Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
A DUI arrest does not mean a conviction will necessarily occur. Although a serious offense, having the right criminal defense attorney at your side can help you defend your name and move on with your life.
Whether or not this is your first charge for driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, defending against the charges aggressively may allow you to protect your driving privileges in the civil action that beings immediately after your arrest (if you allegedly refused to take the breath test or if you blew over the legal limit of 0.08).
Don Pumphrey, Jr., and his team of attorneys are experienced in fighting different types of driving under the influence cases including cases with a high blow on the only breath test machine used in Florida, which is called the Intoxilyzer 8000. In many of these cases, the arresting officer will allege that the driver refused to submit to a chemical test.
Don Pumphrey uses his extensive experience to fight these serious charges in Tallahassee, Leon County and the surrounding counties throughout North Florida.
Tallahassee DUI Attorney
Don Pumphrey uses his extensive experience to fight these serious charges throughout North Florida. Don Pumphrey has earned certification from the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) which allows him to keep current on recent changes in the law and the best legal challenges in drunk driving cases.
Don Pumphrey focuses on defending individuals in Tallahassee, Leon County, FL, and the entire Big Bend region of North Florida including Liberty County, Wakulla County, Jefferson County, and Gadsden County.
Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message to schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over the specifics of your case with the legal team today.
You Only Have Ten Days After Arrest to Contest the Suspension of Your Driver's License
If you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you must act quickly to preserve all of your rights. After the arrest you only have ten (10) days to request a DMV Formal Review Hearing to contest the driver license suspension. Your attorney can also help you obtain a 42 day driving permit so that you can continue to drive for business or work purposes while your attorney fights to invalidate the administrative suspension.
Florida DUI Information Center
Fighting to Exclude or Suppress Parts of the Prosecutor's Case
In many cases, the evidence listed in the police reports may not be admissible at trial. Your attorney will fight to exclude or suppress certain evidence including:
- the evidence gained after an improper or illegal stop;
- observations made by the officer during field sobriety testing;
- statements you allegedly made to the officer concerning alcohol or drug consumption;
- evidence that you refused to take a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine; and
- the results of a breath, blood or urine test.
Each piece of evidence excluded by the Court may increase the chances that you will win a motion to dismiss or obtain a "non-guilty verdict" at trial. Even before trial, filing and litigating pre-trial motions remains the best way to force the prosecutor to reduce the charges to a less serious offense such as reckless driving.
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What You Need to Know After a DUI Arrest in Leon County, FL
- You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing in order to contest the suspension of your driver’s license.
- Any person who operates a motor vehicle in this state is subject to the "implied consent law." This means that by driving in Florida, you are consenting to sobriety tests, which include breathalyzer tests, blood and urine testing. If you refuse the chemical testing, certain penalties can apply.
- The "implied consent law" DOES NOT require a person to submit to field sobriety tests often called roadside agility exercises.
- Refusal to take a breath test may lead to an automatic one (1) year driver license suspension the first time you refuse with a ninety day "hard suspension."
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Driving Under the Influence Under Florida § 316.193
Florida law provides for two alternative ways that the prosecutor can attempt to prove the offense:
- Showing that the driver's "normal faculties were impaired" by alcohol or drugs;
- Showing that the driver's blood alcohol level was .08 or above (often called "per se" DUI, or DUBAL).
The punishments and penalties are the same, regardless of which alternative method is used to allege this offense. Although both methods of proving this offense can be alleged at trial, if the defendant is found guilty then the court can usually only sentence the defendant for one count of DUI.
The prosecutor can even charge the offense if you were not driving. For instance, the statute only requires that the prosecutor prove that the individual was driving or in "actual physical control" of the motor vehicle. Individuals have been charged with driving under the influence after pulling over to "sleep it off" in a parking lot. The courts will look at a number of factors in determining whether the evidence is sufficient to overcome a motion to dismiss, including:
- whether the vehicle is running when the officer approaches;
- whether the hood of the vehicle is hot indicating that the vehicle was recently driven;
- whether the keys are in the ignition;
- whether the keys were located within easy reach of the defendant;
- whether the defendant is sitting in the driver's seat in an upright or reclining position; and
- whether the vehicle is operable or whether it cannot be driven because of a mechanical problem.
