Do I need an attorney with my first DUI?

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Do I need an attorney with my first DUI?

In Volusia, FL.

Asked on November 13, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A DUI triggers both a civil and a criminal case. And any time criminal charges are involved it is always advisable to have legal representation. There are defenses that can possibly be put forth on your behalf. A skilled DUI attorney could potentially get the charge dismissed on a technicality or possibly get it reduced. When retaining counsel, choose a lawyer that practices in or near the court in question. They will have local contacts within the system that could prove invaluable when negotiating with the prosecutor on your behalf or in pleading your case before a judge.

Aside from being left with a criminal record and higher insurance rates, the penalty for a first-time DUI are as follows:

  • Fines of $250 to $500 typically but if you had a BAC of .20 or higher or were driving with a minor in the car, your fine will be anywhere from $500 to $1000;
  • Community service - 50 hours mandatory or an additional fine equaling $10 per required hour;
  • Probation of up to 1 year;
  • Jail time - at least 8 hours up to 6 months, or up to 9 months for a BAC of .20 or higher and at least 2 years if you kill/injure someone;
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days (not counted during your incarceration);
  • Revocation of your driver's license for a minimum of 6 months.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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