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Can I Lose My License After a Hit and Run and DUI Conviction?

A DUI conviction can lead to serious consequences, which can be even more severe if combined with a hit-and-run charge. Due to the increased severity of these charges, individuals facing both hit and run and DUI charges should seek representation from a top DUI defense attorney in Clearwater at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.

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Hit and Run and DUI Offenses

A hit and run offense, also known as “leaving the scene of an accident,” occurs when a driver fails to stop after being involved in a collision that results in property damage, injury, or death. On the other hand, a DUI offense involves operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to an extent where normal operations and functions are impaired.

Consequences of Hit and Run and DUI Convictions

If you’re convicted of both a hit and run and DUI offense in Florida, you face severe penalties that can impact your driving privileges. Florida penalties for hit-and-run and DUI offenses include fines, imprisonment, and the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

For a hit and run offense, penalties can vary depending on the severity of the accident and whether there were injuries or fatalities involved. Under Florida law, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death is classified as a felony offense. If convicted, you may face fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 and imprisonment, especially without representation from a skilled Clearwater DUI defense lawyer with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.

For a DUI conviction, penalties also depend on factors such as prior offenses and your BAC at the time of arrest. A first-time DUI offense in Florida can result in fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to six months. Subsequent offenses typically carry steeper penalties, including higher fines and longer prison sentences.

In cases involving both a hit and run and DUI, the penalties can be compounded, potentially resulting in longer license suspensions or even permanent revocation of your driving privileges. Likewise, an allegation that our client “left the scene of an accident” may cause him or her to be ineligible for the Pinellas County DUI Diversion Program.

Your Legal Options

When confronted with hit and run and DUI charges, seeking legal guidance from experienced defense attorneys is crucial. Your DUI defense attorney in Clearwater at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan specializes in defending individuals facing traffic-related offenses.

Work With The Leading DUI Defense Law Firm in Pinellas County

Our team of skilled attorneys will work diligently to help you potentially avoid severe consequences.

For a complimentary case consultation, give us a call at (727) 291-9717 to speak with one of our Clearwater DUI defense lawyers.

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 Could a DUI Stop Look Like This Memorial Day?

Many individuals celebrate Memorial Day with barbecues, beach days, and parties with friends and families. If your plans include alcohol consumption, it is important to understand the severity of a DUI and make plans to get home safely.

As the top-rated DUI defense law firm in Clearwater, the attorneys at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan are dedicated to helping you avoid a DUI this Memorial Day.

Friends celebrating Memorial Day

What to Expect During a DUI Stop

Law enforcement will be looking for signs of impaired drivers on their patrols. This can include erratic driving difficulty with coordination, slurred speech, or even the smell of alcohol. If found, these signs can result in further investigation. Law enforcement will also be looking for innocuous reasons to pull over drivers to see if they have been drinking. This might include an expired registration, burnt-out tail lights or brake lights, and failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights.

When pulling you over, the officer may request that you perform field sobriety tests to assess your potential impairment further. These tests often include tasks like walking in a straight line, standing on one leg, or following an object with your eyes. It is important to understand that while you should remain calm and cooperative with the officer, you have the right to refuse any of these tests. If you are arrested for a DUI, law enforcement will request a breath test. Although the officers will tell you that your license will be suspended if you refuse the breath test, they will frequently fail to mention that your license will also be suspended if you blow over the legal limit. For more information on refusing a breath test, check out this link

If you have been pulled over for a DUI stop, the first step you need to take is to contact a Clearwater DUI defense attorney with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan to receive expert legal representation.

Areas in Pinellas County that are Commonly Patrolled on Memorial Day

During Memorial Day, law enforcement patrols higher-traffic routes throughout Pinellas County for DUIs. If you decide to drive home after your celebrations, you should be vigilant in the following areas:

  • Memorial Causeway leaving Clearwater Beach.
  • 4th Street in St. Petersburg, particularly near downtown.
  • Courtney Campbell Causeway westbound from Tampa.
  • Gulf Boulevard from St. Pete Beach to Indian Shores.
  • Largo, specifically around Ulmerton Road and US Highway 19 North.

