Orlando DUI Lawyers
150 + Years Combined Experience in DUI Defense
Orlando lawyers at Musca Law routinely help people who have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Orlando or Orange County, Florida. We believe that people charged should consult an experienced Orlando DUI Defense Lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect and preserve their legal rights. Our DUI defense law firm in Orlando, Florida has extensive experience handling a variety of DUI offenses in the Orlando area including:
- First DUI Offenses
- Second DUI Offenses
- Felony DUI Offenses
- DUIs that are Drug-Related
- Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
- Underage DUI
- Commercial Driver’s License DUI
- DUI Manslaughter
Orlando DUI – Driving Under the Influence in Orlando (DUI) [Florida Statute 316.193]
Under Orlando Florida law, there are many different factors and circumstances that determine whether an individual might be charged with a drunk driving offense. According to Florida Statutes Section 316.193, whether someone is arrested and charged with DUI can depend on:
- How high the blood alcohol concentration is at the time of the offense (in Orlando, the legal limit is a BAC of .08 percent)
- Driving or being in physical control of a vehicle
- Being impaired to a degree by drugs and/or alcohol
- Prior DUIs on the person’s record
- Whether any serious injuries resulted
- Whether anyone was killed
- If the DUI was the cause of any property damage
DUI Attorneys in Orlando, Florida
In Orlando, if a person is convicted of a DUI, they can face serious consequences, even if it is the first DUI offense. Some of the penalties that a person might receive for a first-time conviction can include jail time and fines, but it is also important to recognize the other negative impacts that a criminal conviction can have on everyday life. For instance, a criminal record can adversely affect the ability to obtain a student loan, keep or get a job, or even rent housing. Other DUI related penalties in Orlando might include:
- Loss of driving privileges.
- Vehicle impoundment.
- Completion of a substance abuse class.
- Use of an ignition interlock device.
- Community service.
Orlando DUI Lawyers – Second Offense
If a person is arrested for a second DUI offense in Orlando, and that offense happens within five years of the first offense, they may be subject to harsher penalties, including a mandatory ten-day jail sentence. Moreover, if certain factors are present in the case, such as someone was injured as a result of the DUI, or if the person had a high BAC at the time of the offense, the punishment could include larger fines and more time spent in jail.
Orlando Felony DUI Charges Attorney
Driving under the influence offenses in Orlando are oftentimes considered misdemeanors. But under some circumstances, a DUI may be elevated to a felony offense. An individual might be charged with a felony DUI in Orlando if:
- They have had two other DUI convictions within a five-year period.
- It is their fourth or subsequent DUI offense.
- Someone else was seriously or fatally injured as a result of the DUI.
The punishment that an individual might receive for a third-degree felony DUI conviction includes a $5,000 fine and a jail sentence of up to five years. An individual might also be labeled as a Habitual Traffic Offender after a third-degree felony DUI conviction, which means that their driver’s license might be suspended for five years.
DUI Manslaughter – Orlando Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys
In Orlando, an additional felony DUI offense that an individual can be charged with is known as DUI manslaughter. An individual commits DUI manslaughter if they fatally injure someone else in the course of their DUI. A DUI manslaughter offense is considered a second-degree felony in Orlando and the punishment can include a $10,000 fine and jail time of up to fifteen years. DUI manslaughter is elevated to a first-degree felony if the offender leaves the scene of the accident.
Orlando BUI Defense Attorneys
Charges Relating to Boating Under the Influence
Orlando BUI attorneys at Musca Law have handled all types of cases relating to people being accused of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Another common alcohol offense with which people are charged in Orlando is boating under the influence. According to Section 327.35 of the Florida Statutes, an individual can be convicted of BUI if the prosecution can prove that they were operating a vessel while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. The penalties one might be subject to for a first BUI offense might include hefty fines and up to six months in jail, and they can increase depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case.
Orlando DUI Lawyers, No Cost Consultation
When people have been arrested for DUI in Orlando, Florida, it is advisable that they seek a free consultation with an experienced defense attorney. A DUI or BUI conviction can be costly, damage their credibility can make it difficult to obtain work. Regardless of the criminal charges that a person is facing, consult with an experienced Orlando defense attorney as soon as possible to understand the legal options. Call our firm at 800.687.2252 to schedule your no cost, confidential evaluation.
Why You Should Fight Your DUI Charge
The goal of this page is to give you some vital general information concerning the many ways that you are able to fight a pending DUI charge. The majority of people think that, if they have been arrested, then a conviction will surely come next.
