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I Got a DUI in Florida! Does That Mean I’ll Get Points on My License?

I Got a DUI in Florida! Does That Mean I’ll Get Points on My License?

Whether you’re visiting Florida or you live in the state, getting a DUI can be a major inconvenience. Whether you use your vehicle to transport your family to and from appointments or have to drive for work, if you get a DUI in Florida you may be facing a suspension of your license. But, will you also face the additional penalty of getting points on your license?

In this brief article, a DUI defense lawyer in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan who shared whether the point system applies to your license after a DUI and how to get back on the road. 

Does a DUI Put Points on Your License?

Before we answer the question of whether or not a DUI puts points on your license, let’s discuss a few basics of what the point system is. The point system in Florida is the method in which violations are scored, so to speak. 

Different violations carry different point values – for example, reckless driving conviction would add four points to your license, while speeding can add three to four points depending on how fast you were driving. If you receive too many points within a given period of time, you may be facing suspension of your license. 

To answer the original question, a DUI doesn’t add points to your license, but that’s because your license is likely already being suspended and a conviction for DUI, in and of itself, will cause significant insurance ramifications. Under Florida DUI law, a DUI charge carries the possibility of two different driver license suspensions: an “administrative” suspension which occurs on the night of the arrest, or a “court-ordered” suspension. A court ordered suspension only occurs upon conviction for the DUI offense.

How Can I Get My License Back After a DUI?

If you rely on your vehicle, you may be able to challenge an administrative suspension. In some cases, you may be eligible to immediately apply for a hardship license following your arrest. However, it’s critical that you contact DUI lawyers in Clearwater to help ensure that you meet the necessary deadlines to do so.

Defense for a DUI with License Points or Suspension

If you were charged with a DUI and are facing a license suspension, call our team of DUI lawyers in Clearwater. Our team at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan may be able to work to get your charges reduced, and will help you learn your options to clear points from your license and get back on the road. Contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Arrested for a DUI While Visiting Pinellas County? Here’s What to Do Next

Arrested for a DUI While Visiting Pinellas County? Here’s What to Do Next

Pinellas County is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, including Clearwater and Honeymoon Island. The miles of pristine beach make it easy to forget about the real world, but if you are arrested for a DUI in Pinellas County you’ll quickly be snapped back to reality and your vacation could be ruined. Although this scenario is the last thing you may want to think about, it is all too common. 

In this brief article, the best DUI lawyer in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan shared a few tips to help you handle a DUI charge in Pinellas County if you’re from out of town.

Traveling Home After a DUI

There are a few things out-of-state visitors may need to consider if they’ve been charged with a DUI in Pinellas County. 

The first thing out-of-towners should know is that if you are arrested for a DUI while on vacation, law enforcement may confiscate your out of state driver’s license if you provided a breath or blood alcohol level above .08 or if you refused a breath, urine or blood test. Our experienced team of DWI defense lawyers will counsel you on efforts that you must take to get through TSA security if you are flying. Likewise, our office can advocate on your behalf in an effort to challenge the suspension imposed in Florida.

When it comes to returning home, you may be permitted to travel back to your home state. In some cases, our office will need to file an Emergency Motion to Permit Out of State Travel to allow you to do so. 

Will I Need to Return to Clearwater for My DUI Case?

In many cases, no. Our office routinely represents individuals who have been arrested for DUI and reside out of state. In many cases, our office is able to represent the client from start to finish without the client ever needing to return to the State of Florida. Of course, you should consult with the best DUI attorney in Clearwater to determine if such a strategy would work under the unique facts and circumstances of your case.

The best course of action after any arrest when you are on vacation is to attempt to handle as much as you can while you are still in town. Contact the best DUI attorney in Clearwater to make sure that your case is handled on your behalf once you return home. Remember, just because you go home doesn’t mean the charges will not follow you. 

To find out what you should do when you’ve been arrested for any reason during a vacation, contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Can You Get a DUI After Taking Prescription Medication?

Can You Get a DUI After Taking Prescription Medication?

If you’re taking prescription medications, you may be surprised to learn that you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the state of Florida. However, that doesn’t mean that you are automatically at risk of being arrested any time if you are taking medications for an ongoing chronic condition. 

In this brief article, a DUI attorney in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan shared some tips to help you understand when a prescription medication can be the cause of a DUI or DWI in Florida.

When Can a Prescription Medication Cause a DUI or DWI?

The legal definition of a DUI is defined in Florida Statute Florida Statute 316.193, which states that a driver is “under the influence” if they have taken a drug and their “normal faculties are impaired.” 

