DUI Defense Lawyers in St. Lucie County, Florida
How to Beat a St. Lucie County Driving Under the Influence Charge
In the State of Florida, it is a very serious crime to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Although driving under the influence, or DUI, may not seem that serious, the truth of the matter is that it may lead to felony charges, depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. If you are being charged with DUI in St. Lucie County, you need to work with a skilled St. Lucie Criminal Defense Lawyer who can mount the strongest defense strategy possible.
At Musca Law, our highly qualified team of St. Lucie County DUI Defense Lawyers have a reputation for excellence, as they only focus their practice on civil injunction and criminal defense matters. No DUI case is too challenging or complex, as we have more than 150 years of collective legal experience representing clients facing DUI charges located throughout the state of Florida. To learn more about how our St. Lucie County DUI Defense Lawyers can make a difference for you, contact our office today at (888) 484-5057. Our lawyers are available 24/7 to discuss your case.
St Lucie County DUI Laws and Penalties
In Florida, a person who faces a DUI conviction may be sent to jail and be forced to pay hefty monetary fines. While most DUI matters are misdemeanor-level offenses, some constitute felonies that can result in imprisonment and other serious legal and personal consequences. It is important to realize that the legal limit in Florida is 0.08 however, there are some matters involving drug impairment where this level is inapplicable. Under Florida Statute Section 316.193(1), an individual may face a DUI conviction if:
- The operator of the automobile physically controlled the subject vehicle; and
- The normal faculties of the driver were impaired due to alcohol and/or drugs; or
- The blood-alcohol level of the alleged offender was 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
- The breath-alcohol level of the alleged offender was 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Many DUI cases are associated with the use of a breathalyzer and/or field sobriety test to measure a person’s level of intoxication. If a person does not pass these tests, then he or she will be arrested. A person can also be arrested, even if he or she passes these tests, in the event that the arresting officer believes that his or her normal faculties are impaired.
The Categories of DUI Charges in St Lucie County
In Florida, DUI charges range from unclassified misdemeanors to first-degree felonies, which are listed as follows:
- First DUI with a BAC of 0.08 or greater – if a person has a BAC that ranges from 0.08 to 0.14, it is an unclassified misdemeanor, a conviction of which is associated with up to a six-month jail term and a monetary fine not greater than $1,000.
- First DUI with a child under the age of eighteen in the subject vehicle – this qualifies as an unclassified misdemeanor, and is associated with a term of jail for up to nine months and a monetary fine not greater than $2,000.
- First DUI with a BAC of 0.15 or greater – this qualifies as an unclassified misdemeanor, which is associated with a nine-month jail term and a monetary fine not greater than $2,000.
- Second DUI with a BAC of 0.08 or greater – this qualifies as an unclassified misdemeanor if a person is convicted of a second-time DUI with a BAC ranging from 0.08 to 0.14. This carries with it a jail term of up to nine months and a monetary fine not to exceed $2,000.
- Third DUI that occurred over ten years to a previous DUI – this qualifies as an unclassified misdemeanor, which carries with it a jail term of up to one year and a monetary fine not to exceed $1,000.
- DUI involving property damage – this qualifies as a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries with it a term in jail of not more than one year and a monetary fine not to exceed $1,000.
- Second DUI with a BAC of 0.15 or more – this qualifies as an unclassified misdemeanor, which carries with it a jail term of up to one year and a monetary fine not to exceed $4,000.
- Third DUI within a decade of a previous one – if a DUI conviction occurred within ten years of a previous DUI, it qualifies as a third-degree felony, which is associated with a jail term of up to five years and a monetary fine of not more than $5,000.
- Fourth DUI – this qualifies as a third-degree felony, which carries with it up to a five-year jail term and a monetary fine not to exceed $5,000.
- DUI involving serious bodily injury – this qualifies as a third-degree felony, which carries with it a jail term of up to five years and a monetary fine of no greater than $5,000.
- DUI involving death to a person or unborn child (DUI manslaughter) – this qualifies as a second-degree felony, which is associated with a term of jail for up to fifteen years and a monetary fine of not more than $10,000.
- DUI manslaughter involving the failure to render aid – this qualifies as a first-degree felony, which carries with it a jail term of up to 30 years and a monetary fine not greater than $10,000.
It is vital to consider that St. Lucie County prosecutors often pursue the harshest penalties possible in DUI matters, especially if aggravating factors are present (such as a BAC of 0.15 or more). If you are being charged with DUI in St. Lucie County, it is important that you call a skilled St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible in order to develop the strongest defense case possible. Don’t wait - contact Musca Law now at (888) 484-5057 to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Additional Repercussions of St Lucie County DUI Conviction
Many DUI cases are not limited to time in jail and monetary penalties. If a person is convicted of a DUI in St. Lucie County, there may be additional consequences that he or she may be subject to, even pursuant to a conviction or plea agreement. These may include the following:
- Educational classes;
- Random drug and/or alcohol testing;
- Substance abuse treatment;
- Mental health counseling;
- The mandatory impoundment of the offender’s vehicle;
- Community service;
- Revocation of one’s driving privileges, either temporarily or on a permanent basis;
- A permanent criminal record (which may cause an offender to have difficulty finding suitable housing and gainful employment, as well as the inability to attend an institution of higher learning);
- The installation of an ignition interlock device in one’s vehicle; and
- The loss of the right to possess a firearm and ammunition.