Enjoy Your Memorial Day By Avoiding a DUI Charge

As the top-rated DUI defense law firm in Clearwater, our team is dedicated to helping you understand your rights and avoid a DUI conviction this Memorial Day. 

To speak with one of our Clearwater DUI attorneys, request a case consultation or give the Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan office a call at (727) 291-9717.

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 Happens If a DUI Leads to a Hit and Run?

Both DUI and “hit and run” offenses are considered very seriously in Florida courts, and when intersected, can result in an exponentially escalated situation. If you are facing charges for both a DUI and a hit and run, you should consult with the top DUI attorneys in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan for expert legal support and representation.

Law enforcement car flashing lights at night for a DUI stop

What Constitutes a Hit and Run?

A hit and run is the layman’s term for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injury” and “Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage” charges, occurring when a driver involved in an accident fails to fulfill their legal obligations. This includes stopping at the scene, assisting injured parties, contacting law enforcement and exchanging information with other involved parties or law enforcement.

Potential Consequences

A first-time DUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor with penalties that include fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, probation, and license suspension for a minimum of 180 days. Subsequent offenses within a specified timeframe escalate to higher penalties, including increased fines, longer license suspension, and potential vehicle impoundment. 

Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 60 days. However, if the accident involves injury or death, the offense is elevated to a felony, resulting in penalties of fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 30 years.

In situations where there are both factors of DUI and a hit and run, fines can range from $500 to $5,000 in addition to a probationary period of 6 months and a license suspension of at least 6 months. Individuals may also face civil lawsuits from injured parties seeking compensation for damages, medical expenses, and other losses resulting from the accident. An allegation of “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” will cause a subject to be ineligible for the Pinellas County DUI Diversion Program, even where the accident is minor in nature. Likewise, the State Attorney will consider an allegation of “hit and run” when contemplating whether it is appropriate to reduce a charge of DUI to “Reckless Driving.

What Should I Do If I Am Facing Hit and Run and DUI Charges?

If you find yourself facing charges for both hit and run and DUI in Florida, you need to take immediate and strategic action to protect your rights and future. Seek legal representation from an experienced DUI defense attorney in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan who can provide invaluable guidance, protect your rights during legal proceedings, and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. 

Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan is Your Trusted DUI Law Firm

Just because you are being charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with injury or leaving the scene of an accident with property damage does not mean that you will be convicted. Work with one of the top DUI attorneys in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan for your best chance at avoiding potentially life-altering consequences.

Request a complimentary case consultation or give us a call at (727) 291-9717 to speak with one of our Clearwater DUI defense attorneys.

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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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo Safely

Cinco de Mayo is a highly-anticipated day to gather with friends and family. While it is important to enjoy the festivities, ensure that you are making plans to safely celebrate and get back home, especially if you are planning on consuming alcohol. 

As the leading DUI defense law firm in Clearwater, our team at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan is dedicated to helping you enjoy the festivities and avoid a DUI charge.

Friends celebrating cinco de mayo with a cheers

Make a Plan to Get Home Safely

When planning out your activities, think about ways to get home after drinking without getting behind the wheel. These can include:

  • Designating a sober driver far before the activities begin.
  • Take a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft.
  • Plan and prepare to spend the night at a trusted friend or family member’s home or a nearby hotel.

Driving with a BAC of .08 or above constitutes a DUI offense, so make sure to create plans to get home safely before you ingest any alcohol. In Pinellas County, a first-time offense can result in a driver’s license suspension of up to one year, so it is important to be prepared to prevent, or if necessary fight, a DUI conviction.

Commonly Patrolled Areas in Pinellas County on Cinco de Mayo

If you decide to drive home after celebrating Cinco de Mayo, you need to be aware of law enforcement patrolled areas along higher-traffic routes leading to and from popular event locations in Pinellas County throughout the night, as well as the following areas: 

  • Memorial Causeway leaving Clearwater Beach.
  • 4th Street in St. Petersburg, particularly near downtown.
  • Courtney Campbell Causeway westbound from Tampa.
  • Gulf Boulevard from St. Pete Beach to Indian Shores.
  • Largo, specifically around Ulmerton Road and US Highway 19 North.

