FAQ About DUI

At Cruz & Bano, P.A., we can represent you when you face drunk driving charges in Orlando or anywhere in Central Florida. We always offer free initial consultations so you can discuss your individual situation with an attorney, but we know that you may have questions now.

Listed below are FAQs about DUI in Florida:

Don't Wait To Contact Our Lawyers If You Have Been Pulled Over

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you should have an attorney on your side immediately. Do not say anything to anyone. Contact us first. Call us at 407-459-1293. You can also send us an email, and we will contact you. Hablamos español.

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What is the legal limit in Florida?

Someone with a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood is legally drunk.

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Am I going to get arrested if I have gotten pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving?

If the officer has probable cause to believe that you are operating or are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while your normal faculties are impaired, he or she can arrest you. DUI is a crime of opinion because it is based on the opinion of the arresting officer by observing you and determining whether your normal faculties are impaired.

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How long will I be in jail before getting released?

In Florida, you will typically be kept for at least eight hours. You can get a release on your own recognizance (ROR) or you can post bail.

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What is the Florida Implied Consent law?

Under the Florida Implied Consent Law, an officer can ask a driver to submit a breath, urine or blood sample to determine the blood alcohol level. It is important to understand that you have the legal right to refuse to undergo such a test. If you refuse to submit to the test, however, your driver's license will be suspended for one year for your first offense. If it is your second or subsequent time refusing to submit to a test, such refusal will be charged as a misdemeanor, and your license will be suspended for 18 months.

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What are the field sobriety exercises?

Field sobriety exercises are used by law enforcement officers to find probable cause for an arrest. They include the walk and turn, the one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus.

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What are the penalties for a DUI in Florida?

The penalties for a DUI depend on the facts and circumstances, including whether there has been property damage or bodily injury or whether it is a first-time DUI.

  • First conviction: Fine of $500 to $1,000, mandatory 50 hours of community service (or a fine of $10 per hour), 10-day vehicle impoundment, incarceration of up to six months (nine months for high BAL or minor in vehicle) with potential period of probation (the combination of both not to exceed one year)
  • Second conviction: Fine of $2,000 to $4,000, up to nine months' incarceration or 12 months with .15 BAL, 30-day vehicle impoundment if first conviction was within past five years, mandatory minimum 10 days in prison if first conviction was within past five years
  • Third conviction: Fine of $2,000 to $5,000, 90-day vehicle impoundment and mandatory minimum 30-day incarceration if third conviction within 10 years, incarceration of up to 12 months if third conviction occurs 10 years after prior convictions
  • Fourth or greater conviction: Fine of at least $2,000, incarceration of up to five years and habitual/violent offender status

Furthermore, if you are not a U.S. citizen, a DUI conviction could result in deportation.

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What are my options after I have been arrested?

After you have been arrested, you need to speak with an aggressive criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the situation and explain your rights and options. It is important to hire an attorney to fight the validity of the evidence against you at both the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing and at subsequent pretrial hearings in court.

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I blew through the Breathalyzer machine and I failed it. Do I still have a case?

Absolutely. If you fail a Breathalyzer test, we will attack the validity of the results and seek to have them suppressed. There are a lot of technical and administrative requirements that police must follow.

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If I refused to perform a Breathalyzer test, can I still be convicted of DUI?

Yes, in Florida, prosecutors can use the police officer's observation and your performance of the field sobriety exercises to obtain a conviction.

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What should I do after I am pulled over?

If you are pulled over, make sure you do not make any incriminating statements to the police. Anything you say to the police can and will very likely be used against you. Make sure you speak to a criminal defense attorney before saying anything to the police. You can legally refuse to take the Breathalyzer test or perform the field sobriety exercises. Even if you refuse, the police can still arrest you. The success of your case will then depend on the specific facts of your case and the skill of your criminal defense attorney.

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