Keep in mind that violating any of the above can cause a person to face additional criminal sanctions, including jail time. Hence, it is highly important that you take your DUI charges as serious as possible, and consult a skilled St. Lucie County DUI Defense Lawyer to help you with your St. Lucie DUI matter.
Dismissing St. Lucie County DUI Charges
Not every DUI case involves a conviction or a plea agreement. In many instances, the prosecution failed to establish enough facts to obtain a conviction, or law enforcement did not adhere to an accused’s Fourth Amendment rights in searching and seizing evidence. If there are valid reasons to support a reduction or dismissal of the DUI charges, an experienced St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorney will raise the defenses that apply in one’s case.
If the alleged offender in a DUI matter claims that he or she is innocent, and that the prosecution did not have enough evidence to demonstrate intoxication or drug impairment, such as when an individual passes a breathalyzer and/or field sobriety test, the defense will raise this argument in court. In other words, a case may be subject to dismissal of the alleged offender’s case pursuant to law enforcement’s impressions. A defense attorney can also raise the fact that law enforcement did not read his or her Miranda rights, or in the event that a false confession was made by the accused.
If the defense is not able to secure an outright dismissal of the case, it can seek to obtain a fair and reasonable plea bargain agreement. If the charges are at the felony level, the defense may seek to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor offense, which may mean little to no time in jail. If the prosecution does not accept a plea agreement in one’s case, then an experienced St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorney will bring the case to trial.
DUI Arrest and Detention Laws in St. Lucie County
In Florida, police can only keep a person in custody for a certain period of time following one’s arrest. Under Florida Statutes Section 316.193(9), law enforcement may only keep a suspect in jail until one of the following conditions has been satisfied:
- The alleged offender has a BAC that is below 0.05;
- The alleged offender has been in jail for at least eight hours; or
- The alleged offender’s normal faculties are no longer impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.
If the above statute is violated, the alleged offender’s DUI charges may be dismissed, or at a minimum, reduced, all of which depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Even so, a person who is the subject of DUI charges in St. Lucie County should work promptly to hire a skilled St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible after his or her arrest. The quicker an accused acts, the better the chances are that he or she will have a favorable outcome in his or her case.
Selecting the Right St Lucie County Attorneys is Critical in One’s Case
There are many individuals charged with DUI in St. Lucie County take their chances and represent themselves, also known under the law as going “pro se.” This is not a recommended course of action, as most alleged offenders do not have the skills and experience necessary to develop a winning defense case. As such, this is a highly risky move, as the majority of defendants do not know the law, the judge, the prosecutor, and the ins and outs of the courtroom.
Given the fact that legal representation can be expensive, many accused offenders decide to seek the representation of a public defender without consulting with a private lawyer. Although several public defenders are skilled attorneys, they often lack the resources and time necessary to devote to one’s case. This is why it is critical for an accused to schedule a consultation with a private lawyer to learn more about his or her legal options and the payment options that may be available. Given the serious consequences that carry with a DUI conviction, including jail time, monetary fines, and more, the expenses of working with a private attorney may be worth it.
Do Your Research When Seeking to Hire a St Lucie County DUI Defense Lawyer
Many lawyers assert that they have the skills, qualifications, and experience necessary to represent a person facing DUI charges in Florida. However, this is not always the case. If an attorney is not forthcoming about his or her practice, their level of skill, and their ability to represent a defendant’s legal rights and interests, he or she may not be the right attorney for the job. Only a St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorney who is honest, dedicated, and professional should be hired to handle your DUI charges.
At Musca Law, We Have a Stellar Reputation for Success Both in and Out of the Courtroom
At Musca Law, our St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorneys want all prospective clients to be aware of the successes that they have had in representing clients facing criminal charges. We have a proven track record of success defending clients in criminal cases ranging from DUI to capital murder.
At Musca Law, we offer clients a glimpse of our previous case successes on our to demonstrate to the public how we have assisted our clients in the past. It is important to understand that we base our successes on the fact that our skilled team of St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorneys only handles civil injunction and criminal law matters. While it is vital to realize that no attorney can guarantee a given result, working with an experienced St. Lucie County DUI Defense Attorney may increase your odds of having a successful outcome in your case. Don’t wait - contact Musca Law now at (888) 484-5057.
Contact our St. Lucie County DUI Defense Lawyers Now to Learn More About Your Legal Rights and Options
If you are facing DUI charges in St. Lucie County, it is critical that you work with an experienced St. Lucie County DUI Defense Lawyer who has a history of successfully handling DUI cases throughout Florida. At Musca Law, our experienced team of DUI Defense Attorneys in St. Lucie County, Florida, have the skills and experience necessary to make a difference in your case, which may mean a reduction of charges or outright dismissal of your case. Call (888) 484-5057 to learn more about how we can make a difference for you.