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Orlando DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Defense Attorneys

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

DUI Defense Attorneys in Orlando Florida

If you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications, and see flashing red lights pulling you over, it can be very nerve-wracking. Many thoughts may be racing through your mind, and you may wonder:

    “Am I going to be arrested?”
    “Will I have to take a breath, blood or urine test?”
    “Can I refuse to submit to these tests?”
    “What is the legal limit in Florida?”
    ‘Will I have to go to jail?”

The attorneys at Hale, Hale & Jacobson in Orlando, Florida can help answer these common questions for you, and possibly help you achieve some piece of mind. Driving Under the Influence in Florida means driving, or being in actual physical possession of a vehicle, and being impaired with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher after drinking alcohol, taking controlled substances, or using other chemical substances. Common DUI Offenses and issues associated with charges for driving under the influence in Florida can include:

It is important to act quickly after you have been arrested for a driving under the influence charge. You only have ten days to file a motion with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request an administrative hearing in order to prevent a suspension your driver’s license.

Orlando DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with any DUI offense in Orange County, or any of the surrounding counties in Florida, contact Hale, Hale & Jacobson for a consultation at (407) 425-4640. Richard O. Hale and Maria D. Hale are experienced criminal defense attorneys and are knowledgeable about Florida’s DUI laws. They do not settle for the easiest outcome and fight for case dismissal, not guilty verdicts, minimized charges, acquittals and other favorable resolutions.

Florida DUI Information Center

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Actual Physical Control (APC) in Florida

If you are charged with a DUI offense in Florida, one requirement under Florida law is that you have to be in actual physical control (APC) of the vehicle at the time the offense occurred. Law enforcement officers usually determine APC by the alleged offender sitting in the driver’s seat, the key to the vehicle is either in the alleged offender’s actual or constructive possession, and there is evidence the vehicle was operable. Therefore, if you are charged with a DUI in Florida, you do not have to be actually driving a car.

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Florida’s Legal Limit

The legal limit in Florida is the maximum allowable amount of alcohol detectable in the blood or breath before someone is charged with an offense for being under the influence of alcohol. Florida’s limit is .08. This means a person cannot have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or a breath alcohol level of .08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath. If you are pulled over and your BAC is .08 or higher, your can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida.

If you have a high blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .15 in Florida, you can incur greater punishments, including higher fines, and more time in prison or jail.

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Orlando, Florida Common DUI Charges

Common DUI offenses, as defined in Florida Statutes § 316.193, can include:

  • First DUI is typically a second degree misdemeanor under, and occurs if someone is in actual physical control of a vehicle, they are under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or other chemical substance, and their BAC was over the legal limit of .08.
  • Second DUI is usually a misdemeanor of the first degree, and occurs when someone who is in actual physical control of the vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or some other controlled substances, and has a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • Felony DUI occurs if someone has been convicted of three or more DUI violations within ten years of a previous DUI conviction.
  • DUI involving property damage is usually a misdemeanor of the first degree, and involves a person operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a BAC of .08 or higher, and they cause or contribute to causing damage to the property of someone else
  • DUI involving death or serious body injury can either be a felony of the first, second or third degree, and occurs when someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol operates a vehicle with a BAC over the legal limit, and causes or contributes to causing death or serious bodily injury to another person.

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Penalties for DUI Convictions in Florida

Depending on the number of prior DUI convictions you may have, whether your DUI involved death or serious bodily injury, whether your DUI involved damage to property, and the level of your BAC at the time of arrest will determine the possible punishments for a DUI conviction. Penalties for DUI convictions can include:

  • Fines ranging from $500 to $10,000,
  • Jail or prison time from less than six months to 30 years,
  • Mandatory placement of an interlock device on the offender’s vehicle,
  • Monthly reporting probation,
  • Substance abuse course,
  • Psychosocial evaluation,
  • Community service,
  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation, and/or
  • Court costs and fees.

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What to Do if You are Arrested for DUI in Orlando

If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI, it is likely you will be arrested. In order to reduce the consequences you may face for an arrest, when you are arrested by a law enforcement officer, it is important to:

    Ask to have an attorney present before you disclose any information, or say anything to the arresting officer.
    Not give any kind of written statement, or sign anything the officer asks you to sign, unless you have an attorney present.
    Contact an attorney immediately to represent you in your DUI case.
    Maintain your own documentation and evidence of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. It may be able to help you in your situation, and you don’t want to solely rely on the evidence the arresting officer has.

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Defenses to a DUI in Orlando

One common defense is that you were not in actual physical possession of the vehicle at the time you were charged with DUI. This must be proven by the prosecution, and it may be difficult in certain situations, such as when an accident is involved.

Additional defenses may involve faulty breath, urine or blood tests. For example, faulty blood, breath or urine tests can result if the rules regarding administration of the tests were violated, or the tests were inaccurate or inconclusive. Also, if the arresting officer did not warn you of the consequences for refusal of these tests they may be inadmissible.

Other defenses can include constitutional violations, like the arresting law enforcement officer did not have probable cause to stop your car, or the arresting officer did not give you your Miranda Warnings.

It is important to talk to your attorney about the defenses that may be possible in your case, as every DUI charge has different facts and circumstances.

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Resources for Driving Under the Influence in Florida

Orange County Clerk of Courts – This web site has information about filing fees, forms, and resources to access your case and records online. The clerk’s office is located at:

Orange County Clerk of Courts
425 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 410
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: (407) 836-2000

City of Orlando Police Department – This Florida law enforcement agency help keeps Orlando safe by reducing crime and keeping the neighborhoods livable. The office is located at:

Orlando Police Department
100 South Hughey Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: (407) 246-2470

Mothers Against Drunk Driving – This national nonprofit organization’s goal is stop drunk driving, prevent crimes resulting from drinking and driving, and support the victims of drunk driving crimes.

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Hale, Hale & Jacobson | Orlando DUI Arrest Lawyer

Contact the law offices of Hale, Hale & Jacobson today for a consultation about your drinking and driving offense in Orlando, Florida. The facts of each case are different, so it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to find possible defenses or mitigating factors to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Contact Hale, Hale & Jacobson at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your DUI charge in Orange County and surrounding areas, including Seminole County, Osceola County, Orlando, Winter Park and Kissimmee.