What to Do If You Get Stopped for a DUI

If you get stopped for a DUI, it is crucial to remain calm and cooperate with law enforcement. Refrain from making any statements to the police without seeking out one of the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Our team can help you understand your rights and legal options and help you avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction.

Celebrate Safely and Avoid a DUI This Cinco de Mayo

This Cinco de Mayo, enjoy your activities and celebrations safely and responsibly with guidance from Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, the leading DUI defense law firm in Clearwater.

Request a case consultation or give us a call at (727) 291-9717 to speak with one of the best DUI attorneys in Clearwater

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 Lack of Sleep Result in a DUI Charge in Pinellas County?

Many adults experience a lack of sleep, but its consequences extend far beyond grogginess or irritability. Insufficient sleep can impair cognitive functions and motor skills to a degree comparable to alcohol intoxication. But can lack of sleep alone lead to a DUI charge in Pinellas County? 

If you are facing a false DUI charge after driving with a lack of sleep, contact the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today for skilled representation.

Red lights on police car flashing at night

Effects of Lack of Sleep on Driving Ability

The effects of sleep deprivation on driving ability are well-documented. Studies have shown that being awake for 17 hours straight can result in impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%, while staying awake for 24 hours can produce impairment similar to a BAC of 0.10%, exceeding the legal limit for intoxication in Florida.

Lack of sleep can compromise various cognitive functions necessary for safe driving, including attention, reaction time, decision-making, and coordination. Drivers experiencing sleep deprivation may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Reduced alertness and vigilance
  • Increased tendency to drift between lanes
  • Slower reaction times to unexpected events and stimuli
  • Impaired judgment and risk assessment

Misdiagnosing Fatigue as Alcohol or Drug Impairment

DUIs are typically associated with alcohol or drug intoxication. However, in some cases, law enforcement observed driving or other behavior that he or she believed to be alcohol or drug impairment, but was actually tiredness. In these cases, a critical evaluation of the evidence is necessary in order to secure the most favorable outcome: Some factors our DUI defense team might utilize in a Sleep Deprivation DUI Defense Case may include:

Observable Signs of Impairment

Law enforcement officers are trained to recognize signs of impairment, such as erratic driving behavior, slurred speech, and impaired motor skills. However, these signs may overlap with symptoms of sleep deprivation.

Statements and Behavior of the Driver

Statements made by the driver and their behavior during the traffic stop can provide additional insight into their level of impairment. Confusion, disorientation, and fatigue-related complaints may suggest sleep deprivation as a contributing factor.

Results of Field Sobriety Tests 

Standardized FSTs, such as the Walk-and-Turn test and the Horizontal Gaze test, are commonly used by law enforcement to assess impairment. However, performance on these tests can be influenced by fatigue.

Results of Chemical Tests 

One of the most important factors in demonstrating that an arrest was not caused by alcohol or drug impairment, but was the result of fatigue is the results of chemical tests. Your highly trained DUI Defense Team at Russo, Pelletier and Sullivan may use the government’s breath or urine tests against them to conclusively demonstrate the lack of alcohol or drug impairment.

Facing a DUI Charge? Don’t Face It Alone

If you are being charged with a DUI due to lack of sleep, contact one of the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Request a free consultation or call us at (727) 291-9717 to speak with one of our Clearwater DUI attorneys

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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Red Flags When Hiring the Wrong Lawyer

A DUI charge can result in potential consequences ranging from hefty fines to license suspension or even imprisonment. When your future and livelihood are on the line, having the right attorney by your side is extremely important. However, some lawyers are going to be better suited for your case and needs, and you should be intentional in choosing the one you feel can best achieve your goals.

Police car lights shining at night

The Consequences of a DUI Conviction

Aside from the immediate penalties like fines and license suspension, a DUI can have long-lasting repercussions on various aspects of your life, including employment opportunities, professional licenses, and auto insurance rates. If convicted of a DUI, subsequent fines can reach up to $5,000, and insurance rates can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

With so much at stake, it is important to hire a qualified DUI defense lawyer in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.

What Should You Look For in the Right DUI Lawyer?

When selecting a DUI lawyer, several key factors can help determine their suitability for your case.

