Common Questions Regarding DUIs in Florida
At 911 Biker Law and the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A., we advocate for our clients who have been charged with a DUI, arrested for DUI or who have been wrongly singled out during a DUI checkpoint. Find answers to the most common questions regarding DUI our law firm hears, and contact a DUI defense attorney in Orlando if you have questions not answered here.
Is a DUI a felony or misdemeanor?
Under Florida DUI laws, a DUI may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether you have prior convictions for DUI. Also, if a fatality resulted from the DUI, then the driver is more likely to be charged with a felony. If you do not have prior convictions, then a DUI is usually a misdemeanor offense.
Is a DWI a felony or misdemeanor?
Driving while intoxicated, or DWI, has the same penalties as DUI when drivers are over the age of 21. For drivers under the age of 21, a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher may result in a DUI or DWI charge.
Will my license be revoked from a DUI?
With a DUI, your driver's license will be revoked for a period of time. The length of the revocation depends on the number of prior DUI convictions on your record.
Will a DUI result in a license suspension?
If you refuse to submit to DUI evidentiary testing, then a license suspension will occur. Also, judges are able to impose driver's license suspensions as part of sentencing.
Can I drive if my license is revoked?
You cannot drive when your license has been revoked unless you have completed DUI school and obtained a hardship reinstatement. Driving while a license is revoked may result in additional criminal charges. A DUI defense lawyer can help explain license issues.
Can I drive if my license is suspended?
You cannot drive when a license has been suspended, unless you have been granted specific restricted driving privileges. Driving with a suspended license may result in additional criminal charges. An Orlando defense attorney can help you reinstate your license.
I got hit by a drunk driver — can I sue?
If you sustained injuries or property damage in an accident involving a drunk driver, then you may have a claim for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. An Orlando attorney can review your case and assess your eligibility for a damages claim.
How do I reinstate my license after a suspension for refusal to submit to a breath/urine/blood test?
To reinstate your license after a refusal, you must complete DUI school and apply for an administrative hearing for reinstatement. Typically, reinstatement cannot occur until a certain period of time has passed.
The police just arrested my friend for DUI. How do I get him / her out of jail?
To get an arrested friend out of jail, you will need to post a bond. Bond can be a cash payment, or an agreement can be reached with a bail bonds company to post the bond for your friend. The amount of bond depends of the specific crime charged.
I've just gotten out of jail for DUI. What do I do next?
Contact an Orlando DUI attorney as soon as possible for a consultation and representation. An Orlando DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A. will make sure your rights are protected and will review your case for possible defenses.
What penalties am I facing regarding my driver's license? What penalties am I facing in the criminal court?
You may face license revocation or suspension. In the criminal court, you are subject to fines, jail, probation, community service, substance abuse treatment and testing requirements.
Does it matter if I hire a lawyer?
Yes! While you are not required to hire a lawyer, it is generally a good idea. A DUI defense attorney will know what defenses are available and can advocate for your best interests.
What do police officers look for when searching for drunk drivers on the highways?
Officers generally look for signs of impaired driving, such as erratic driving, speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, etc. There must be reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation for an officer to make a traffic stop.
If I'm stopped by a police officer and he asks me if I've been drinking, what should I say?
You are not required to answer the question. You may want to respond with, "why do you ask," or some similar follow up response. Because what you say to an officer may be used against you, be careful about admitting anything to an officer.
What is the officer looking for during the initial detention at the scene?
An officer is looking for signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, odors of alcohol, inability to multitask, glassy eyes, open or empty alcoholic beverage containers, etc. If signs of intoxication are present, an officer can request field sobriety tests.
What should I do if I am asked to take field sobriety tests?
Because field sobriety tests may be used against you, you may elect to refuse to complete the tests. Refusal may result in arrest, but there must be sufficient evidence of intoxication for this to occur.