DUI Arrests and Plea Bargains In Florida
A Boynton Beach woman was arrested late Saturday after she hit a vehicle while police were investigating a crash involving a Florida East Coast Railway train in the north end of the city. Tiffany Jurczak, 26, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail for driving under the influence and later released on her own recognizance, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office booking records. Source
Florida DUI Laws and BAC Limits
ALL DRIVERS – BAC LIMIT = 0.08%
In the State of Florida it is crime for ANY driver to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content – concentration) of 0.08% and above.
COMMERCIAL DRIVERS – BAC LIMIT = 0.04%
It is a crime for commercial vehicle operators to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content – concentration) of 0.04% or above.
MINOR (under the age of 21) – BAC LIMIT = 0.02%
It is a crime for persons under 21 years of age to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content – concentration) of 0.02% or above.
It is an offense to refuse to submit to a chemical test in Florida and implied consent laws are enforced.
Florida is a member of the Interstate Drivers License Compact – An agreement between participating states to share information regarding certain types of convictions including DUI – DWI and related Drunk Driving offenses. If a resident of one state gets convicted of a drunk driving offense in another state, the driver’s home state will be notified. The type of action that the driver’s home state will take will vary from state to state. Source
DUI Plea Bargains
Every driver arrested on suspicion of DUI / DWI may face an important decision to make – whether to take the case to trial or accept a plea bargain.
Plea bargains involve pleading guilty or no contest to a reduced charge or to the original charge with negotiated consequences. The prosecutor may offer to reduce the drunk driving charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, which is nearly always a good deal for the client.
A second option is to plead guilty to a reduced charge that carries far fewer consequences. Many states allow a drunk driving charge to be reduced to alcohol-related reckless driving, sometimes referred to as ‘wet-reckless.’ Wet-reckless is superior to a drunk driving conviction in every way. In many states, wet-reckless carries no mandatory license suspensions or alcohol education classes. An SR-22, or formal proof of insurance, may not be required. Such a plea bargain can be beneficial for those who have professional licensing considerations, such as doctors or psychologists.
The best possible plea bargain of all occurs when drinking and driving charges are reduced to mere traffic infractions. The driver pleads guilty to an infraction such as speeding or making an unsafe lane change, and the
DUI / DWI charge is dropped. The driver need only pay a fine, and may even be able to attend traffic school to clear the ticket from the record. There is no requirement for an SR-22 or alcohol education courses, and the driver walks away without a criminal record. Source
West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
It is not illegal to drink and drive in Florida, so long as your blood alcohol content (BAC) is not over .08 or your normal faculties are not impaired. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we advise our clients to neither blow into a breathalyzer machine nor do a roadside test. Why give evidence to the state if you don’t have to?
If you have submitted to a breathalyzer test and failed, that is not the end of your case. The Intoxilzer 5,000 and Intoxilzer 8,000 breathalyzer machines used to measure BAC in Florida have significant problems. If you have an expert witness and an experienced attorney who can challenge the accuracy of the machine in court, the BAC evidence may be thrown out. DUI/DWI Lawyer Andrew Stine has obtained not-guilty verdicts due to machine failure for clients who have had blood alcohol levels of .229 and .227.
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. At the law office of Andrew D. Stine, we will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
In addition to DUI/DWI charges, we represent clients in DUI accident cases, including:
- Leaving the scene of accident with severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI homicide
- DUI/DWI manslaughter
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.
Protecting your right to drive
Unless your request a DMV hearing within 10 days of arrest, you will lose your driver’s license. Even if your license is revoked, we can apply for a hardship license, which is usually immediately granted to you. We have never had a hardship license denied to one of our clients.