1. Experience in Effectively Challenging Evidence

One of the most critical aspects of DUI defense is challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution. This may include questioning the validity and procedural integrity of field sobriety tests, breathalyzer results, or police procedures during the traffic stop. The experienced Clearwater DUI attorneys with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan possess a deep understanding of these issues and have a proven record of successfully challenging evidence in court. You want to hire a lawyer with a proven track record of securing favorable results in cases similar to yours.

2. Consistent Communication

We recognize that for many clients, a DUI arrest may be the first and only time that he or she has been involved in the criminal justice system. As a result, effective communication between attorney and client is essential throughout the entirety of your case. A competent DUI lawyer should be responsive to your inquiries, keep you updated on developments in your case, and provide clear explanations of legal proceedings and potential outcomes. If a lawyer demonstrates a lack of communication or fails to promptly respond to your inquiries, it may indicate a lack of commitment or professionalism regarding your case. To evaluate a lawyer’s diligence in communicating with clients, a good place to look is the lawyer’s reviews from past clients.

3. Expertise in Location-Relevant DUI Laws and Court Procedures

In sports, you often hear commentators refer to a team having a “home-field advantage.” Court procedures not only vary from State to State and County to County but also from courtroom to courtroom. Having an attorney who is intimately familiar with the procedures of your judge is crucially valuable. Likewise, having a working knowledge of the State Attorney’s Office is of equal importance. Our DUI Defense team limits its practice to Pinellas County. We are former prosecutors who appear in front of the judges who preside over DUI cases every week.

Work With a DUI Defense Team That Cares About Your Case

Give yourself peace of mind by hiring an experienced DUI attorney in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Selecting the right DUI lawyer can significantly influence the outcome of your case. 

Request a free case consultation or give us a call at (727) 291-9717 to speak with one of our DUI defense lawyers in Clearwater with 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 a Minor Be Charged with a DUI in Florida?

As parents, we continually strive to guide our children toward responsible decision-making, especially when it comes to matters as serious as driving under the influence. However, despite best efforts, teenagers may find themselves facing the consequences of poor judgment.

In Florida, DUI laws apply not only to adults but also to minors. Understanding the legal implications and potential lifelong repercussions is extremely important for any individual facing a DUI charge. If your child is being investigated for a DUI, immediately consult with the top DUI attorneys in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan for the best chance at the most favorable outcome for their case.

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Can a Minor Be Charged with a DUI in Florida?

Yes, minors in Florida can be charged with DUI if they are found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or chemical substances. Unlike with adults who would only face an administrative license suspension if the adult provided a breath sample above .08 OR if he or she refused a breath, urine or blood test, the threshold for an administrative license suspension for a minor is much lower. In that regard, if a minor is stopped by law enforcement and has a breath alcohol level of only .02 or higher, the minor can suffer an administrative license suspension.

Consequences of a DUI Charge For Minors

The legal penalties for a minor charged with DUI in Florida can be severe without the expertise of highly skilled DUI defense lawyers in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Depending on the specifics of their situation, this could potentially include fines, license suspension, community service, mandatory substance abuse education or treatment programs, and even juvenile detention in certain cases. 

Additionally, a DUI conviction stays on a minor’s record and can affect their opportunities in the future.

Impact on College Applications

College admissions officers often consider an applicant’s character and conduct beyond academic achievements. A DUI conviction can raise red flags and lead to a negative assessment of a minor’s character, potentially jeopardizing their chances of acceptance into their desired colleges or universities. Many educational institutions now also require applicants to disclose any criminal history, and a DUI conviction may significantly diminish their chances of acceptance.

Difficulty Securing Rental Properties and Homes

Many landlords conduct background checks on prospective tenants and buyers to assess their reliability and trustworthiness. A DUI conviction, even as a minor, may appear on these background checks and signal to landlords a potential risk. 

Inhibited Employment Opportunities

Employers commonly perform background checks as part of the hiring process to ensure they are making informed decisions about who they are choosing to hire. A DUI conviction can raise concerns about your child’s judgment, responsibility, and reliability, particularly in positions that involve driving or handling sensitive tasks. As a result, minors with DUI convictions may find it difficult to secure certain job opportunities and advance in their careers.