What does that mean? If a person has taken something that has affected their physical or mental capacities and are unable to safely operate a vehicle, they are driving while impaired. 

For example, if you have been legally prescribed Alprazolam (“Xanax”) for anxiety and need to leave the house for any reason, you may be arrested for driving under the influence of prescription medications. Another common example is driving while under the influence of a high dosage of Adderall. This drug is used to treat ADHD, and although you can drive safely while taking it, if you take too much of it you may become more prone to aggressive or dangerous driving. Of course, if you regularly take these medications, they will always show up in a urine specimen.

In this instance, you could be charged with a DUI even though the medication was legally prescribed to you and you are using it to treat a chronic condition.

What are the Penalties for Drugged Driving?

You may be thinking that drunk driving has a harsher penalty than driving under the influence of prescriptions, but you’d be wrong. If arrested for drugged driving, you might face anywhere from days to years in jail or prison, and will face steep fines ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. 

You may also have to complete community service and lengthy probation periods, in addition to losing your driver’s license. On top of this, you will have a permanent criminal record. You can read more about the mandatory sentencing requirements here.

How To Defend Yourself Against Drugged Driving

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of legal prescription drugs, or drugs that are not prescribed by a physician, a DUI defense attorney in Clearwater can help. Your attorney will help you understand all of your options, including the possibility of getting your charges reduced or participating in a diversion program for DUI arrests. 

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, call Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today. 

Request a FREE consultation today by giving us a call at (727) 578-0303, or submitting our consultation request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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What Should I Do if I’m Charged with a DUI While on Vacation?

What Should I Do if I’m Charged with a DUI While on Vacation?

Nobody plans to spend their vacation dealing with a legal matter, but if you are on vacation in Florida and are stopped for a DUI, you may find yourself in that very situation. Unfortunately, relaxing on vacation and having a few drinks before driving back to your hotel or back to the beach in Clearwater can result in a DUI charge. 

If you’re facing DUI charges that occurred while you were on vacation, navigating the legal system far from home can be difficult. You’ll need help from the best DUI lawyer in Clearwater to help. 

In this brief article, the top DUI lawyers in Clearwater at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have some tips to help you if you have been charged with a DUI while on vacation in Florida.

Make a Plan for Your Vehicle

The first step after being bailed out of jail is to make a plan for your vehicle. You may be facing a temporarily suspended license, and if your vehicle was being used for a road trip you may be facing frustrating circumstances. 

In many cases, you’ll need to make a plan to retrieve your vehicle from being impounded. Additionally, if your children were with you on your trip, you may need to make alternative arrangements to help them get home. 

If you were driving a rental vehicle, you will likely need to alert the rental company if the vehicle is impounded and you are unable to get it out. As the owners of the vehicle, they may be required to retrieve the rental vehicle.

Contact an Attorney in Town

If you’re charged with driving under the influence of any substance in Florida, you will need to confirm with an experienced Clearwater DWI lawyer that you do not need to seek court permission prior to traveling out of county. In many cases, our top-rated Clearwater DUI defense lawyers are able to have our client’s “e-sign” paperwork that authorize our lawyers to appear in court so that the client does not have to worry about returning to Pinellas County. For that reason, it’s crucial to find the best DUI lawyer in Clearwater to help you handle as much as possible while you are still in town. 

Our office uses state of the art technology to store client files and communicate with clients. Our team is able to video conference with “out of town” clients to facilitate client meetings and review the evidence in your case.

All hope is not lost if you have been charged with a DUI while vacationing in Clearwater. The top DUI lawyers in Clearwater may be able to help get your charges reduced to reckless driving, depending on the circumstances, and can help you understand your rights and obtain a favorable outcome. 

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, even after just a single drink while on vacation, call the top DUI lawyers in Clearwater at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan

Request a FREE consultation today by giving us a call at (727) 578-0303, or submitting our consultation request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Tips From a DUI Lawyer: What To Do If You’re Stopped For Driving Under the Influence

Tips From a DUI Lawyer: What To Do If You’re Stopped For Driving Under the Influence

Imagine this scenario: you have just left a lovely dinner with your friends where you had one or two alcoholic drinks. You don’t feel tipsy or buzzed, but you’re pulled over and accused of driving under the influence. Do you know what to do to protect yourself and your rights? 

In this brief article, our best DUI attorney in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan has a few tips to keep in mind if you ever find yourself stopped for a DUI.

Tip 1: Be Polite Without Incriminating Yourself

When you’ve been pulled over, it’s frustrating and you might be tempted to argue to defend yourself. While you certainly do not want to be a push-over, it’s important to remain as polite as possible when dealing with law enforcement. 

