How Do I Avoid Jail When Facing A First-Time DUI Charge In Florida?
Arrested for a first-time DUI offense in Florida? It is a serious criminal charge that carries the risk of jail time. That being said, not every person who is arrested for a first-offense DUI in Florida will be sentenced to an extended prison term. You have the right to zealously defend yourself. Below, our Orange County DUI defense attorney offers an overview of the key strategies for avoiding jail when facing a first-time intoxicated driving charge in Florida.
An Overview of Florida’s DUI Statutes
Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 316.193), a person can be arrested for and charged with DUI if they are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and they are “under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in § 877.111, or any substance controlled under Chapter 893.” A conviction for a first-time DUI in Florida carries significant penalties, including:
- A $1,000 fine;
- A six month license suspension;
- 50 hours of community service; and
- A maximum six months in jail.
Your Two Best Options to Avoid Jail When Facing a First-Time DUI Offense in Florida
Even if it is the first criminal charge that you have ever faced, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is still a serious offense. A conviction can lead to severe consequences—potentially including multiple months in jail. The good news is that you always have the right to defend yourself. Here is an overview of the two primary strategies for avoiding jail time in a first-time DUI case in Orlando:
- Defend the Charge: A core principle of the American justice system is that the law presumes a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You can aggressively defend a DUI charge. With guidance from a top Orlando DUI defense attorney, you can challenge the evidence presented against you. Among other things, building your defense may involve questioning the validity of the breathalyzer test, questioning the procedures followed during your arrest, or questioning even the reason for the traffic stop in the first place. Be proactive. Consult with a defense lawyer right away.
- Negotiate a Plea Deal: Not every first-time DUI charge is best handled with an aggressive defense. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to avoid a prolonged court battle. You may be able to most effectively secure your future—and avoid jail—through a plea agreement. Indeed, many first-time DUI cases in Central Florida are resolved through a plea bargain. A plea agreement should always be evaluated and negotiated by an experienced Orlando criminal defense lawyer.
Call Our Orlando, FL DUI Defense Attorney Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando, FL DUI defense lawyer has the professional expertise that you can trust. Arrested for a first-time DUI? We are here as a legal resource. Get in touch with us by phone or contact us online to set up your completely private, no commitment case review. From our Orlando office, we defend first-time DUI charges throughout Central Florida.