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DUI Defense

Samuel J. KaufmanReviewsout of 12 reviews
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Because drinking and driving is so dangerous, the penalties for doing so are extremely harsh in Florida. The state is serious about curbing injuries and deaths from alcohol-related crashes. The more DUIs you receive, the worse the penalties become. Not to mention the fact that both the courts and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, will have a say in what happens to you after you are stopped for driving under the influence.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance. Those under 21 years old will be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.02% or over and commercial drivers will be charged if their BAC is 0.04% or over.

Request a hearing immediately after your arrest – 10 days only!
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in Florida, it is critical that you speak immediately with a Key West DUI defense lawyer. Due to new Florida legislation, you only have 10 days to request a hearing to prevent your Florida driver’s license from being suspended or request a review of eligibility for a hardship license. Your legal representative can create an effective defense that can not only protect your reputation but also help protect your driving privileges.

Steps to Take Before, During and After a DUI Arrest
If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, we understand it can be a very frightening time. You may be stressed over concerns of avoiding a guilty conviction, a license suspension, or the negative social and professional consequences you could experience even if you are innocent of a DUI crime. Proceeding cautiously with the help of an experienced DUI attorney in Key West can be the most proactive way to prevent a DUI conviction.

Take the following important steps:

  1. Don’t ever drive while impaired.
  2. Remember your Miranda rights.
  3. Do not help police gather evidence that can be used against you.
  4. Stay silent, refuse a breath test, or choose to take a chemical test after an arrest.
  5. Consult an experience and knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer.
    With the help of an attorney, request your hearing with the DHSMV immediately after an arrest to prevent license revocation or suspension.

Planning Ahead to Achieve Favorable Case Results
At the Law Offices of Samuel J. Kaufman, P.A., we take each case on with a swift, strategic and custom-tailored approach, based on your individual goals. Our DUI defense team consists of a former prosecutor and a former Public Defender with over 3 decades of experience between them. They are prepared to formulate a defense that protects your freedom, integrity and challenges any and all evidence against you. They are also not afraid to take your DUI case to a full blown trial if necessary. In fact, they have handled over 50 DUI jury trials, with many resulting in not guilty verdicts. There is no time to waste. In some instances, plea deals can be worked out before cases are even officially filed.

We know you have questions?
If you have questions about your DUI arrest, or if you are ready to discuss your arrest with a qualified DUI lawyer in Key West, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Samuel J. Kaufman, P.A. We would be happy to analyze the facts surrounding your case, determine any weaknesses and strengths, and explain the legal options that are available for your specific circumstance.
Call our office today to schedule a case evaluation to get started defending our DUI arrest.
DO NOT MISS YOUR TEN DAY DEADLINE TO CONTEST YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION! It begins ten days after your arrest.

DUI PENALTY INFORAMTION

First DUI Conviction in Florida

Even your 1st DUI conviction can be costly both in time, fines and living with the consequences. The courts (criminal penalties) and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Administrative penalties) can take actions such as:

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver’s license suspension/revocation: 180 days to 1 year
  • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
  • Administrative fee: $130.
  • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
    • Suspension: $45
    • Revocation: $75.
  • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device and fee of $12 (if granted a restricted driver’s license).

Criminal Penalties

  • Fines of $500 to $1,000.
    • If you have a BAL of 0.15% or higher, or had a minor in the car, the fine will range between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Community service. Mandatory 50 hours, or an additional fine equaling $10 per required community service hour.
  • Probation of no more than 1 year.
  • Jail time of up to 6 months. For BAL of 0.15% or higher, the sentence could last 9 months.
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days (not counted during your incarceration)
  • Ignition Interlock Device.

Second DUI Conviction

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver’s license suspension/revocation
    • Not within 5 years: 180 days to 1 year
    • Within 5 years: 5 years
  • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
  • Administrative fee: $130.
  • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
    • Suspension: $45
    • Revocation: $75.
  • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device: $12 if granted a restricted driver’s license.

Criminal Penalties

  • Fines of $1,000 to $2,000. For BAL of .0.15% or higher, or a minor in the car, minimum $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Jail time of not more than 9 months. A BAL of .0.15% or higher, or driving with a minor in the car, will require up to 12 months*.
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days.*

Third FL DUI Conviction

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver’s license suspension/revocation:
    • Not within 10 years: 180 days to 1 year.
    • Previous offense within 5 years: 5 years
    • Last 2 offenses within 10 years: 10 years
    • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
    • Administrative fee: $130.
    • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
      • Suspension: $45
      • Revocation: $75.
      • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
      • Ignition Interlock Device: $12 if granted a restricted driver’s license.

Criminal Penalties

    • Fines of $2,000 to $5,000. If your BAL was .0.15% or higher or you had a minor in the vehicle, the minimum fine is $4,000.
    • Jail time. Mandatory 30 days. Depending on previous convictions the maximum jail time is 12 months.*
    • Vehicle impoundment for 90 days.*

Fourth or Subsequent DUI Conviction

Administrative Penalties

    • Driver’s license suspension/revocation: 5 years (no hardship available)
    • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
    • Administrative fee: $130.
    • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
      • Suspension: $45
      • Revocation: $75.
    • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
    • Ignition Interlock Device: $12 if granted a restricted driver’s license.

