DUI Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Accused of Driving Drunk? We Are Here to Help
Galanter Law, P.A. has successfully represented clients arrested and charged with DUI in Fort Lauderdale. The implications of a DUI conviction can be more far reaching than that of a felony conviction. We will use our experience to fight your DUI case. Initially, a person may think, “Why fight the case? I was drinking and driving.” As bleak as your situation seems, there are always defenses to a DUI criminal case.
A DUI Conviction Can Be Life-Changing
To defend your case, you’ll need an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorney to protect your rights. You’ll want to hire a lawyer in time to have representation at your DUI arraignment hearing, where you will have to enter your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
Over the years, we have gained the knowledge necessary to evaluate and defend intoxication cases. Our experience allows us to determine the strengths and weaknesses in all DUI and BUI cases. Our goal in defending your DUI case is to receive a dismissal or receive plea offers to lesser offenses, such as reckless or careless driving.
The most serious impact of a DUI is that it is considered to be a conviction under Florida law. A DUI conviction will preclude you from ever sealing or expunging your record. Unfortunately, you will carry the DUI conviction until the day you die.
DUI Penalties in Florida
When it comes to a DUI charge, the stakes are just too high to not seek qualified legal representation.
Even a first-time DUI conviction will stay on your driving record for a staggering 75 years and carry other life-altering, long-lasting penalties including:
- Up to 6 months in jail (if your BAC was .20 or higher, this sentence can be increased up to 9 months; if you killed or injured someone while driving under the influence, this sentence will be increased to a minimum of 2 years);
- Fines of $500 to $1,000;
- Probation for up to 1 year;
- Driver’s license revoked for a minimum of 6 months;
- Mandatory 50 hours of community service;
- Vehicle impoundment or immobilization for 10 days;
- Increased car insurance costs or the possibility that your insurance carrier will drop you altogether;
- Level 1, 12-hour DUI school; and
- Possible ignition interlock device.
The DUI penalties that go along with a conviction can be increased depending on the level of alcohol in a driver’s system and the number of prior DUIs on their record.
Breath tests are common when being pulled over on suspicion of DUI in Fort Lauderdale. If it can be shown that the officer stopped you without a reasonable suspicion that you committed a traffic offense, all other subsequent evidence obtained by the police officer will be suppressed, including the results of your breath test or roadside exercises.
Field Sobriety Exercises
If a breath reading was obtained, we will check the maintenance records of the machine used to determine if it was functioning properly at the time of the test or whether the machine had recently received maintenance prior to the breath test. The police officer is also required to follow other rules when giving the breath test, such as: A 20-minute observation period before performing the test, correctly reading the implied consent law, and correctly calibrating the machine. Any shortfalls in the procedure can lead to the suppression of the breath results. Just because you have a high breath reading, do not lose hope.
Administrative Driver’s License Suspension
If an individual is arrested for DUI in Fort Lauderdale, a driver’s license suspension can result if the person has a blood alcohol level in excess of .08 or refuses to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test. If your license is suspended, you can appeal the suspension within 10 days of your arrest by requesting a formal review with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). If our firm is successful at the hearing, you will be entitled to have your license reinstated immediately. If the DHSMV hearing is lost, your license can be suspended between 6 and 18 months depending on the reason for the suspension. Even if the suspension is upheld, you will most likely be entitled to a hardship license, which enables you to drive for employment purposes.
Contact Us Today
If you’re thinking of representing yourself for your DUI arrest, you need to think again. Florida’s DUI laws are too complex, and the consequences of a DUI conviction are too high to go at this alone. Instead, the prudent choice is to retain the legal counsel of a seasoned Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer. Here at Galanter Law, P.A., we have been defending clients charged with DUI for nearly 30 years. You can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to protect your best interests and achieve the best possible result.