Protect Your Child From the Severe Consequences of a DUI

Parents play a critical role in educating their children about the serious consequences of drinking and driving. However, even with the best guidance, children can make mistakes. If your child is being charged with a DUI, help protect them with the help of the top DUI attorneys in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.

In some cases, our highly-rated DUI defense lawyers can negotiate with the prosecutor to secure a reduction in the charge from DUI to Reckless Driving. In other cases, our minor clients may qualify for a diversion program which would allow the young adult to avoid a formal conviction for DUI.

Request a free consultation or give us a call at (727) 291-9717 to speak with one of our expert DUI defense lawyers in Clearwater 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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Don’t Press Your Luck: Tips for a DUI-Free St. Patrick’s Day

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the anticipation for parties and festivities grows. However, when making your plans to celebrate, you should prioritize your safety, especially if you will be consuming alcohol. As the top DWI attorneys in Clearwater, the team at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan is committed to helping you steer clear of a DUI charge this St. Patrick’s Day. 

Friends celebrating St. Patrick's Day at bar

Create a Strategy Before the Festivities

Whether you’re attending a parade or gathering with friends, consider these strategies to avoid drinking and driving:

  • Designate a sober driver well in advance of your activities.
  • Opt for rideshare services like Uber or Lyft for a safe, dependable ride home.
  • Plan to spend the night at a trusted friend or family member’s home or a nearby hotel.

Commonly Patrolled Areas in Pinellas County

If you decide to drive home after St. Patrick’s Day festivities, be aware of law enforcement patrolled areas along higher-traffic routes leading to and from popular event destinations in Pinellas County, as well as the following areas: 

  • Memorial Causeway leaving Clearwater Beach.
  • 4th Street in St. Petersburg, particularly near downtown.
  • Courtney Campbell Causeway westbound from Tampa.
  • Gulf Boulevard from St. Pete Beach to Indian Shores.
  • Largo, specifically around Ulmerton Road and US Highway 19 North.

Steps to Take If You Get Stopped for a DUI

Should you find yourself pulled over for a DUI stop after your St. Patrick’s Day festivities, you should understand your rights and the steps that you can take to avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction:

  • Familiarize yourself with your rights during a DUI stop before heading out.
  • Remain calm and cooperate with the law enforcement officers.
  • Use your right to remain silent until you have legal representation from a top DUI attorney in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.
  • Know that you have the option to decline field sobriety tests.

If you get pulled over for a DUI stop, quickly seek out top-notch legal support and representation from the top DUI attorneys in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.

Avoid a DUI This St. Patrick’s Day

This St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy your festivities responsibly, be mindful of your rights, and make informed choices to avoid a DUI after your celebrations.

Request a complimentary case consultation or give us a call at (727) 291-9717 to speak with one of the top DWI attorneys in Clearwater.

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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REVISITING THE AGE-OLD QUESTION – SHOULD I TAKE THE BREATH TEST IF I AM ARRESTED FOR A DUI IN PINELLAS COUNTY

In this article, our office revisits the frequently asked question, “Should I submit to a breath test if I am charged with a DUI in Pinellas County.” In previous posts, we addressed the consequences of refusing a breath test and the potential benefits of refusing a breath test. In this new article, the best DUI lawyers in Clearwater discuss one scenario where it may be detrimental to you if you refuse the breath test.

Police car at night with its lights on for a DUI stop

The Case of the “Second Refusal to Submit to Testing”

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in St. Petersburg, Clearwater or the surrounding areas of Pinellas County, you should know that there is a significant difference if you refuse the breath test for a first time, and if you refuse a breath, urine or blood test for a second or subsequent time. In most cases, if it is your first ever arrest for DUI and you refuse to submit to breath, urine or blood testing, you will be eligible to apply for a hardship license. Our highly qualified Clearwater DUI Attorneys guide our clients through this process and submit the appropriate paperwork with the DHSMV.

The Enhanced Penalties of a “Second” Refusal

If you are charged with a DUI and you have previously been arrested for a DUI where you refused a breath, urine or blood test, you may face the additional criminal offense of “Refusal to Submit to Testing” under Florida Statute 316.1939. A second refusal carries with it an eighteen-month suspension of your privilege to drive. Unlike a first offense, you are not eligible to immediately apply for a hardship driver’s license.