As stated by the most recent statistics concerning drunk driving cases in Orlando, only 60% of all charges of drunk driving actually result in a conviction for a charge of either a DUI or of reckless driving. Most cases of DUI are resolved without any punishment at all, due to the fact that:
- The DUI charge is thrown out by the prosecutor prior to your trial
- The DUI charge is reduced by the prosecutor to a less serious crime such as reckless driving prior to your trial
- The DUI charge is thrown out by the courts prior to your trial
- The accused is determined to be not guilty of the DUI charges as a result of the trial.
In instances of driving under the influence, the state must prove that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol to such a degree that their blood alcohol concentration was over Florida’s legal limit of .08% as proven by a breathalyzer, urine, or blood test.
Increased penalties come into the picture in the event that the offender’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.15% or higher. If your blood-alcohol level was 0.15% or higher when you were arrested, then you are far from alone. Prevailing DUI statistics show that the median blood-alcohol concentration taken in DUI arrests in Orlando is usually precisely at 0.15%.
On the backside of that, the state could also prove that the driver's normal faculties were severely impaired because of the misuse of drugs and/or of alcohol. If the driver should refuse to cooperate in taking a test of his urine, breath, or blood, then the second of those choices is all that the prosecution will be able to use.
Implied Consent Laws in Florida
The state of Florida has what is known as an “implied consent” law. By legal definition, an implied consent law states that anytime a person gets behind the wheel of a car in Florida, they are considered to have granted their permission, or implied consent, to yield to a blood-alcohol content test during a suspected-DUI stop. This does not mean, however, that the driver is also obligated to consent to take any field sobriety tests.
In the event that a driver refuses to surrender a blood, urine, or breath sample for a blood-alcohol level test, they could possibly face harsh civil penalties, including an automatic suspension of their driver’s license for as long as one year. If this turns out to be the second time they have declined to submit a blood-alcohol test, then their driver’s license could very well be suspended for as long as a year and a half.
In the event that a driver refuses to take the test, they will automatically be arrested and will receive a Notice of Suspension. The suspension of their driver’s license will go into effect immediately and, as previously mentioned, their license can be suspended for up to one full year.
DUI with Property Damage
Oftentimes, when someone is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, property damage is involved. This offshoot of a standard DUI charge is charged as DUI with Property Damage. Harsher punishments will accompany a common DUI charge in the event that the driver has also been involved in an accident that caused property damage to another car or caused non-serious bodily injury to another person. These harsher penalties may include a longer mandatory length of jail time to serve and much higher fines to be paid to the courts.
DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
In the event that the criminal charge should include a serious injury to another person, the charges will grow even more severe. What was a simple driving under the influence charge has now grown into a third-degree felony. If another person has been seriously injured as the result of your car accident, even if that other person was a passenger in your very own vehicle, the minimum penalty for a criminal charge of a DUI with Serious Bodily Injury is five years incarceration in a Florida state prison.
Florida Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)
Under Florida law, an officer is allowed to pull over any driver that they believe under probable cause guidelines to be intoxicated. After pulling someone to the side of the road, the officer may engage in conversation to determine sobriety or, in some cases, may administer a physical test in lieu of or before a breathalyzer.
These standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) include:
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: During the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the officer observes the suspect’s eyes while the suspect’s eyes follow the path of a slow moving object. Officers typically use flashlights as it allows them to illuminate and easily monitor the suspect’s face, but any small item is usable. Officers look for certain signs of intoxication while administering the test. These signs include being unable to smoothly follow the object, the suspect involuntary jerking their eye in a movement called nystagmus, and the suspect involuntary jerking their eyes when it’s moved 45 degrees to the right or left.
- The One-Leg Stand Test: This test is designed to measure a suspect’s intoxication levels by their ability to stay balanced and multi-task. The officer begins this test by explaining the instructions to the suspect. After the suspect has heard the instructions while both feet were on the ground and the suspect’s arms were at their side, the suspect then lifts one foot, keeping the bottom of their foot parallel to the floor. They must then begin counting while keeping their attention on their raised foot. The officer will be monitoring their ability to remain balanced and if they swayed, dropped their foot too soon, or used their arms to remain upright.
- The Walk and Turn Test: The walk and turn test is a staple of intoxication testing and is likely the one that first comes to mind when you think of a driver testing someone who may be intoxicated. To administer this test, an officer explains the instructions to the suspect who must then walk nine steps forward in a straight line. Each step must be heel-to-toe, and the suspect must not sway or wobble while walking. After proceeding nine steps forward, the suspect must then turn and walk back to their starting point. If the suspect cannot stay balanced while walking or turning, begins before the officer has instructed them to do so, takes the wrong number of steps, or does not walk heel-to-toe, the officer may have probable cause to determine that the suspect is intoxicated.