In Florida, it is an illegal offense to operate a vehicle impaired. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime under Florida law. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties can include large fines and even possible incarceration.
A first-time DUI offense can be extremely overwhelming. The State of Florida is not kind to those convicted of driving under the influence. Not only could you face legal penalties, but you may have your driver's license suspended or revoked. Any person, who has been arrested for driving under the influence should seek legal representation immediately.
Have you been charged with a DUI in the Escambia County area? Are you unsure what to do next? It is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel to combat these charges. Start the first step to creating a formidable defense today. Call John Terrezza, an experienced criminal defense attorney at Terrezza Law.
John Terrezza is a criminal defense and managing attorney at Terrezza Law. Attorney John Terrezza has represented first-time DUI offenders and other traffic-related cases in the Florida panhandle. He has years of experience representing clients in Florida's criminal courts. Additionally, John Terrezza values open communication with all his clients. He will walk you every step of the way through the legal process.
John Terrezza at Terrezza Law has been admitted as a member of several notable law associations such as the Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (FACDL), and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
Start the first steps to your defense today, and contact John Terrezza. He represents clients after being arrested in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre.
Do not take driving under the influence charges lightly. Contact Terrezza Law today at (850) 764-5291, or submit an online contact form today to schedule your free consultation.
Overview for First-Time DUIs in Florida
Florida Statute § 316.193(1) states the elements for a person to be convicted of a DUI. The following are the elements of a DUI under Florida law.
The term "actual physical control" means that you do not have to be operating the vehicle. A person in actual physical control means they have the capability to operate the vehicle. It does not mean that the alleged offender turned the vehicle on at any time. For instance, a driver could potentially be charged with a DUI if they are intoxicated but parked on the side of the road behind the wheel with the engine turned off.
A first time DUI is considered a misdemeanor in Florida. However, DUI penalties can be much harsher than a standard misdemeanor. The penalties can be enhanced due to the circumstances of the offense such as if a driver’s blood-alcohol level is at .15, or if a minor accompanied the driver during the offense.
If convicted of a DUI for the first time, a person may face the following penalties:
The legal consequences, in addition to standard DUI penalties, for a person convicted of a DUI accompanied by a person under 18 or who has a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher:
Take note, if you are convicted of a DUI the judge must adjudicate you guilty. The judge cannot withhold adjudication of guilt for a driving under the influence charge. When a charge requires a mandatory adjudication of guilt, it means you are formally convicted of these crimes. You will be unable to seal or expunge those charges. This is why it is important that you seek an attorney who is skilled at DUIs.
A DUI, even for a first-time offender, can be difficult to defend. Without an attorney, you may be unsure how to navigate Florida's criminal justice system. Hiring a skilled attorney can help you formulate a strong defense. The following are some potential defense that can be used in court to fight DUI charges:
Florida's Impaired Driving Problem – Visit the website of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and see an infogram regarding Florida's DUIs and DWIs. See different research and data surrounding the Florida Impaired Driving Coalition's (FDIC) statistics. View impaired driving costs, who is a part of the coalition, and proposed solutions to decreasing drunk driving in Florida.
Florida Passes Strong DUI Legislation – Visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and see information regarding Florida's new legislation for driving under the influence. See how Florida lawmakers advocated for an ignition interlock device (IID) on second-time DUI offenders and the increased penalties for third-time DUI offenders.
Florida Driving Under the Influence Statute § 316.193 – Visit the website for Florida Legislation, and see more information regarding the statutory language for driving under the influence (DUI) charges. See the outlined specifics for a DUI charge, the adjoining penalties, and consequences for repeat offenders.
Florida law is unforgiving to first-time DUI offenders. A person, without any criminal record, may have to pay high fees and even face possible jail time. There is no reason to combat these charges alone. If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence in Escambia County, it is recommended that you contact John Terrezza at Terrezza Law.
John Terrezza has years of experience handling DUI cases in Florida criminal courts. He is well-versed in filing motions, suppressing evidence, and evaluating all aspects of a case. Additionally, John Terrezza is compassionate with clients. He strives to uphold open communication and transparency with every client.
In addition, John Terrezza is active in the legal community. He serves as the 2018 president of the Society of the Criminal Defense Bar, Pensacola Chapter of the Florida Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Terrezza Law accepts clients throughout Escambia County and Santa Rosa County including cities such as Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Milton, and Pensacola.
Take the first step to getting your life back. Call (850) 764-5291 or submit an online contact form to talk to John Terrezza regarding your DUI offense today.
This article was last updated on September 21, 2018.