Driving Under the Influence

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DUI Defense Attorney, DUI lawyer, Punta Gorda, Florida.

Punta Gorda DUI Lawyers

Aiken & O’Halloran are DUI attorneys in Punta Gorda, Florida that may be able to assist you if you are facing charges of drinking and driving. The consequences of a drunk driving conviction can haunt you for a long time. You can end up with a criminal record, and may even be required to serve jail time. In the state of Florida, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08% is a criminal offense. If you are driving on a commercial driver’s license, you will be charged if you drive with a BAC over 0.04%. Additionally, anyone who drives with a blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher will face harsher penalties.

When stopping a person under the suspicion of drunk driving, police have great powers when it comes to gathering evidence. One of the strongest tools that police have is the law of “implied consent.” What is this law and how might it affect you if you are stopped under the suspicion of drunk driving? Florida Statute 316.193 governs Driving Under the Influence in the State of Florida. Florida law requires all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to consent to a chemical test of their breath, blood, or urine to determine the presence and amount of alcohol or drugs in their system. This is called the law of “implied consent,” and it imposes a one-year license revocation on drivers who refuse this testing. The first time a driver refuses this testing, the DMV will impose an administrative sanction and revoke the driver’s license for one year. Under the law of implied consent, the DMV imposes an 18-month revocation for a subsequent refusal. The fact that a driver refused testing can be used at trial to prove culpability.  Prosecutors often refer to it as consciousness of guilt.  A breath test refusal by a driver with a prior refusal violation can be charged with a misdemeanor which carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to one year in jail. If you have been accused or charged with drunk driving, call today for a free consultation with our Punta Gorda DUI lawyers

Driving while impaired from alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious crime in Florida, and a variety of criminal penalties can apply. If convicted, you could face a Driver’s License suspension or revocation, jail time, fines, and more. By working with an experienced attorney can you ensure the best possible outcome in your case.  Peter D. Aiken and Sean O’Halloran are both former state prosecutors. They have handled hundreds of DUIs, from the simplest to the most complex. If you have been arrested for DUI in Charlotte County, Florida, contact the Aiken & O’Halloran Law Firm for a free consultation.

Understanding Drunk Driving Charges in Punta Gorda, Florida

If you have been charged or arrested for a DUI, contact the driving under the influence lawyers at Aiken & O’Halloran in Punta Gorda, Florida today. A drunk driving lawyer can review your case, the circumstances of your stop or arrest, and honestly help you understand the strength of the state’s case against you. There may be options available, including diversion programs or plea deals, and in select cases, a drunk driving lawyer may be able to reveal flaws in the way police gathered or handled evidence, weakening the state’s case.

Someone is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance (drugs) if that person is registered as having a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater; if chemical substances are found present in the person’s urine; or if an arresting officer observes proof of the person’s normal faculties being impaired. The arresting officer can prove probable cause of impairment based on his or her observations of the suspect’s driving prior to the stop, the suspect’s mannerisms during the stop, and the suspect’s performance on field sobriety exercises, if the suspect submitted to them. This factor is important because it means that a police officer doesn’t necessarily need blood or breath evidence to charge you with drunk driving. While officer’s testimony in court is considered strong, sometimes there may be alternative reasons why a person may have looked drunk at the scene of a traffic stop. For example, there are certain types of medical conditions that can result in loss of balance, slurred speech, or other signs that police can mistake for drunk driving. Sometimes even just the presence of strong emotions at the scene could make an officer believe you were drunk. In other cases, racial profiling may have been a factor in your stop, and this could play a role in the case. A DUI lawyer, like the attorneys at Aiken & O’Halloran in Punta Gorda, Florida can review the details of your case, listen to your story, and help you understand your options. 

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If you are arrested for a DUI, you have a 10-day grace period during which you can drive.  During this 10-day period, you can request a probable cause hearing from the DMV. If you fail to request this hearing, your license will be suspended on the 11th day after your arrest.  By requesting the hearing, you can challenge the suspension.  Plus, DMV will extend your temporary driving permit for an extra 42 days, for business purposes only, while waiting for the hearing and the ruling.  Alternatively, a first-time offender can waive the hearing and request a hardship driver’s license. This also has to be done within the 10-day grace period.

A Punta Gorda DUI lawyer should be a part of this process.  Furthermore, it is very important to consult with an attorney before you waive your rights or request a hearing. Peter D. Aiken & Sean O’Halloran can help you through this entire process as part of their representation of you in your DUI case. Navigating the criminal justice system after you have been charged with a crime can be incredibly stressful. The law can be complex. The Punta Gorda driving under the influence attorneys at Aiken & O’Halloran are here to help you every step of the way. 

DUI charges in Florida are categorized based on a variety of factors such as prior DUIs, whether or not there was property damage, injuries, or death.  In addition, the degree of impairment and the cause of the impairment can play a role in the charges.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of facing a DUI charge, it is important to have an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and evaluate your options. Contact the Punta Gorda, Florida DUI lawyers at Aiken & O’Halloran in Charlotte County. We will discuss the facts of your case, guide you through your options, and help you make important decisions that will provide you with the best outcome.  Your first consultation is always free.

What a DUI Lawyer Can Do For You in Punta Gorda, Florida

 The Punta Gorda DUI lawyers at Aiken & O’Halloran & Foley can help you with various aspects of your drunk driving case. A Punta Gorda DUI lawyer can review the specific circumstances of your case to determine whether there are specific weaknesses to the state’s case against you. This can make a difference when negotiating plea deals. A drunk driving lawyer also understands the courts and the various diversion programs that may be available to you. A Punta Gorda DUI lawyer can help you understand the full range of alternatives and options that you may have when navigating the courts. These are just some of the ways a DUI lawyer can help. If you are facing police questioning, a lawyer can stand by your side and advise you. If you are facing drunk driving charges, it is important to take them seriously. You could be facing jail time and can face collateral consequences if you are found guilty. Reach out to the drunk driving lawyers in Punta Gorda, Florida at Aiken & O’Halloran today.

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