Criminal Penalties

    • Minimum $2,000 fine.
    • Jail time of up to 5 years.

FL Drivers Younger Than 21 Years of Age

Young drivers who are found with a BAC of 0.02% or higher are subject to an automatic Administrative suspensionof 6 months by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. For most people, a single drink will put them over that limit. More than one conviction, or refusing to take a BAC test, will have you lose your license for much longer:

    • DUI 2nd offense: 1 year.
    • Refusing to take BAC test 1st offense: 1 year.
    • Refusing to take BAC test 2nd offense: 18 months.

DUI Misdemeanors, Felonies and Manslaughter

The penalties listed above may sound harsh, but they’re really the best-case scenario for a person who makes the decision to drink alcohol and then get into a car and drive. If you hurt someone while impaired or, worse yet, cause a death, the above penalties will seem like a slap on the wrist. DUI Misdemeanors, Felonies and Manslaughter carry extremely high penalties.
Administrative actions alone carry permanent revocation of your license with very little hope for a hardship license within 5 years if you cause a fatality. If you have had any prior convictions for DUI you will never be allowed to possess a driver’s license again. This does not include the fines of up to $10,000 you could pay or the 30 years imprisonment you may face for a DUI Manslaughter or Felony charge.

License Reinstatements by the FL DHSMV

Even if you haven’t caused injuries or served jail time, losing your license can seriously affect other areas of your life, not the least of which is your job.

Hardship License Reinstatement

In some cases, it might be possible to have your suspended license reinstated for hardship purposes, meaning to drive to and from work only. You’ll have to complete a DUI program and probably have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for 6 months to 5 years.

Ignition Interlock Device 

The ignition interlock device requires the driver to give a breath sample before starting the car. If the BAC is more than 0.025%, the car will not start. The device even submits the driver to “rolling retests,” meaning an alarm will sound and the driver must give a sample while operating the vehicle. Even if you don’t apply for a hardship reinstatement, you’ll still be required to take the DUI course and possibly use an ignition interlock device. There’s no way to recover from a DUI conviction easily or quickly. The best idea is the simplest: Don’t drink and drive, period. For more official details and regulations concerning DUI convictions, please see the state’s website.

Because drinking and driving is so dangerous, the penalties for doing so are extremely harsh in Florida. The state is serious about curbing injuries and deaths from alcohol-related crashes. The more DUIs you receive, the worse the penalties become. Not to mention the fact that both the courts and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, will have a say in what happens to you after you are stopped for driving under the influence.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance. Those under 21 years old will be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.02% or over and commercial drivers will be charged if their BAC is 0.04% or over.

Request a hearing immediately after your arrest – 10 days only!
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in Florida, it is critical that you speak immediately with a Key West DUI defense lawyer. Due to new Florida legislation, you only have 10 days to request a hearing to prevent your Florida driver’s license from being suspended or request a review of eligibility for a hardship license. Your legal representative can create an effective defense that can not only protect your reputation but also help protect your driving privileges.

Steps to Take Before, During and After a DUI Arrest
If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, we understand it can be a very frightening time. You may be stressed over concerns of avoiding a guilty conviction, a license suspension, or the negative social and professional consequences you could experience even if you are innocent of a DUI crime. Proceeding cautiously with the help of an experienced DUI attorney in Key West can be the most proactive way to prevent a DUI conviction.

Take the following important steps:

  1. Don’t ever drive while impaired.
  2. Remember your Miranda rights.
  3. Do not help police gather evidence that can be used against you.
  4. Stay silent, refuse a breath test, or choose to take a chemical test after an arrest.
  5. Consult an experience and knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer.
    With the help of an attorney, request your hearing with the DHSMV immediately after an arrest to prevent license revocation or suspension.

Planning Ahead to Achieve Favorable Case Results
At the Law Offices of Samuel J. Kaufman, P.A., we take each case on with a swift, strategic and custom-tailored approach, based on your individual goals. Our DUI defense team consists of a former prosecutor and a former Public Defender with over 3 decades of experience between them. They are prepared to formulate a defense that protects your freedom, integrity and challenges any and all evidence against you. They are also not afraid to take your DUI case to a full blown trial if necessary. In fact, they have handled over 50 DUI jury trials, with many resulting in not guilty verdicts. There is no time to waste. In some instances, plea deals can be worked out before cases are even officially filed.

We know you have questions?
If you have questions about your DUI arrest, or if you are ready to discuss your arrest with a qualified DUI lawyer in Key West, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Samuel J. Kaufman, P.A. We would be happy to analyze the facts surrounding your case, determine any weaknesses and strengths, and explain the legal options that are available for your specific circumstance.
Call our office today to schedule a case evaluation to get started defending our DUI arrest.
DO NOT MISS YOUR TEN DAY DEADLINE TO CONTEST YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION! It begins ten days after your arrest.

