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Driving Under the Influence

If you have been arrested for a first DUI in Florida it is important to educate yourself about the potential punishments and indirect consequences of a conviction. Once you understand the consequences, you can better understand the importance of hiring an experienced attorney to fight the DUI charges pending against you.

Many people arrested for DUI ultimately avoid a DUI conviction. Prosecutors are often willing to reduce the charges in exchange for a plea to a less serious charge such as reckless driving. Entering a plea to a reduced charge such as "reckless driving" can save you money in the short run and the long run. Avoiding a DUI conviction can also protect your driving record, employment opportunities and reputation in the community. Although the punishments for a first DUI conviction are harsh, Florida law also provides important defenses to drunk driving charges.

Florida First DUI Defense Lawyer

Call our office to speak directly with criminal defense attorney Dean Galigani after an arrest for a DUI in Gainesville, Florida, or the surrounding areas of Alachua County and Gilchrist County. The attorneys at the Galigani Law Firm will aggressively fight the criminal charges in order to help you avoid a criminal conviction and the loss of your driving privileges.

We assist you with every part of the case from requesting the formal review hearing, obtaining the 42-day driving permit immediately after the arrest, to fighting every aspect of the case in criminal court. Contact the Galigani Law Firm for a free consultation today at (352) 375-0812.

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Information Center

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Florida Definition of DUI

Florida Statute Section § 316.193 states that an individual can be charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) offense if they have been drinking any type of alcohol or consumed any type of controlled substance while in actual physical control of a vehicle.

The statute also states that a DUI offense can occur if an individual’s normal faculties are impaired due to consuming alcoholic beverages or any type of controlled substance. A breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher can result in an automatic DUI arrest, which is commonly known as per se DUI.

According to Fla. Stat. § 316.1934, normal faculties can include but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • See, hear, walk, talk,
  • Judge distances,
  • Drive an automobile,
  • Make judgments,
  • Act in emergencies, and
  • Perform any general mental and physical acts of daily life.

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Penalties of a DUI in Florida

The penalties for a conviction of a first DUI can include:

  • Up to six months in jail;
  • Twelve months probation;
  • Fifty (50) hours of community service;
  • A fine between $500 and $1,000 plus other expenses including court costs, cost of prosecution, costs of investigation and cost of supervision;
  • Driver’s license suspension for six months to one year;
  • Successful completion of DUI school;
  • Alcohol or drug abuse evaluation and successful completion of all follow-up treatment; and
  • A requirement that you immobilize or impound your vehicle for 10 days.

Additionally, any person who had a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.15 or higher, or was accompanied by a minor under the age of 18 at the time of a DUI arrest can be punished by:

  • A enhanced fine between $1,000 and $2,000;
  • a requirement of installing the ignition interlock device for at least six months; and
  • a statutory maximum jail sentence of up to nine months in jail.

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Refusal to Submit in Florida

In Florida, the refusal to submit to a breath, urine or blood test can result in a one-year suspension of an individual’s driver’s license, under Fla. Stat. § 316.1932.

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Ignition Interlock Device in Gainesville

If convicted of a DUI, an individual can be ordered by the court to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle as a provision of their probation. The device is an in-car breath alcohol screening machine that prevents the start of the vehicle if the driver’s alcohol level is above 0.05. Usually, individuals who have been convicted of having a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.15 or higher, or having a minor under the age of 18 in their car at the time are the arrest are required to have the device for a minimum of six months.

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Florida DUI Program

Any individual convicted of a DUI offense in the state of Florida can be ordered by the court to complete a DUI program approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The program is designed to provide education and psychological evaluation and treatment referral services to DUI offenders.

A first time DUI conviction qualifies an individual for the Level I portion of the program. The Level I portion of the program consists of a minimum of 12 classroom hours and incorporates interactive educational techniques.

Proof of successful completion of the program is usually required to reinstate a suspended driver’s license.

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Additional Resources

Florida Statutes: Driving Under the Influence - Access the official website for the Florida Statutes to read chapter 316 which constitutes the DUI (driving under the influence) law. The page lists penalties for the offense and definitions for terms related to the crime.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Drunk Driving - Access the official website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to view information regarding drunk driving. You can also read about the effects of blood alcohol concentration.

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Gainesville First DUI Lawyer | Alachua County, FL

If you have been arrested for a first DUI, contact Galigani Law Firm. For most people, facing a criminal change is a life-altering and frightening experience. Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney will significantly increase your chances of receiving reduced charges or having them dismissed altogether.

The Galigani Law Firm provides its professional legal experience to individuals who have been charged with a DUI offense in Florida and the surrounding areas of Alachua County, Marion County, Columbia County and Baker County. Gainesville Criminal defense lawyer Dean Galigani will use his comprehensive knowledge of Florida’s DUI laws to advocate for your particular circumstance. Contact the Galigani Law Firm for a free consultation today at (352) 375-0812.

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