On the flip-side, you should avoid being overly friendly with law enforcement and accidentally saying something you might regret. For example, you don’t want to admit that you were just having drinks with friends.

Tip 2: Know that you have the Option to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test

Although refusing a breath, urine or blood test after an arrest for DUI can result in a driver’s license suspension pursuant to Florida Statute 316.1932 (1)(a)1.a., you are not required to agree to a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test may include one or more of the following:

  • The One-Leg Stand Test: An officer will instruct the driver to stand on one leg while counting out loud beginning with one thousand. The driver continues to stand and count while the officer looks for signs of impairment such as hopping from foot-to-foot, waving of the arms, or swaying to maintain balance. 
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: While intoxicated, the naturally occurring twitching of the eyes is exaggerated. In this test, the officer is looking for this exaggerated movement and attempting to determine if the driver’s eyes are unable to follow an object smoothly. 
  • The Walk-and-Run Test: an officer will instruct the person to walk, heel to toe, along a straight line. The officer is watching for loss of balance, the inability to touch heel to toe, and using arms to balance.

Simply put: field sobriety tests are too subjective and are often performed illegally or without following the proper procedure. The tests are designed for failure and it is nearly impossible for you to meet law enforcement’s expectations. Quite frankly, if the officer is asking you to do these tests, he/she has likely already bade up his/her mind to place you under arrest for DUI. With this in mind, please know that you have the right to refuse these tests.

Tip 3: Contact an Attorney ASAP

Although you may be tempted to defend yourself, especially when you feel you have done nothing wrong, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will help you understand the procedure for getting a hardship or temporary license if your license is being suspended, fight the charges or discuss the possibility of reducing your charges, and will work to protect you throughout the process. 

If you’re facing DUI charges, you need the best DUI lawyer in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Call us today.  

For a free consultation with the best DUI lawyer in Clearwater, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Avoiding a Holiday DUI

Avoiding a Holiday DUI

A DUI during the holidays can impact the rest of your life. Whether you made a split decision to drive when you shouldn’t have or are unfairly targeted by police, avoiding a DUI during the holidays will help you avoid steep fines, possible jail time, and loss of your driver’s license — not to mention the negative social and career implications of a DUI.   

In this brief article, our best DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have shared a few tips to avoid a DUI during the holiday season. 

Tip 1: Designate a Sober Driver

If you’re planning to drink at a holiday party or gathering, make sure that you decide ahead of time who is going to be the designated driver. If you’re going to a variety of parties or gatherings during the season, consider rotating and serving as the designated driver yourself as well. 

No matter who is the designated driver, make sure that you discuss it ahead of time and if you notice the designated driver still having a drink, talk to them and make sure they understand that they can no longer drive. You’re not only protecting yourself from a DUI, but protecting your friend or family member from a DUI and keeping everyone on the road safe.

Tip 2: Make a Plan and a Back-Up Plan

The penalties for a DUI on a golf cart are the same as the penalties for a DUI in any other vehicle. These penalties will depend on any prior offenses and are defined per section 316.193, Florida Statutes. This states that for a first conviction you’ll face:

  • A fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000
  • If blood/breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000
  • “At the court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program and credited toward the term of imprisonment.”

Additionally, imprisonment for a first conviction is:

  • Imprisonment for not more than six months
  • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than nine months

Additionally, your vehicle may be impounded and you may lose driving privileges for as much as a year for your first offense. Remember, if you are arrested a second time on a golf cart, you’ll face even more steep consequences just as you would if you were in any other vehicle.

Tip 3: Be Prepared for the Worst

Of course, the old saying goes “you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather”. So although you might be prepared with a designated driver, Uber, Lyft, taxi, or even hotel room, you still may find yourself behind the wheel after one or two drinks. If you find yourself in this situation and are arrested or suspected of a DUI, make sure you have the phone number of the top DUI lawyer in Clearwater stored in your phone. Even if you’re not guilty, a DUI lawyer will help you understand your rights and how to navigate DUI stops and charges. 

If you’re facing DUI charges, you need the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Call us today.  

For a free consultation with the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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Fore! Can I Get a DUI While Driving a Golf Cart?

Fore! Can I Get a DUI While Driving a Golf Cart?

If you’re a longtime Florida resident or even just visiting, you’ve likely noticed how many golf courses sprawl the state. Florida has over 1,100 golf courses, and among those golf courses are entire communities where golf carts are the primary mode of transportation. Many of these courses offer the opportunity to unwind and play golf while drinking with friends, but is it actually legal to drive a golf cart if you are under the influence? 

