Florida has been increasing DUI patrols and enforcement efforts, trying to make our roads and highways safer. This increased DUI enforcement makes a DUI charge even more serious and costly. Just because you get pulled over and charged with DUI does not mean you are actually guilty of DUI. If you are charged with the crime of DUI, an attorney is essential to successfully navigating your way through the complicated charges.
No matter the circumstances of a DUI charge, you should never seek to represent yourself. The ramifications are serious and will be part of your personal and business credentials in many respects for many years. A skilled and seasoned DUI defense lawyer is essential to addressing and minimizing the many issues which flow from a DUI charge and conviction.
From a criminal law perspective, on your first offense, if convicted you will be assessed a significant fine, up to six months in jail and possibly a six month motor vehicle license suspension. As part of a sentence, there may be required alcohol treatment classes, community service hours and a period of probation. The fines and sanctions on a second offense increase dramatically and at the second offense, the DUI charge is considered a felony with a mandatory prison sentence.
From a financial standpoint, you will have to retain proper and experienced legal counsel. Most lawyers will work with clients in setting and paying the retainer. If you are employed and your present employer finds out about your conviction, you may be relieved of your position in favor of a lesser paying one or you may be released from employment. If you are currently seeking a job, you may not be considered for the position when the DUI is found on a routine background check. If you are in the middle of a military or law enforcement career, you may no longer be able to proceed. If security clearance is part of your position, you may face a reduction in your clearance status. A large challenge for DUI offenders is getting and paying for automobile insurance after a DUI conviction.
For each of these issues, good, solid legal representation will help you find your way through the legal labyrinth of a DUI charge. Your lawyer will make certain that your due process rights are protected and make sure that only competent legal evidence will be submitted to the Judge or Jury so you are not wrongfully convicted of a crime you were not guilty of. Innocent or guilty, a lawyer is an indispensable necessity when facing a DUI charge.