Testimonials

Lakeland DUI Attorney and Criminal Law Firm

A DUI / DWI is not like any other traffic ticket. The State of Florida considers it a serious criminal offense. Experienced and knowledgeable representation must be in  your corner after you have been charged with this crime.

DUI / DWI and the law

One issue that is often important to discuss with a DUI lawyer is the issue of implied consent, as discussed in the testing provisions of the State Uniform Traffic Control statutes (“Tests for alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances; implied consent; refusal”: Title XXIII, Chapter 316.1932). The implied consent laws require people to take tests to gauge blood-alcohol level (BAL). If you do not agree to take a breath test, that evidence can be submitted by the prosecution during your court case.

It is wise to contact a DUI / DWI attorney immediately after you are charged with this crime. The attorney will defend you using their knowledge of the above testing provisions, along with other major factors such as the description of the crime and the delineation of penalties (“Driving under the influence; penalties”: Title XXIII, Chapter 316.193), rules for commercial vehicle operators (“Driving under the influence; commercial motor vehicle operators”: Title XXIII, Chapter 322.62), and the reckless driving provisions (“Reckless driving”: Title XXIII, Chapter 316.192).

Although it’s common for someone charged with a crime to feel vulnerable and unsure, DUI lawyer Art Fulmer, Jr., can create a solid defense with evidence such as:

  • Faulty equipment for testing BAL
  • Testing designed incompetently
  • Lack of officer experience
  • Mistakes made during the arrest

If you need a DUI / DWI lawyer, Art Fulmer, Jr., has represented many clients in your position and has repeatedly been successful defending them against their criminal charges.

DUI FAQs

DUI is the acronym for driving under the influence of certain drugs and/or high quantities of alcohol. According to Florida law (s. 316.193, FSA), it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle when your normal faculties are impaired.

Specifically, DUI meaning has been established by Florida lawmakers as a single criminal offense in which a person shows signs of physiological impairment or alcohol levels within the breath or bloodstream that are at or higher than .08%. Regardless whether a person is charged based on observation or specific measurement, the penalties are identical. Within the context of DUI definition, that percentage refers to a .08 blood/breath alcohol level (BAL). Florida law also creates a special category, with enhanced penalties, for anyone with a minor in the car or whose BAL measures .15 or above.

If you have been charged with a crime, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for the future.

After a DUI arrest, the accused party (the person arrested) is held in jail until their first court appearance. The judge will read the affidavit from the arresting officer to determine if there is probable cause (a good, legal reason for the arrest). Usually the judge finds a good reason for the DUI arrest and then issues a bond, after which the defendant is given a bond and released, provided that the bond (a.k.a. bail) is paid.

You do not plead guilty or not guilty at your first court appearance and you are not usually appointed a lawyer at that time. You can, however, hire Art Fulmer to represent you for this initial stage and for every step to come.

After you are released, you are given instructions on when to appear in court and what kind of restrictions (such as loss of drivers license) you must now abide by. Administrative penalties are assessed to your driver license, and you want to address those immediately.

The key is to act fast, as the process in court can move quickly and be confusing. Call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, because a DUI is extremely time-sensitive (with only 10 days to request an administrative review hearing).

Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for the future.

In the state of Florida, the first conviction for DUI carries with it the below penalties. Note that although this list and those for additional offenses are thorough, you should contact Fulmer Law, P.A. for a comprehensive explanation and additional parameters (including those for DUI Manslaughter and Chemical/Physical Test Provisions).

Penalties include:

  • Fines – You must pay the State of Florida between $500 and $1000 in fines. If your blood alcohol level falls within the enhanced penalty range, the minimum fine is between $1000 and $2000.
  • Community service – For a first conviction of DUI, you must perform community service totaling 50 hours. Alternately, the fine may be raised up to $500 ($10 per hour) to account for this requirement.
  • Probation – Probation can last a maximum of twelve months, but that also includes any time that is spent in jail.
  • Imprisonment – If convicted, you may be sentenced to a total of six months for a standard offense and up to twelve months with the enhanced penalty. However, the court may decide that you can spend part or all that time in an addiction rehabilitation center.
  • Impoundment – The consequences of a first DUI will also typically include impoundment of your vehicle for 10 days, provided that it is not the sole form of transportation for your family.
  • License revocation – Your driver’s license will also be revoked after a first DUI conviction. The period of time during which you must forgo driving privileges will be between six and twelve months.
  • Education – Another punishment for a first DUI is an informational course. You can potentially have your driver license reinstated during the revocation due to hardship, but that requires completion of the training program. After the revocation span has elapsed, you still must enroll in a DUI class in order to have your license reinstated.

