Orlando Attorney Skilled at DUI Defense
Lawyer well-versed in dealing with Florida drunk-driving prosecutions
Being convicted of operating a motor vehicle while impaired or intoxicated (DUI) can have serious consequences, including loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance costs, heavy fines and jail time. If you are arrested for a DUI offense, contact an attorney immediately. Florida law imposes strict deadlines for filing crucial documents that could affect your driving rights. With 25 years of experience in handling DUI cases, Tad A. Yates has the knowledge necessary to help attain the best possible outcome in your case.
Knowledgeable advocate avails you of full range of available defenses
There are numerous bases for defending against DUI charges. They include challenges to:
- Legality of the initial traffic stop —If there was no reasonable suspicion to pull you over, any evidence collected afterwards would not be admissible.
- Demonstration of probable cause — Even if the stop was legal, the police officer may not have had probable cause to place you under arrest.
- Administration of field sobriety tests — The procedures used to check for outward appearance of intoxication may have been improperly conducted and the results are open to interpretation.
- Validity of breath, blood or urine tests — Breathalyzer machines may not have been properly maintained, officers may not have been properly trained and tests have been administered incorrectly. There may also be problems with the timing of the tests and the storing and preserving of the results.
Legal challenges such as these may result in a court order excluding evidence from the prosecutor’s case. Mr. Yates fully investigates the circumstances of your arrest and the validity of all the evidence brought against you.
Florida penalties for DUI convictions
DUI in Florida is defined as operating a vehicle while having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. The penalties for a conviction can be severe, especially if aggravating factors are involved. The punishments include fines, jail, probation, community service, vehicle impoundment and license suspension. The basic range of penalties is:
- First offense — Fines of $500 to $2,000, up to six months in jail and license suspension of 180 days to one year.
- Second offense — Fines of $1,000 to $4,000, up to nine months in jail and license suspension of one to five years
- Third and subsequent offenses — Fines of $2,000 to $5,000, up to five years in jail and license suspension of two to 10 years
Second and subsequent convictions also require installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle and court-ordered alcohol treatment and attendance of DUI school.
Aggravating factors increase punishment for DU
The following circumstances are viewed by the law, the court and prosecutors as aggravating factors that call for increased penalties:
- Previous convictions for DUI
- BAC of 0.15 percent or higher
- A minor in the vehicle
- DUI involving an accident with property damage
- DUI involving an accident with serious bodily injuries
- DUI manslaughter
- Leaving the scene of an accident
Your right to a hearing on automatic license suspension
As a condition of holding a Florida driver’s license, you are required to submit to a breath test at the request of law enforcement, if that officer has probable cause that you are DUI. If you refuse, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year (18 months for a second refusal), regardless of the outcome of your DUI case. Likewise, if you submit to a breath test and the result is higher than a 0.08 reading, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for 180 days. These suspensions may be challenged but you must act within 10 days of your arrest. Mr. Yates immediately takes the steps necessary to challenge these suspensions by filing a request for a hearing before the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You should contact Mr. Yates immediately after your arrest for help in restoring your driving privileges.
Contact an aggressive Orlando DUI attorney for a free consultation.
If you have been charged with a DUI offense in Central Florida, call The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.