If you have been charged with driving under the influence with a passenger under 18 years of age in Florida, then you may have a defense. Before a trial ever takes place, the legality of the traffic stop, the breath or blood test results and any statements you made can all be attacked with a motion to suppress on constitutional grounds. If you have the right lawyer, your case can be dismissed based on an illegal traffic stop, breath test results can be thrown out if certain legal steps weren’t followed and your statements can be thrown out for legal reasons as well. If the case is not thrown out before trial, the traffic stop, the officer’s credibility, and the lack of evidence can all be used to create reasonable doubt in your case. Even if you don’t think you have a defense, you should always speak to an attorney to make sure you have a full understanding of how the law applies specifically to your case. If you want to know more about how to beat your DUI in Florida, then contact Matthew Williams now for a free consultation.
In Florida, driving under the influence with a passenger under 18 years of age is defined under Florida Statute 316.193(1) and (4)(a). A person commits the crime of driving under the influence with a passenger under 18 years of age when they drive a vehicle, or are in actual physical control of a vehicle, within the State of Florida, and that person is either 1.) under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any chemical or controlled substance to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired, 2.) has a breath-alcohol level of .08 or higher, or 3.) has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, and at the time of the offense, that person was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years.
Driving under the influence with a passenger under 18 years of age is a hybrid misdemeanor, and if you are convicted of driving under the influence with a passenger under 18 years of age, then a judge is required to impose the following penalties:
- up to nine months jail for a first conviction and up to 12 months jail for a second conviction;
- placement of an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months;
- up to 12 months of county probation;
- 6 to 12-month drivers’ license suspension;
- at least 50 community service hours;
- 10-day vehicle impoundment;
- $1,000 to $2,000 fine for a first conviction;
- completion of a 12-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course;
- completion of a psychosocial evaluation to see if substance abuse treatment is required; and
- completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment.
Attorney Williams can help you avoid mandatory DUI punishments and lifelong consequences that come with a permanent DUI conviction. All criminal convictions, especially convictions for DUI, carry severe consequences and can never be removed from your criminal record. In addition to facing jail time, your driving privileges, insurance premiums and eligibility for certain jobs will be negatively impacted. You can also lose your professional license, employment or status as a student.
If you need an attorney who will advise you, fight for your rights, and do everything possible to protect your future, or if someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence with a passenger under 18 years if age in Florida and they need effective representation, then contact Matthew Williams now for a free consultation.