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Punishments and Penalties under Florida Law
Florida's statutory scheme provides for enhanced penalties for driving under the influence offenses depending on the number of prior convictions, whether a child was present in the vehicle, whether the breath test reading was over .15, and whether an accident occurred that resulted in property damage or injury to another. Previous convictions from another state are counted.
For individuals who are convicted of a First DUI in Florida, the presumptive sentencing may include:
- Fine $500-$1,000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000
- Community Service: 50 hours
- Probation: Not more than 1 year
- Imprisonment: Not more than 6 months; with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
- License Revocation: Minimum 180 days
- 12 hours DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment
- Ignition Interlock Device: Can be imposed by the court for up to 6 continuous months
If you happen to be pulled over and arrested for a Second DUI in Florida, the penalties will be much more severe, and will potentially include the following:
- Fine: $1,000-$2000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $2000 or more than $4000
- Imprisonment: Not more than 9 months; 2nd conviction within 5 years, 10 days in jail, 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive
- License Revocation: Minimum 180 days; 2nd offense within 5 years after first conviction; 5 year revocation
- 21 hours Level II DUI School Requirement with Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment
- Ignition Interlock Device: Required for a Minimum of 1 year
For those who are arrested after a Third DUI offense, the sentencing will be proportional to the first two offense, with an increase in the presumptive sentencing. What can be expected includes:
- Fine $2,000-$5,000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $4,000
- Imprisonment: Not more than 12 months; 3rd conviction within 10 years, mandatory 30 days in jail; 48 hours must be consecutive
- License Revocation: Minimum 180 days; 3rd offense within 10 years after second conviction; 10 year revocation
- 21 hours Level II DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment
- Ignition Interlock Device: Minimum of 2 years
If an individual is arrested for a fourth or subsequent DUI, the offense will be otherwise known as a Felony DUI, which comes with the following penalties:
- Fine: Not less than $1000
- Imprisonment: Not more than 5 years
- License Revoked: Permanent revocation
- Other types of felony DUI charges including charges of DUI Manslaughter
When the driving under the influence offense occurs in conjunction with damage a car or building, the infraction is considered a DUI with Property Damage. Certain enhanced penalties attach when the driver is charged in an incident that involves an accident causing property damage to another vehicle or non-serious bodily injury to another person. The enhanced penalties include a longer statutory maximum period of incarceration and an enhanced fine.
If the offense comes with an injury to another, the charges will be enhanced. Driving under the influence can be charged as a third degree felony offense if another person is "seriously injured" as a result of the accident, even if that other person was a passenger in the defendant's vehicle. The charge of DUI with Serious Bodily Injury carries with it a statutory maximum penalty of five years in Florida State Prison.
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Florida Department of Motor Vehicles - The Florida DMV issues driver’s licenses, license plates and vehicle registration for the state of Florida. It also includes information on driving records, auto insurance, learners permits and traffic ticket options.
2900 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Florida Mothers Against Drunk Driving - MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. This site provides information on its various services, including resources on crime victim compensation and assistance.
3 W Garden Street #349
Pensacola, FL 32502
Alcoholics Anonymous – AA is a national association for overcoming alcoholism and alcohol abuse. The main site includes information about the history of AA, its philosophy and the methods it uses to help individuals beat alcoholism.
1106 H Thomasville Rd
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The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. | Leon County DUI Arrest Lawyer
An arrest for a DUI does not mean that you will be convicted of this serious crime. The right Florida DUI attorney can frame a strong defense strategy while making sure your rights are protected, giving you the greatest chance at a reduction or dismissal of charges. If you've been arrested for DUI in Tallahassee, Bristol, Crawfordville, Monticello, Quincy, or the surrounding areas, begin your defense now.
Contact The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. today at (850) 681-7777 to schedule your free and confidential consultation to go over the details of your case.