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Drunk Driving Charges in South Florida

duiGetting charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a serious offense and it could impact your life forever if you are convicted. Each year, states impose tougher DUI laws and more severe drunk driving penalties. Florida is no exception. This is what can happen to you for a first time DUI conviction in Florida:

  • Jail – 6 Months Maximum – blood alcohol level (BAL) from .08 to less than .15
  • Jail – 9 Months Maximum – BAL above .15
  • Fine – From $500 to $1,000 – BAL from .08 to less than .15
  • Fine – From $1,000 to $2,000 – BAL above .15 or Minor in Vehicle
  • License – Suspended from 180 Days to 1 Year
  • Hardship Reinstatement – Complete DUI School Prior to Hardship Application
  • Ignition Interlock Device – Up to 6 Months (Hardship Reinstatement BAL above.15)
  • Community Service Fine – $10 for Each Hour of Community Service Required
  • Community Service – 50 Hours
  • Treatment Program May Be Allowed in Lieu of Imprisonment
  • Vehicle Impound – 10 Days

A stripper has spent the past week locked in the Broward County jail, accused of driving drunk and then shouting obscenities at a police officer and kicking his car- reported by Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel:

The incident began as a four-car accident on Interstate 595, east of Hiatus Road in Davie. A state trooper said Emerald Nicole Nguyen, 28, of Sunrise, appeared glassy-eyed, and he conducted a series of roadside tests in which he determined she was under the influence, according to an arrest report.

Nguyen, who identified herself as a stripper who works in Miami, called the police officer obscene and racist names, according to the report. After being placed in the vehicle, she tried to kick out the left side window and damaged the door panel of the newly tinted and painted vehicle, the report says.

She faces 11 charges, including felony counts of damaging property, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. She remained in jail Saturday with a combined bond set at $6,150.

Florida Point System

The Criminal Punishment Code Score Sheet is a point system that a judge reviews at the time of sentencing. Each current offense is scored as well as any additional offenses. Then the court also scores your prior record for prior offenses. For example, grand theft – greater than $300 but less than $5000 – is a level 2 and scores 10 points. However, DUI causing serious bodily injury is a level 7 and will get you 56 points.

If your total combined score is less than or equal to 44 points, the judge can impose a non-state prison sanction, which can mean county jail of a year or less, house arrest, probation, a fine – or even no punishment at all. If the total points are greater than 44 points, the court will impose mandatory state prison time. Your attorney will help you decide what course of action is best, depending on your charges and other factors unique to your case. No two cases are the same.

Do you see how complicated this system is? Attempting to take on the state by yourself can be intimidating and overwhelming. This is why you need to have an experienced Palm Beach County defense attorney by your side as soon as you get arrested.

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