DUI PENALTY INFORAMTION

First DUI Conviction in Florida

Even your 1st DUI conviction can be costly both in time, fines and living with the consequences. The courts (criminal penalties) and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Administrative penalties) can take actions such as:

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver’s license suspension/revocation: 180 days to 1 year
  • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
  • Administrative fee: $130.
  • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
    • Suspension: $45
    • Revocation: $75.
  • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device and fee of $12 (if granted a restricted driver’s license).

Criminal Penalties

  • Fines of $500 to $1,000.
    • If you have a BAL of 0.15% or higher, or had a minor in the car, the fine will range between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Community service. Mandatory 50 hours, or an additional fine equaling $10 per required community service hour.
  • Probation of no more than 1 year.
  • Jail time of up to 6 months. For BAL of 0.15% or higher, the sentence could last 9 months.
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days (not counted during your incarceration)
  • Ignition Interlock Device.

Second DUI Conviction

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver’s license suspension/revocation
    • Not within 5 years: 180 days to 1 year
    • Within 5 years: 5 years
  • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
  • Administrative fee: $130.
  • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
    • Suspension: $45
    • Revocation: $75.
  • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device: $12 if granted a restricted driver’s license.

Criminal Penalties

  • Fines of $1,000 to $2,000. For BAL of .0.15% or higher, or a minor in the car, minimum $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Jail time of not more than 9 months. A BAL of .0.15% or higher, or driving with a minor in the car, will require up to 12 months*.
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days.*

Third FL DUI Conviction

Administrative Penalties

  • Driver’s license suspension/revocation:
    • Not within 10 years: 180 days to 1 year.
    • Previous offense within 5 years: 5 years
    • Last 2 offenses within 10 years: 10 years
    • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
    • Administrative fee: $130.
    • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
      • Suspension: $45
      • Revocation: $75.
      • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
      • Ignition Interlock Device: $12 if granted a restricted driver’s license.

Criminal Penalties

    • Fines of $2,000 to $5,000. If your BAL was .0.15% or higher or you had a minor in the vehicle, the minimum fine is $4,000.
    • Jail time. Mandatory 30 days. Depending on previous convictions the maximum jail time is 12 months.*
    • Vehicle impoundment for 90 days.*

Fourth or Subsequent DUI Conviction

Administrative Penalties

    • Driver’s license suspension/revocation: 5 years (no hardship available)
    • DUI Program (if required) and fee: $15
    • Administrative fee: $130.
    • Driver’s license reinstatement fee:
      • Suspension: $45
      • Revocation: $75.
    • Maintain FR-44 for 3 years
    • Ignition Interlock Device: $12 if granted a restricted driver’s license.

Criminal Penalties

    • Minimum $2,000 fine.
    • Jail time of up to 5 years.

FL Drivers Younger Than 21 Years of Age

Young drivers who are found with a BAC of 0.02% or higher are subject to an automatic Administrative suspensionof 6 months by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. For most people, a single drink will put them over that limit. More than one conviction, or refusing to take a BAC test, will have you lose your license for much longer:

    • DUI 2nd offense: 1 year.
    • Refusing to take BAC test 1st offense: 1 year.
    • Refusing to take BAC test 2nd offense: 18 months.

DUI Misdemeanors, Felonies and Manslaughter

The penalties listed above may sound harsh, but they’re really the best-case scenario for a person who makes the decision to drink alcohol and then get into a car and drive. If you hurt someone while impaired or, worse yet, cause a death, the above penalties will seem like a slap on the wrist. DUI Misdemeanors, Felonies and Manslaughter carry extremely high penalties.
Administrative actions alone carry permanent revocation of your license with very little hope for a hardship license within 5 years if you cause a fatality. If you have had any prior convictions for DUI you will never be allowed to possess a driver’s license again. This does not include the fines of up to $10,000 you could pay or the 30 years imprisonment you may face for a DUI Manslaughter or Felony charge.

License Reinstatements by the FL DHSMV

Even if you haven’t caused injuries or served jail time, losing your license can seriously affect other areas of your life, not the least of which is your job.

Hardship License Reinstatement

In some cases, it might be possible to have your suspended license reinstated for hardship purposes, meaning to drive to and from work only. You’ll have to complete a DUI program and probably have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for 6 months to 5 years.

Ignition Interlock Device 

The ignition interlock device requires the driver to give a breath sample before starting the car. If the BAC is more than 0.025%, the car will not start. The device even submits the driver to “rolling retests,” meaning an alarm will sound and the driver must give a sample while operating the vehicle. Even if you don’t apply for a hardship reinstatement, you’ll still be required to take the DUI course and possibly use an ignition interlock device. There’s no way to recover from a DUI conviction easily or quickly. The best idea is the simplest: Don’t drink and drive, period. For more official details and regulations concerning DUI convictions, please see the state’s website.

Samuel J. KaufmanReviewsout of 12 reviews
Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice.

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