In this brief guide, the top DUI attorneys in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have shared what you need to know about drinking and driving a golf cart before hitting the links.

Is Driving a Golf Cart Under the Influence Illegal?

You might be surprised to find out that you can be arrested for drinking and driving a golf cart with the same severity as driving a car or SUV. That’s because DUI charges apply to any vehicle under Florida Statutes 316.193. If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater, you can be charged with a DUI.

This applies to drinking and driving a golf cart on the road or on a golf course. In fact, the location of the golf cart is less important than whether you were behind the wheel or not. However, you’re less likely to be arrested for a DUI if you’re driving on private property, like a private golf course, than you are if you are driving on the road in one of Florida’s many golf cart communities. 

Our office is increasingly being contacted by individuals who have been arrested for DUI on golf carts. Common reasons that these individuals are pulled over by the police include:

  • No headlights at night;
  • Operating the golf cart on roads where golf carts aren’t permitted; and
  • Running stop signs.

If you are operating a golf cart on public roadways, make sure that you obey all “rules of the road.” Operating golf carts during the late evening hours is often interpreted by law enforcement as a likelihood of “bar hopping,” so the officers will be looking for a reason to pull you over.

Penalties for a DUI on a Golf Cart

The penalties for a DUI on a golf cart are the same as the penalties for a DUI in any other vehicle. These penalties will depend on any prior offenses and are defined per section 316.193, Florida Statutes. This states that for a first conviction you’ll face:

  • A fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000
  • If blood/breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000
  • “At the court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program and credited toward the term of imprisonment.”

Additionally, imprisonment for a first conviction is:

  • Imprisonment for not more than six months
  • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than nine months

Additionally, your vehicle may be impounded and you may lose driving privileges for as much as a year for your first offense. Remember, if you are arrested a second time on a golf cart, you’ll face even more steep consequences just as you would if you were in any other vehicle.

Call Clearwater DUI Lawyers for Help

If you’re facing DUI charges from riding on a golf cart, whether you were on the road or on a private course, you’ll need DUI lawyers in Clearwater who can help. Call Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today for a free consultation.

Request a FREE consultation today by giving us a call at (727) 578-0303, or submitting our consultation request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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How to Avoid a Conviction for DUI

How to Avoid a Conviction for DUI

On a night out with friends, family, or coworkers, the last thing on most people’s mind is getting a DUI. But as the spirits are flowing, that’s exactly what many people wind up facing. 

Don’t let one bad decision on a night out change your future. Instead, prepare now to avoid a DUI and understand the steps you can take to protect yourself if you find yourself facing these charges. 

In this brief guide, our top DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have shared a few tips for avoiding a DUI.

Tip 1: Don’t Consent to a Field Sobriety Test

When you are issued your driver’s license, in the state of Florida you are consenting to a breathalyzer test. But what many people don’t know is that you are not consenting to a field sobriety test, and you are not legally obligated to do so. These tests are designed for failure. The complicated nature of the tests coupled with your anxiety by your circumstances will make it nearly impossible for you to perform to law enforcement’s expectations.

If you have already taken a field sobriety test, attorney Tim Sullivan can review your DUI video to determine if your tests were properly administered and fairly interpreted. Since he has received the same field sobriety test training as law enforcement, Sullivan can help guide you after taking a field sobriety test. However, you do not legally need to do a field sobriety test if you are not comfortable doing so.

Tip 2: Don’t Incriminate Yourself on Social Media

Using social media is a great way to share what’s going on in your life, but in some cases, it can be an easy way to incriminate yourself. For example, if you have a public Instagram page and have posted photos of yourself and your friends drinking heavily, taking shots, or even just having a beer together, and are then arrested and charged with a DUI, those images can come back to haunt you in court. 

To protect yourself from harming your chances of defending against a DUI successfully, make sure that your social media privacy settings are up-to-date and that images of you drinking or participating in drug use are private. Although you may not have been feeling drunk at the time, if you blew over the legal limit in a breathalyzer and have social media images that depict you drinking during the same time period, you may have unintentionally harmed your own case.

Tip 3: Know Who to Call

Even if you have done everything right, you still might find yourself facing DUI charges. If you do, you’ll need to know which DUI attorneys in Clearwater can handle your case without adding additional stress to your plate.

In many cases, our team at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan can work to get your DUI charges reduced to reckless driving. Our team can also help you apply for a hardship license and get you back on the road if your license has been suspended. 

If you’re facing DUI charges, you need the top DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Contact us today for a free consultation.  

Request a FREE consultation today by giving us a call at (727) 578-0303, or submitting our consultation request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Will One Drink Put Me Over the Legal Limit?

