Dependable DUI Attorney in Orlando, Florida
ORLANDO DUI LAWYER - WE'LL DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS
If you have been arrested for DUI charges or are in need of a hardship drivers license, you need an aggressive and experienced Orlando DUI lawyer. Joe Knape is ready to fight your Florida DUI charges inside and outside the courtroom. The 850-Call-Joe Law Firm serves the entire central Florida region, including orange county cities like Orlando, Winter Park, Apopka, and more.
Every DUI case in the Florida criminal justice system is different because no two drivers or their driving patterns are identical. In Florida law, there are two types of traffic violations drivers can receive. The first is a moving violation, and the second is a criminal traffic violation. Our criminal defense lawyers represent our clients for a multitude of DUI cases and criminal offenses in Orlando, FL, and the surrounding Central Florida area, including a DUI investigation, DUI arrest, multiple DUI convictions, DUI manslaughter, and drug-related offenses.
PENALTIES AND JAIL TIME FOR DUI CHARGES IN FLORIDA
Given the seriousness of a DUI charge of DUI offenses, it’s common knowledge that the penalties are steep, especially in Florida. Some potential punishments for a first-time offense are jail time, fines, community service, or suspension of the driver’s license. The exact determinations depend on the driver. For example, the penalties for a first-time offense are significantly less severe than a second-time charge, which not only carries jail time or fines but can also lead to vehicle impoundment. If the driver faces a third DUI charge, the case is now considered a felony DUI, which can be prosecuted by the state attorney and land the driver in prison for multiple years and thousands of dollars in fines.
DUI Attorney FAQs
The penalties for first-time DUI offenders are much less severe than for second-time offenders.
Below are some of the penalties that you may incur as a result of Orlando DUI laws.
- Potential Jail time for a first-time DUI offense: 6 Months Maximum (blood alcohol level from .08 to less than .15) – 9 Months Maximum (blood alcohol level above .15). Instead of imprisonment, the judge may order that you complete a treatment program.
- Fines for a first DUI offense in Orlando: For a blood alcohol level from .08 to less than .15, you may be charged from $500 to $1,000. For a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher, or if there was a minor present within the vehicle, you may be charged from $1,000 to $2,000.
- Community Service for first DUI offense: The typical required amount of community service hours for your first DUI is 50 hours. In some cases, these hours can be “bought” out of.
- Vehicle Impoundment: If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Orlando or anywhere in Orange County, then your car will usually be impounded for 10 days. Special exceptions exist for these 10 days, but that is the typical sentence for a first-time DUI offender.
- Driver’s License Suspension: You will be suspended for at least 6 months for a first-time DUI conviction. You already are likely to be suspended by the DHSMV for either refusing to submit to the breathalyzer or providing a breath sample above the legal limit.
- Vehicle Ignition Interlock Device: This is a breathalyzer placed in your car and if you are charged with a BAC above .15 you can likely expect this device to be part of your minimum sentence for 6 months. This device will not allow your car to start if you cannot produce an alcohol-free breath sample. This part of the sentence doesn’t start until you can get your driver’s license and driving privileges back, which makes it more challenging to be successful on probation.
In Orlando, if you have multiple DUI convictions in ten years, the penalties for your actions increase dramatically. Penalties for a second DUI offense in Florida will vary with DUI cases. However, below are some of the typical penalties that can be incurred for a second DUI offense.
- Jail time for a second DUI offense: 9 Months Maximum (blood alcohol level from .08 to less than .15) – 12 Months Maximum (blood alcohol level above .15) or if you had a minor in the vehicle. If you are charged with your second DUI within 5 years of a prior DUI conviction, then you may have to spend 10 days in jail.
- Fines for a second DUI offense in Orlando: For a blood alcohol level From .08 to less than .15, you may be charged from $1,000 to $2,000. For a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher, or if there was a minor present within the vehicle, you may be charged from $2,000 to $4,000.
- Probation Period for second DUI offense: The probation period for your second drunk driving offense in Orlando is typically 12 months.
- Vehicle Impoundment: If you had prior DUI convictions within the past 5 years then your car will be impounded for 30 Days. Special exceptions exist for these 30 days, but that is the typical sentence for a second DUI offense.
- Driver’s License Suspension: You will be suspended for at least 6 months for a second DUI conviction when prior DUI convictions were more than 5 years prior. The Judge can sentence you to a greater suspension and the DHSMV will more than likely suspend you for a longer period than 6 months on a second conviction. If the second DUI arrest occurs within 5 years of the first conviction, you are looking at a minimum 5-year driver’s license suspension. Likely, you are already suspended by the DHSMV for either refusing to submit to the breathalyzer or providing a breath sample above the legal limit.
- Vehicle Ignition Interlock Device: This is a breathalyzer placed in your car and if you are charged with a BAC above .15 you can likely expect this device to be part of your minimum sentence for 6 months. This device will not allow your car to start if you cannot produce an alcohol-free breath sample. This part of the sentence doesn’t start until you can get your driver’s license and driving privileges back, which makes it more challenging to be successful on probation. A second DUI conviction will carry with it a mandatory ignition interlock device.
The state attorney can choose to prosecute you as a third-degree felony instead of a misdemeanor. Because a third DUI carries a mandatory conviction, if you are charged with a felony DUI and lose the DUI defense case either by plea bargain as charged or by trial, you will lose civil rights and be classified as a convicted felon.