Potential Jail Time for a “Second” Refusal

A criminal charge of “Refusal to Submit to Testing” associated with a second refusal to take a breath, urine or blood test is frequently viewed by both the State Attorney’s Office and the local judiciary as a charge that is worthy of jail time. This is true even if your previous DUI arrest was reduced to Reckless Driving. In fact, it is not uncommon for the prosecutors to seek and the judiciary to impose jail sentences of 30 to 60 days for the “second refusal” offense.

We are Lawyers that Can Help

During your meeting with a top-rated Clearwater DUI Lawyer with our team, we will discuss the unique facts and circumstances of your case and discuss any proactive steps that you might take to secure the most favorable and lenient resolution. Our attorneys can also file a challenge with the DHSMV in an effort to invalidate the eighteen-month suspension of your license – but we only have ten days from the date on your citation to file that challenge. Time is of the essence to attempt to preserve your privilege to drive.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or a “Refusal to Submit to Testing,” call our office at 727-578-0303 for a free consultation.

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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WHY CAN’T I POST BOND FOR MY LOVED ONE’S PINELLAS COUNTY DUI?

A recent change to the Florida pre-trial release statute means more time in jail for many persons arrested for a DUI in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and the surrounding areas of Pinellas County. In this article, the Best DUI Lawyers in Clearwater discuss the change in the law and what it means for your loved one’s DUI case.

Male judge putting down his gavel in a courtroom

The New Law

Effective January 1, 2024, Florida Statute 903.011 was amended to require that the Florida Supreme Court set a statewide uniform bond schedule for pre-trial release. That same statute provided that the Chief Judge in each Judicial Circuit must also establish a uniform bond schedule for the circuit, but that bond schedule must not set a uniform bond that is lower than the statewide bond schedule. In accordance with that law, the Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, who presides over Pinellas and Pasco Counties, published its Uniform Bond Schedule.

How it Applies to Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Pinellas DUI Cases

Prior to this law taking effect, many persons arrested for a DUI in Pinellas County would be released from the Pinellas County jail without the need to post any bond through an administrative “release on your own recognizance,” or “ROR,” as it is commonly referred. However, the Pinellas County Uniform Bond Schedule has completely eliminated the administrative ROR that previously existed in all DUI cases.

Under the new law, a person arrested for a DUI will only be eligible to immediately post a bond to secure his or her release from jail if:

  • He or she has no prior convictions for Driving Under the Influence or Boating Under the Influence
  • He or she did not have a prior DUI arrest dismissed through a diversion program.
  • The case does not involve a traffic accident.

In all other cases, your loved one will not be eligible to post a bond until after he or she appears in court for “first appearance” or “advisory court.”

What Does This Mean for My Love One’s DUI Case

The effect that this law will have on your loved one’s case will vary depending on the circumstances of the case and his or her prior record. In almost all cases, it means that your loved one will stay in jail for a longer period of time. In addition, we expect:

  • Higher bond amounts will be collected by the County.

  • Many people arrested for DUI may miss work because of the inability to immediately post bond.

  • Persons arrested for DUI may have to arrange child or pet care from inside the Pinellas County Jail until a bond can be set and posted.

  • More cases will have “conditions of release,” which can include no alcohol, limitations on travel, and random urine testing.

  • That the Court will order many persons arrested for DUI to wear a “Continuous Alcohol Monitor,” even if the individual does not have an alcohol dependency issue.

Call the Best DUI Lawyers in Clearwater for Help Right Away


If your loved one has been recently arrested for a DUI in Pinellas County, call the Top Rated Clearwater DUI Attorneys right away. Our highly experienced team may be able to:

  • Appear at your loved one’s first appearance to request a low bond amount.
  • Present mitigation that your loved one does not pose a flight risk and does not have a
    history of missing court appearances.
  • Help preserve your loved one’s privilege to drive.
  • If a Continuous Alcohol Monitor (CAM) was ordered, file a Motion to Remove the Continuous Ankle Monitor.

Contact our office today at 727-578-0303 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.

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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