Defense for DUI with Property Damage Charge in Florida
If you are facing criminal charges for a DUI with property damage in Florida, it is imperative that you seek the legal help of an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for this charge can have serious consequences and lasting impacts on your life, including time in jail or prison, a mandate to pay restitution, legal fines, the loss of your driver’s license, and more. However, a defense attorney can help. It may be possible to get your charges either dramatically reduced or dropped entirely, and it may be possible to save your driving privileges. But you must act quickly.
If you are accused of DUI with property damage in Orange, Palm Beach, or Broward County, seek the help of experienced Florida DUI Defense Attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal immediately. Mr. Shafran has years of experience defending DUI with property damage charges in Florida and is the head of the criminal defense division at Weinstein Legal as well as a partner at the firm. Additionally, Mr. Shafran has previous experience working as a prosecutor, meaning he is already well familiar with the tactics the opposing side will attempt to employ to gain a conviction. This puts you one step ahead when you hire Mr. Shafran as your defense attorney.
For a free case evaluation, call Weinstein Legal today at 954-845-0505. Our phones are open 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, so there will never be a time when your call for help goes unanswered. We will review the facts surrounding your charges for DUI with property damage in Florida, as well as your past criminal history and current legal standing, to provide you with guidance moving forward. All case evaluations come at absolutely no cost and with no obligation. Ask for the head of the criminal defense division, attorney Matt Shafran, and begin forming your defense today.
Areas In Florida We Represent
When you are facing criminal charges for DUI with property damage, seek the legal assistance of a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Penalties for a DUI With Property Damage Charge
A charge for DUI with property damage in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor charge, given that no criteria for a higher-grade charge apply. This means that in any driving under the influence case, if you cause damage to another person’s property or vehicle you may incur this charge. Extenuating circumstances that may lead to upgraded charges include the presence of a minor, serious bodily injury or death to another individual, being in possession of a weapon or other illicit substances, having a blood alcohol content over a certain level, and more. Additionally, if this is not your first charge for driving under the influence, you may face harsher sentencing and even felony charges.
If you do receive the lowest-grade charge for this offense, a first-degree misdemeanor, the possible consequences include:
- Up to one year in jail and up to one year probation
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- A mandate to pay restitution to the victim, reimbursing them for the costs of property you damage in the accident
- A mandate to complete drug and alcohol counseling or rehabilitation
- The suspension of your driver’s license for a specified period
- And more
A DUI with property damage charge in Florida is known as a “DUI enhancement charge.” This means that not only did law enforcement arrest you for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but there were additional circumstances that led to a more serious offense. A standard DUI charge without this enhancement of property damage, by comparison, carries a maximum sentence of just six months in jail and $500 in fines.
As the charge becomes more severe, a judge may apply additional penalties and longer sentencing. For this reason, it is essential that you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you as soon as possible. Some places of employment forbid individuals with DUI convictions from working, and a DUI charge with property damage in Florida will appear on any background check a person runs on you for quite some time.
What this means is that a conviction can have a lasting impact on your life. Furthermore, if you lose your driving privilege for a period of time, you may find it challenging to get to work or school, and you may have to significantly alter your daily routine. Defense attorney and DUI lawyer Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal is here to help.
Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)
The state of Florida outlines legislature in regard to driving under the influence in Statute Section 316.193(3)(c). This statute includes information on what qualifies as driving under the influence, legal blood alcohol limits, and much more.
Additionally, in this statute, you will find information pertaining to repeat DUI offenders, what happens when another person sustains an injury as a result of a drunk driving accident, possible sentencing & penalties, and more.
It is important to recognize that each DUI case is different and that there are many routes a defense lawyer can take in an attempt to prove your innocence before a judge. Do not take this chance in court alone. Having experienced legal representation on your side can significantly help your chances of reducing your charges or having them dismissed entirely.
Obtaining a Hardship License in Florida
Often, we hear from clients that their main point of concern is losing their driving privileges in the state of Florida. This is understandable, as many individuals rely on their cars to get to work, school, doctor’s appointments, to complete errands, care for their children, and so much more. Not having access to your car can have a severe negative impact on your life. Some individuals find that without a driver’s license, they need to switch jobs. This is something we never want to see occur, and we seek to inform all clients that it is possible to obtain a hardship license in the state of Florida (this is not the case in every U.S. state).
A hardship license, or a “business-purpose-only license,” allows you to retain driving privileges only for purposes of employment. This includes getting to and from work and driving for work if the task is part of your job description.
In the state of Florida, you must apply for a hardship license, one will not automatically be granted to you. YOU MAY OR MAY NOT QUALIFY FOR A HARDSHIP LICENSE. To qualify for a hardship license, you must:
- Be a Florida Resident
- Have a valid Florida license at the time of the arrest for DUI.
- NOT have a prior conviction for DUI and/or have 2 refusals to submit to breath, blood, or urine (this includes the new arrest).
If you qualify for a hardship license, in order to get your hardship license as fast as possible, you MUST APPLY for the license within TEN (10) DAYS FORM THE DATE OF YOUR ARREST. If you do NOT, then you risk waiting time until you can get the hardship license (30 days if you provided a breath/blood/urine sample and 90 days if your refused).
To apply for the hardship license, follow these steps:
- Enroll in a DUI education school, approved by the state.
- Present the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles with evidence of your DUI school enrollment.
- Complete the state-mandated application form and pay the application fee.
- Have the Waiver Hearing (DMV/Board of Administrative Review office will call you).
- Make appointment to get restricted Hardship License
It is essential that if the state does grant you a hardship license that you follow the strict rules and guidelines regarding where and when you may operate a motor vehicle. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in a subsequent suspension of your driver’s license as well as renewed penalties and consequences.
How a DUI Lawyer Can Help
A DUI lawyer can help if you have a DUI with property damage charge in Florida. It may be possible to file for a hardship license, protecting your driving privileges, and an attorney may be able to negotiate admission into a pre-trial diversion program that will erase the criminal charge from your permanent record once you fulfill certain requirements. Contact us here:
Additionally, an attorney such as Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal may be able to negotiate a better deal with the prosecutor’s office, getting them to either reduce or dismiss your charges entirely. Do not wait to contact Weinstein Legal for assistance. Get your free case evaluation today!