DUI Defense

A DUI conviction may carry serious consequences for many years. However, you have the right to defend yourself against any and all charges facing you. Police must follow strict rules and procedures during a traffic stop. They must have proper cause for the stop, follow the law when collecting evidence and inform you of your rights. If the police didn't follow the law closely, you may be able to challenge part or all of the evidence brought against you, including breath tests. 

Contact Lance P. Richard, P. A. to determine if your rights were violated. 

Actual Physical Control and Impairment 

To prove a defendant guilty of DUI, the prosecution must prove that you were in actual physical control of the vehicle and that you were impaired. The actual physical control element of the charge can be proven when you merely have the "ability" to operate a motor vehicle. It does not require that you were driving the vehicle with the motor running. The second element of impairment does not require proof that you were drinking alcohol. Impairment can be proved by evidence that you did not have the physical abilities to operate a motor vehicle. You may be impaired and arrested for DUI from taking the prescription medicine ordered by your doctor. 

DUI Offenses and Implied Consent 

If you are impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication while you are driving, you dramatically increase your chances of being in a crash. If you are suspected of being impaired, and a law enforcement officer asks you to take a urine or breath test you are required to comply under Florida's "Implied Consent Law." When signing your driver's license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of these required tests may result in an immediate suspension of your driver's license for one year. A second refusal may result in an 18 month suspension of your license. 

Zero Tolerance for Drivers under 21 and Elevated Blood Alcohol Levels 

Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida driver's license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit means that anyone under the age of 21 cannot have a single drink and drive. 

For drivers over the age of 21 the legal limit in Florida for a blood alcohol level is less than .08. If you provide a breath, urine, or blood sample with a blood alcohol content of greater than .08, you are presumed to be impaired under Florida law. Drivers with a blood alcohol content of greater than .15 received enhanced penalties, as do drivers with multiple DUI convictions. 

Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is considered a serious offense. Below we have summarized the penalties in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI, but the average cost including legal defense, fines, and auto insurance increases is $8,000.00. 

Florida Minimum Mandatory Penalties for DUI First Conviction

  • Mandatory Adjudication
  • Fine - $250 to $500
  • Court Costs and Costs of Prosecution
  • Community Service - 50 Hours
  • Probation - Not more than 1 Year
  • Imprisonment - Not more than 6 Months
  • Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
  • License Revocation - Minimum of 180 days
  • DUI School - 12 Hours
  • Completion of the Victim Impact Panel Program

There are several defenses that can be raised in DUI cases. You may be able to raise challenges to the traffic stop, the field sobriety tests and the collection of blood breath or urine. Additionally, the prosecution may be unable to prove actual physical control of the vehicle or may be unable to prove the impairment element of the charge. 

Lance P. Richard, P.A. has handled thousands of DUI and traffic related offenses. We can review and investigate your DUI charges to determine if you have viable defenses to have your charges dismissed or reduced. You need an experienced and skilled DUI defense attorney. Contact Lance P. Richard P.A. today for an evaluation of your case. 

Lance P. Richard, P.A. handles DUI in Martin County, Florida; St. Lucie County, Florida; Palm Beach County, Florida; Indian River County, Florida; Okeechobee County Florida, and the following cities: Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Wellington, Boynton Beach, Port. St. Lucie, Sewall's Point, Ft. Pierce, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.