DUI is one of the most destructive charges a person can face, and yet is one of the most common causes of arrest in Florida. DUI is also unique in that many of the people charged with this crime are first time offenders, who did not recognize their actions constituted a criminal offense. In fact, in Florida, you can receive a DUI even if you are not driving a vehicle. This phenomenon is defined as "actual physical control," meaning that an officer can arrest you if your "normal faculties" are impaired while you are in a position to render a vehicle readily operable.
Even simple DUI carries enhanced statutory penalties that distinguish this offense from other misdemeanors. Some of the penalties may include: jail time, probation, heavy fines, driver license suspension, ignition interlock, substance evaluation classes and follow up treatment, and other sanctions.
DUI law in Florida is also complex, as the offense is "enhanceable," meaning the charge becomes progressively more serious if you have had a DUI in the past. Beyond that, if someone is injured or killed as a result of your case, you will likely face felony DUI charges, which carry significantly more serious penalties.
There are many defenses to the charge of Driving Under the Influence. If you have been arrested for any level of DUI, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Call Panella Law Firm now to discuss your case.