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Why getting a lawyer is important for a DUI

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2024 | DUI

With the serious consequences that can be experienced, Florida residents who have been arrested for drunk driving should contact an attorney for help with a defense.

Seeing the flashing lights of a police car in the rear-view mirror is something that can make any Florida resident’s heart rate increase. When an otherwise routine traffic stop takes a turn into a potential investigation for suspected drunk driving, things can get very serious very fast.

If convicted of a DUI in Florida, even for the first time, many serious penalties can result. These make working with an attorney important for anyone accused of drunk driving.

Employment, housing and credit risks

More and more, full background checks are standard procedure when hiring new employees, renting apartments or homes, or even approving credit. According to PBS, when a background check exposes a criminal conviction on a person’s record, the potential risks can be great. Job offers may be rescinded. Home or apartment rentals may be denied. Credit may not be available.

A lawyer with experience working on DUI cases will know how to help people prepare information and evidence to appropriately navigate the criminal defense process.

Preserving the ability to get to work

Even after a first-time DUI conviction, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles indicates that driving privileges may be lost. A driver’s license may actually be revoked for as long as 12 months after a first DUI. If that arrest involved a crash that caused serious injury to another person, the revocation period may extend to 36 months.

This type of consequence can make it difficult if not virtually impossible for someone to get to work if they are fortunate enough to have a job to go to. A hardship license may be requested, allowing people the ability to transport themselves to and from work.

In some cases, drivers may be required to install an ignition interlock device. This requirement is mandatory if a driver’s blood alcohol content was 0.15 percent or higher or if there was a passenger 17 years of age or younger in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. WFSU reports that some state lawmakers want to require everyone convicted of drunk driving to use an ignition interlock device.

A lawyer can help people pursue the ability to get to and from a job or school so that they may maintain their livelihood.

Financial impact of a DUI

The financial realities of a DUI conviction can take a toll on a person’s bank account. A first offense carries fines up to $1,000 or $2,000 if a BAC was over 0.15 or a minor was in the vehicle. The cost of an IID if required must be borne by defendants and can add up fast, running sometimes $80 per month.

Getting professional legal experience is the best way for people to understand the full scope of the charges against them and how to defend against the charges.