard for safety or in a willful manner.
Penalties for reckless driving include:
- First offense with no property damage or bodily injury – a second-degree misdemeanor with up to 90 days in jail or 6 months of probation and a fine of $500.
- Second offense – Second-degree misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
- Injury or property damage – A first-degree misdemeanor with up to one year in jail, a 12-month probation, and a fine of $1,000.
- Serious bodily injury – Third-degree felony with up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
If one had to pick between a DUI charge and reckless driving charge, most would have to say reckless driving as it carries far fewer penalties. Although they are both serious charges, DUI charges are much more severe.
Obtaining Legal Services From Musca Law Firm
If you are facing a DUI charge, you should consider hiring an attorney to fight for you in court. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to work around loopholes in order to give you sound advice to help you build a strategic defense.
All of our attorneys at Musca Law Firm are dedicated to helping our clients. We have well over 150 years of combined experience between the team of attorneys within our firm, and we work hard to provide the best possible experience both in our office and in the courtroom for each of our clients. Please call us today at (888) 484-5057 for a free initial case consultation to see how we can best support you. We serve the entire state of Florida with multiple offices in several cities across the state. We look forward to hearing from you today!
RESULT: The Musca Law attorney questioned the reliability of the videoed sobriety testing and entered into negotiations with the State. The defense successfully negotiated the case down from DUI to reckless driving resulting in NO DUI CONVICTION, and without the client receiving a probation sentence!