Fort Pierce DUI Lawyers
No one plans to get arrested for drunk driving, but when it happens, hiring an experienced DUI lawyer Fort Pierce is the best decision you’ll make. If you or an acquaintance has been arrested for a DUI offense in Fort Pierce, experienced DUI attorneys at Meltzer & Bell can help.
Having handled countless DUI cases from both sides of the courtroom, our skilled DUI attorneys are well-versed with Fort Pierce DUI laws and will advise you on your options, safeguard your rights, and do everything whatever they can to prevent a drunk driving charge.
What Happens when you’re arrested on DUI Charges in Fort Pierce?
Like any other city in Florida, Fort Pierce has zero-tolerance for driving under the influence. The legal alcohol limit is usually .08 grams per 100ml of blood, and breaking this law could mean license revocation, hefty fines, or even jail time. The implications vary based on whether or not you’ve been charged with drunk driving again. However, note, your driver’s license becomes automatically suspended on your arrest for drunk driving. On the bright side, you can challenge the suspension, and the best way to do it is by hiring our skilled DUI lawyers Fort Pierce.
1st DUI Offense
In Fort Pierce, first-time DUI offenses are considered a misdemeanor, and the penalties are typically less severe. If no one was injured and you were only arrested for having physical control of a car while intoxicated, your offense is punishable by:
- Fines of up to $1000
- License revocation for six months
- A six-month jail sentence
- 10-day vehicle impoundment
You might also be expected to install an ignition interlock device and take alcohol education classes. Note, high levels of intoxication might mean even harsher penalties. For instance, if your blood alcohol level (BAC) was at or greater than .15%, you might be subject to a nine-month jail sentence. That is why it’s critical you have a skilled DUI lawyer in Fort Pierce guide you through the process.
2nd DUI Offense in Fort Pierce, FL
Usually, the court considers previous DUI convictions when sentencing DUI offenders, and potential penalties often increase in severity with subsequent charges. A second time DUI offender in Fort Pierce is subject to:
- Fines of up to $2000
- Up to nine months jail time
- Ten days of lockup if charged with DUI offense within five years of the first charge
- 30-day vehicle immobilization
- Six months license revocation or five years if charged within five years of the initial offense
Multiple DUI Charges Penalties in Fort Pierce
Third and subsequent DUI charges in Florida are considered a class 3 felony and often carry the potential of:
- A maximum fine of $5000 if convicted within a decade of the first DUI charge
- Up to five years imprisonment
- 90-day vehicle impoundment
- Five years license revocation or ten years if charged with DUI within ten years of your first DUI.
Note that fourth and subsequent DUI offenses are often considered a felony and could mean permanently losing your driving privilege. Given the significant implications of drunk driving in Florida, hiring the best DUI lawyer Fort Pierce is your best possible defense.
The DUI Court Process in Fort Pierce, Fl.
Even though no two cases are like, here’s what to expect during a DUI hearing in Fort Pierce:
Booking and Bail
After the arrest, DUI suspects are often taken into police custody, where the arresting law officer records their personal information and details of the case. You can post bail immediately after this step as long as you promise to show up for scheduled court proceedings.
The first appearance in Fort Pierce usually involves the judge informing you of the charges against you. It takes place in jail within 24 hours of your arrest, meaning you’ll be required to show up if you’d already posted bail.
The pretrial conference is often short and is held to update the judge on your case. Having a DUI lawyer Fort Pierce by your side is especially critical since most judges prioritize DUI cases with a private attorney. Also, during this step, your attorney can negotiate for a lesser charge, such as getting your DUI reduced to a civil citation. The case may be resolved at this stage should negotiations go favorably.
This stage typically involves your arresting officer and expert witnesses testifying. Your attorney will also present their evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue your case.
The Jury Trial
After filing motions and evidentiary hearings, the last step is usually a jury trial. This is the part of the DUI court process where you’re either found guilty or not guilty. Again, having a skilled DUI lawyer in Fort Pierce throughout all the DUI proceedings will help you avoid mistakes and inconsistencies the prosecution might use against you.
You Still Have Rights
Even if you’re a first-time offender, there’s a lot at stake when you’re arrested on DUI charges. Fortunately, any DUI offender(including repeat offenders) is innocent until proven guilty and is entitled to a fair trial.
There are also plenty of provisions that could help you argue your innocence in court. For instance, under Florida’s DUI laws, an officer has to prove your drunk driving created a safety hazard for a conviction to be made. As an average Joe, you may not know of such provisions, which is why retaining an experienced attorney from Meltzer & Bell is a wise decision.
Our attorneys have successfully litigated and prevented countless DUI convictions, and they can help you too. Regardless of how complicated your DUI case may seem, our DUI lawyers Fort Pierce have the skills and experience to identify the best possible pleas to help reduce the negative impact of your charges.
They will also ensure your rights are upheld throughout the process and may even successfully have the case thrown out, should your rights be violated. Whether you are a first DUI offender or are on your third DUI charge, our attorneys will handle your case with equal enthusiasm and treat you with respect and dignity. Contact the office of Meltzer & Bell today to contest your DUI charges in Fort Pierce.