All drunk driving arrests are not treated equally under Florida state law. The unique circumstances of each DUI arrest determine how serious the resulting charges will be. There are a number of factors that can automatically result in elevated charges. For example, DUI arrests that follow car accidents or that involve children or drivers with criminal records all lead to higher level charges.
Late last month, a man was arrested for DUI in Lake Mary. He had children in his vehicle at the time of the arrest, and this is not his first DUI charge. These factors mean that a conviction could result in very severe penalties.
The man was arrested by Lake Mary police outside of a liquor store. Three children were in his vehicle at the time, according to a news report.
It is unclear why police stopped the man and whether his blood alcohol content was tested. The news report does state that he had previously been arrested for driving drunk on four separate occasions, dating back to 1996. It is not clear whether he was actually convicted of any of those charges.
Many Florida residents may not realize that arrests can show up on a permanent criminal record even when they do not result in convictions. Such arrest records can affect one's future in numerous ways, and not only during potential future run-ins with the law. A criminal record can greatly limit a person's career opportunities, as well as admission into colleges and access to scholarships. It can even affect loan applications and housing.
In many cases, Florida residents can have their criminal records expunged or sealed, but this is not an easy process. Those who would like to apply for expungement may benefit from criminal defense counsel.
Source: First Coast News, "Police: Father arrested on fifth DUI charge with 3 kids in car," Jan. 29, 2014