For more information, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, ASAP. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for the future.

The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) places the average DUI cost at at least $8000 (an aggregate of legal fines, attorney’s fees, and auto insurance rate adjustments).

First DUI offenses in Florida generally result in fines of $500 to $1000.

Second DUI offenses can lead to $1000 to $2000 in fines.

Third DUI offenses result in fines of $2000 to $5000.

Additional requirements may incur fees, such as license suspension, mandatory participation in DUI classes, alcohol and drug treatment, use of the state ignition interlock device (IID), and imprisonment may also be applicable.

For more information, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, ASAP. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for the future.

 

Usually a first or second offense is a DUI misdemeanor. Often a third DUI is also a misdemeanor.

Anyone who commits a misdemeanor DUI and destroys property or injures someone is charged with a First Degree Misdemeanor.

The three situations in which the crime is considered a DUI felony include:

  • Conviction of a fourth DUI (at any point in life).
  • Conviction of a third DUI within 10 years of the second DUI offense.
  • DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, and, in some cases, when the driver seriously harms other people.

For more information, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, ASAP. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for the future.

Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for teen drunk driving, so license suspension will occur after the teen blows a just a .02 blood alcohol level (BAL) on a breathalyzer.

Here are the penalties for anyone under the age of 21:

  • First suspension – 6 months
  • Second suspension – 1 year

Similar to the enhanced offense for older drivers, if teen drinking and driving occurs with the BAL at .05 or above, the individual must complete a substance abuse course before the driving suspension is lifted.

For more information, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, ASAP. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for the future.

After a DUI arrest, you will have only a 10-day temporary driver license. You have this short window, just 10 days, to request an administrative hearing to contest the suspension once you are released. If you choose Art Fulmer as your criminal law attorney, he will handle all of the paperwork to request the hearing, since subpoenas will be issued.

It is extremely important to contact Art Fulmer right away because of the 10-day window. A DUI is unlike any other crime due to this time restraint. A court-appointed lawyer is not able to assist you in this manner because they do not practice this area of the law.

Once you receive your administrative hearing date, your temporary driving privilege is extended up to 30 days.

For more information, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, ASAP. Mr. Fulmer may contest the legitimacy of the license suspension and you could possibly get your license back. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for your future.

The answer to how long you may lose your license after a DUI arrest depends on the evidence you provided the police at the scene or in the hospital.

If you blow over the legal limit, which is .08 in Florida, your license is automatically revoked and suspended for 6 months.

If you refused to blow into the police officer’s breathalyzer, your license is revoked, and it is suspended for 1 year. This type of license suspension is called an administrative suspension.

You may be able to obtain a temporary driving permit under certain circumstances.

For more information, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, ASAP. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for your future.

DUI expungement is only possible in Florida for one charge. If your DUI charge lead to a conviction, you cannot expunge it. The next option would be to seal your record, since you have to be adjudicated on a DUI in Florida.

If you have not yet been convicted of DUI, it is possible for a criminal law attorney to successfully negotiate to have it reduced to a lesser charge, such as reckless driving. If there is an evidentiary problem (e.g. no probable cause for the initial traffic stop) or if the state can’t prove the DUI, the charge will likely be reduced. Usually the defense for DUI is based on a pretrial evidentiary problem or lack of proof of faculty impairment.

Art Fulmer is the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County and has taken many DUI cases to trial. Call today for FREE consultation.  Mr. Fulmer will start by reviewing the details of your arrest, the police report, and any other information required to provide a solid defense against your charge(s) free-of-charge. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your free consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for your future.

DUI, like all criminal convictions, stays on your record forever, unless you have it sealed or expunged. There is a form to download with instructions on how to have your record sealed or expunged on the Polk County Sheriff’s website and/or the FDLE website.

For more information, call the best criminal defense attorney in Polk County, Art Fulmer, ASAP. Even if you do not hire Mr. Fulmer to represent you, the legal advice he will provide during your FREE consultation will give you an idea of what you are up against and help you plan for your future.

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