Will One Drink Put Me Over the Legal Limit?

You might have seen recent commercials stating “buzzed driving is drunk driving” or “one drink is all it takes to get a DUI.” But is this really the case? After all, can one drink actually impair someone to the point of being unable to drive?

In this brief article, the DUI defense lawyers in Clearwater at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan have some tips to help you avoid a DUI by understanding the legal limit and what types of factors may play a role.

Blood Alcohol Content Factors

Before we dive into the different factors that go into the blood alcohol content (BAC), it’s important to know what the legal limit actually is in the State of Florida.

A driver is considered legally drunk in Florida when they are a non-commercial driver over the age of 21 with a BAC of .08 or more.

Now that we know the legal limit, the BAC level may vary person-to-person based on the following factors:

  • Type of drink: The alcohol content of each beverage varies. For example, beer may have a 5% alcohol by volume, while a glass of wine might have closer to 10% for a smaller amount. Similarly, a drink like vodka or rum may have an even higher percentage of alcohol by volume, and how heavily it is poured can impact your BAC.
  • Body type: The body type of the person who is drinking plays a role in how many drinks will put them over the limit. For example, a person who weighs less than 120 pounds may be legally over the limit after 1-2 drinks, whereas a person with a larger body type can tolerate 2-3 drinks before hitting the limit.
  • Gender: Statistically, men are able to tolerate more drinks than women. Of course, this might be different on an individual level, but it usually factors into the body type of the person drinking.
  • Number of Drinks: The number of drinks is another factor in determining whether you’re over the legal limit. Typically 1 drink with a lower alcohol by volume may not send you over the BAC limit to drive. However, if you feel tipsy or buzzed you shouldn’t drive. It’s also good to avoid more than one drink if you anticipate driving afterwards.
  • Factors Other than Alcohol: In some cases, one drink may be sufficient to cause someone to be impaired if other circumstances contribute to the impairment. For example, one drink combined with prescription medications, illicit drugs, or even fatigue may cause someone to become too impaired to operate a motor vehicle.
Arrested for a DUI? We Can Help.

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, even after just a single drink, call the DUI defense attorneys in Clearwater at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan can. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights, and can help obtain a favorable outcome.

Request a FREE consultation today by giving us a call at (727) 578-0303, or submitting our consultation request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Can I Go to Jail for a First DUI Offense in Pinellas County?

Can I Go to Jail for a First DUI Offense in Pinellas County?

The first question we often get asked when someone is arrested for a DUI is, “will my license be suspended?” The second question, and the most important, is “will I go to jail since this is my first offense?” Jail time can have serious consequences not only for yourself, but for your family and those who rely on you, and for your career.

In this brief article, the top DUI lawyer in Clearwater with our team at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan provides an overview of the penalties you might face for your first DUI offense in Pinellas County, including whether or not you will face jail time.

What are the Penalties for a First-Time DUI Offender?

There are different penalties for a DUI depending on how many DUIs you’ve been arrested for or charged with, if there was property damage, what your blood alcohol content was, and whether or not anyone was injured or killed.

Let’s break down the penalties for a first-time DUI offense.

The DUI fine schedule, per section 316.193, Florida Statutes, states:

First conviction:

  • Not less than $500 or more than $1,000.
  • If blood/breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000.

Regarding imprisonment, the state of Florida provides:

“At the court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program and credited toward the term of imprisonment.”

Additionally, imprisonment for a first conviction is:

  • Imprisonment for not more than six months.
  • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than nine months.

Additionally, your vehicle may be impounded and you may lose driving privileges for as much as a year for your first offense.

A DUI violation has additional penalties that may be assessed by the court. For more information regarding additional penalties, please see section 316.193, Florida Statutes.

Is Imprisonment Likely for a First-Time DUI Offender?

Now that we know the possible penalties, you might be wondering how likely you are to actually face them.

The prosecutor’s in the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office take DUI’s seriously. We have found that a proactive approach often results in favorable, non-incarcerative outcomes. For this reason, after retaining our office, our highly experienced DWI defense team will likely give you “homework assignments.” These tasks are custom-tailored to the facts and circumstances of your individual case and designed to make you look good in the eyes of the judge and prosecutor. It’s crucial that if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, that you retain a DUI lawyer in Clearwater at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan to help defend you and understand your rights.

In some cases, we may be able to help reduce your charges to reckless driving, which carries a less severe penalty. If you’re facing a DUI arrest, contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan Clearwater today.

Request a FREE consultation today by giving us a call at (727) 578-0303, or submitting our consultation request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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