If you have been arrested for your first driving under the influence offense in the Florida Panhandle, you may feel overwhelmed and be confused about where to turn for help or the repercussions you could face if convicted.
It is important to remember that if you have been charged with a DUI you will not necessarily be convicted of the offense. The state prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This means if the judge or jury has any doubt you were not in actual physical control of the vehicle or your alcohol concentration level was not above .08, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Destin to help you identify your best legal strategy.
Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation regarding your first driving under the influence offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and Panama City.
The criminal defense attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced in defending clients in all areas of Florida DUI and will make every effort to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with a first DUI throughout the Florida Panhandle.
According to Fla. Stat. § 316.193, an individual can be charged with a first driving under the influence (DUI) offense if, while driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, they are under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance and their normal faculties are impaired.
Normal faculties generally include the functions an individual performs on a daily basis, such as the ability to see walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, and/or complete any basic motor skills they could do on a regular basis.
An individual can also be charged with a first DUI offense in Florida under section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes if, while driving or having actual physical control of a car or motor vehicle, their blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC or AC) level is .08% or higher.
If the driver of a vehicle is pulled over and their BAC is .08% or higher, they can automatically be arrested for a driving under the influence offense. This is commonly known as per se DUI, where the alleged offender’s BAC is at or beyond the legal limit indicating they were per se driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
A first DUI offense is generally punishable as a misdemeanor of the second degree. An individual convicted of a first driving under the influence offense can receive any combination of the following penalties, according to sections 775.082, 775.083 and 775.084 of the Florida Statutes:
Under certain circumstances, an individual can be penalized with additional punishments. For example, anyone charged with a DUI with a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.15 or higher or if they were accompanied by a minor under the age of 18 at the time of the arrest, can receive any of the following enhanced punishments:
An individual convicted of a first driving under the influence offense is also subject to a DUI program, driver improvement course, or substance abuse education course under Florida Statutes section 322.291. This program is designed to provide education and psychosocial evaluation and any treatment referral services to anyone convicted of a DUI. All first DUI offenders in Florida must complete this program before they can have their driver’s license reinstated.
The DUI programs in Okaloosa County are sponsored by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and consist of two different levels. The Level I course was created for first-time DUI offenders, and Level II is for any repeat DUI offenders. The Level I course consists of a minimum of 12 hours of classroom instruction.
In order to have a driver’s license suspension revoked, all DUI offenders must prevent proof of enrollment in a DUI program to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If an individual fails to complete the program within 90 days of the reinstatement of their driving privileges or they fail to complete treatment, their driving privileges will be canceled. However, driving privileges can be reinstated once the course has been successfully completed.
If you have been accused of a first driving under the influence offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today.
Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an experienced DUI attorney in Destin who will fight the allegations against you and make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at about your alleged first DUI.