Boca Raton DUI Defense Lawyer
Many people underestimate the severity of a drunk driving conviction. You could face not only heavy fines and driver’s license suspension, but also jail time — even for a first driving under the influence (DUI) offense.
As former Palm Beach County prosecutors, the team at The Rudman Law Group in Boca Raton has handled first-time and multiple DUI charges and other traffic violations from both sides of the courtroom. We know how to put cases together and take them apart. We will put our knowledge and experience to work in zealously defending your rights, your freedom and your reputation.
Take Action To Protect Your Rights
You have only 10 days to request a hearing to challenge your DUI license suspension. Talk to a lawyer without delay. The team at The Rudman Law Group represents anyone accused of drunk driving: college students and young adults, business owners and professionals, and ordinary people pulled over after happy hour at the bar or wine with friends.
Investigating Every Defense Strategy Possible
When you work with us, our lawyers thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest to determine whether:
- Police had probable cause to pull you over
- Police administered any field sobriety tests appropriately
- Police calibrated the breath test machine properly and it received regular maintenance
- Other factors such as prescription medications or other health problems contributed to your driving behavior
We know how to analyze the facts of your traffic stop and arrest for opportunities to challenge the evidence. We understand the complexities of DUI and felony DUI defense, including how to present a compelling case in court or work out the best plea deal possible given your unique circumstances. We have won DUI cases in court and are effective negotiators who have worked with local prosecutors and judges to secure favorable outcomes.
Get Answers To Your Questions About DUI
What is the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC)?
You can be charged with DUI if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. This is known as a per se DUI, meaning that you are presumed to be impaired at that level. It is possible to get a DUI if your BAC is below the legal limit, but the prosecution must show other compelling evidence of impairment. There are special rules for:
- Underage drivers: Drivers under age 21 can be charged with a “zero tolerance” violation at .02 BAC (any alcohol in their system). The penalty is a six-month license suspension. An underage driver who tests at .05 BAC will also be required to take a substance abuse course. An under-21 driver who tests at .08 BAC or greater is subject to the full DUI penalties.
- Truck drivers: Drivers of trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles can be charged with DUI at .04 They will lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL) for at least one year with no opportunity for a hardship license.
As for drugs, there is no legal limit or reliable test for drug impairment. Thus, you can be declared “under the influence” on the basis of any trace of drugs (illegal substances or prescription meds) in your system.
How is BAC measured?
The authorities use a blood, breath or urine test to measure the percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream as a percentage; this figure is known as your BAC.
Can I refuse to take a breathalyzer test?
Under Florida’s implied consent law, you must submit to a breath or blood test if you are arrested for DUI. Refusing the chemical test results in:
- 12-month license suspension (first offense)
- 18-month license suspension (subsequent offenses)
- Ineligibility for hardship license (third offense)
What are the penalties for a DUI conviction?
Upon conviction for driving under the influence, you could be subject to any or all of the following criminal and administrative penalties:
- First DUI:
- License suspension of at least 180 days up to one year
- Jail time of up to six months
- Minimum fine of $500 and up to $1,000
- Mandatory 50 hours of community service
- Probation of up to one year
- Vehicle impoundment for 10 days
- Ignition interlock (at your expense)
- Second DUI:
- License suspension of 180 days to one year (or five-year revocation if within five years of first DUI)
- Jail time of up to nine months (minimum 10 days if within five years)
- Minimum fine of $1,000 and up to $2,000
- Vehicle impoundment for 30 days
- Ignition interlock
- Third DUI:
- License revocation of 10 years (or 180 days to one year if more than 10 years since last DUI)
- Mandatory jail time of 30 days and up to 12 months
- Minimum fine of $2,000 and up to $5,000
- Vehicle impoundment for 90 days
- Ignition interlock
- Hardship license available after two years
- Fourth DUI:
- Habitual offender imprisonment of up to five years
- Permanent license revocation (hardship license possible after five years)
- Fines of $2,000 up to $5,000
Enhanced DUI penalties apply when there are aggravating factors that harmed others or put others at grave risk. These include:
- BAC of .15 or greater
- Impaired driving with a child in the vehicle
- Causing an accident resulting in serious injury or death
Aggravating factors can trigger years in prison, bigger fines, longer license revocation and other punishments.
Will I lose my driver’s license after a DUI conviction?
That completely depends on the severity of the offense. For a first DUI, probably not, though you may have a short suspension. For a repeat offense, you will likely have a suspension period or even a permanent revocation.
Can I still drive with a suspended license?
You can petition the court for a provisional license, which allows you to drive to work if losing your license would cause undue financial hardship on you.
How long does a DUI stay on my record?
Florida does not expunge DUIs. If convicted, it stays on your record for 75 years or until your death.
Do you have more questions? You can read our comprehensive page on DUI or get in touch for more information.
Are there alternative sentencing options for a Florida DUI?
Jail time, loss of driving privileges and other penalties can seriously affect your job and other aspects of life. The Rudman Law Group explores alternative programs and penalties that hold you accountable but enable you to earn a living and get your life back on track. Depending on the circumstances, you might be eligible for:
- Alcohol or drug treatment in lieu of jail time
- Electronic monitoring in lieu of jail time
- Probation and/or community service in lieu of jail time
- Additional fines in lieu of community service
- A hardship license that allows you to drive to work or school
- License reinstatement after attending DUI school
First-time offenders may qualify for a pretrial diversion program that keeps a DUI off your record. But you are pleading guilty to the offense, and you must adhere to strict rules to have the DUI conviction eventually dismissed. The firm can help determine if you are a candidate for DUI diversion or if you should fight the charges.
Get Help From A Skilled Florida DUI Attorney Today
At The Rudman Law Group, we make every effort to avoid a conviction or soften the consequences to prevent this episode from ruining your future. Contact our law office in Boca Raton to schedule a free consultation. Call us locally at 561-464-2615, call us toll-free at 888-870-7457 or send us an email.