Depending on the circumstances of your DUI case in Orlando, the penalties you face can increase rapidly according to Florida law. Penalties increase if while being charged with your DUI you damaged someone else’s property. Property damage will be used against your case to increase the penalties you could face.
For repeat offenders in Florida, DUI penalties can increase very fast. For example, if you are convicted of a third DUI within 10 years or have a fourth DUI arrest at any time, you face a third-degree felony conviction, which comes with a $5,000 fine and a jail sentence of up to 5 years.
According to Florida law, these penalties can be imposed if you are convicted of another DUI even without the involvement of an accident or serious bodily injury.
While a driver who has committed driving under the influence faces serious legal consequences for the offense, one of the most damaging impacts is your reputation. Considered a “double-edged sword,” a DUI arrest will not only affect your driving privileges and damage your driving record, but it will also affect your criminal record. Not only will you now have it on your record, but committing the offense, especially if it results in a felony charge and conviction, can make it difficult for you to land a job in the future since many employers require job applicants to indicate if they’ve ever been convicted of a felony under the law.
The 850-CALL-JOE Law Firm handles DUI cases as discussed throughout the website but a question that always arises is what is reckless driving. Reckless driving is defined by Florida Statute Section 316.192, there are two elements that must be proven beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt in order for the prosecutor to prove this crime. The elements are 1) the Defendant drove a vehicle in Orange County, FL and 2) the Defendant did so with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
The term “willful” has been defined in Florida as knowingly, intentionally and purposely. While the term “wanton” has been defined under Florida law as an intentional or conscious indifference to the consequences and with knowledge that damage was likely to be done to person or property.
The term “vehicle” has been defined under Florida law as any devise by, in, or upon which any person or property may be or is being drawn or transported upon a highway.
REDUCING DUI TO “WET RECKLESS”
In some fact specific DUI cases in Orlando, Orange County, FL, the prosecutor may offer a plea bargain to “reduce” the charges to reckless driving alcohol related. The punishments for reckless driving under Florida law include four (4) points being added to your Florida driver’s license if you are adjudicated guilty of the charge. If the court agrees to “withhold adjudication” then no points will be added to your Florida’s driving record.
The maximum punishment for a reckless driving charge in Florida is ninety days (90) days in the County jail and a five hundred dollar ($500) fine, unless you have a prior offense of reckless driving, in which case the maximum punishment is six (6) months in the County jail and a one-thousand dollar ($1,000.00) fine.
The reduction to reckless driving typically requires less jail time considering that even a first DUI in Florida (when no property or personal injury is alleged) is punishable by a maximum of six (6) months in the county jail.
When the prosecutor does determine that the appropriate plea bargain offer in a DUI case is a wet reckless they will also most likely attach certain special conditions to the probation period. In the wet reckless cases where alcohol or drugs contributed to the wanton disregard to the safety of people or property, the judge can require the person accused to complete an evaluation and DUI educational classes for alcohol or substance abuse. Failing to comply with the DUI counseling requirement after a reckless driving plea can result in a suspension of your Florida driver’s license.
Some Attorneys would argue that there is significant benefit to a plea to reckless driving rather than DUI. Attorney Joe Knape will in some cases agree with that opinion and other circumstances not so much. A prosecutor may reduce the charge because there are flaws in their case. A DUI trial is certainly not impossible to win for the defendant and to accept a resolution that still imposes many of the same consequences as a DUI is a bad decision. On the other hand DUI is an enhanceable crime and if you decided to go to trial and were unsuccessful then any future DUI conviction could result in a longer driver’s license suspension and minimum jail time.
The main reduction that makes the most impact is the fact that a prosecutor can agree to a withhold of adjudication on the reckless driving which allows you to be eligible seal the criminal record as soon as probation is completed. Another significant reduction from a DUI during a reckless plea bargain is the potential for no driver’s license suspension. A DUI requires a driver’s license suspension but reckless driving does not. Also, the court is not required to impose DUI school, community service hours, a fine, or any of the other requirements that are mandated in a DUI case under Florida law, but realistically when the charges are reduced these are almost always included in the special conditions of probation.
WHY YOU NEED TO CONTACT A FLORIDA DUI LAWYER TODAY
Driving Under the Influence in Orlando, Fl is a serious crime. You need the help of a DUI lawyer in Florida and you need it now!
These criminal defense charges should not be taken lightly. If you are found guilty in a DUI arrest, there may be jail time involved, there will certainly be court and attorney costs, fines, and you will have a criminal record that can negatively affect your future from getting a job to being able to rent and live in a home.
If you have been charged with any form of Driving Under the Influence, experienced legal DUI defense representation is key. The best thing you can do is hire a criminal defense attorney with experience fighting drunk-driving cases.
Call Orlando DUI Attorney Joe Knape and get a Free Consultation today! The Florida law firm 850-CALL-JOE has defense attorneys with years of experience dealing with driving under the influence cases throughout Central Florida and Orange County. Our criminal defense team will state your case, aggressively represent you, and make sure that you get the best DUI defense available.
We are located just minutes from downtown Orlando. Payment plans are available and all major credit cards are accepted. Contact us today!
Our Orlando, FL Location Details
The 850 CALL JOE Law Firm
1728 S Bumby Ave
Orlando, FL 32806
Monday – Friday: 7am to 7pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Sunday: 7am to 3pm
How to get to our Orlando, FL location:
(via FL-408 E and S Bumby Ave)
- Get on FL-408 E
- Continue on FL-408 E to S Bumby Ave
- Drive to S Bumby Ave