For many persons charged with first DUI in Florida, the DUI arrest is their first formal interaction with the law past a minor traffic violation. Even with a prior criminal record for a different offense, the DUI process can seem like a first-time arrest due to its special considerations. Though driving under the influence is widely-publicized in awareness campaigns, few Florida citizens have a solid, realistic understanding of what constitutes DUI in Florida and how a conviction will affect their lives.
Whether you have an understanding and were falsely accused or made a mistake, or are completely baffled by the whole experience of your first DUI arrest in the Hernando County area, an experienced Brooksville DUI defense attorney can help you sort through the details, construct a solid defense, and fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Brooksville First DUI Defense Lawyer
Facing your first DUI charge can be an intimidating, overwhelming experience. If you have been arrested for DUI for the first time in Spring Hill, Brooksville, North Weeki Wachee, Homosassa Springs, Floral City, Wildwood, Lake Panasoffkee, or the surrounding areas in Hernando, Citrus, or Sumter Counties, you'll want more than just a defense attorney – you'll want an experienced and understanding DUI defense lawyer who comprehends just how all-consuming your first DUI charge in Florida is of your life.
With more than 15 years of his own criminal defense experience and a family tree full of legal professionals, Ashley Aulls is a skilled and knowledgeable Hernando County criminal defense lawyer who founded Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. on the principle that the client is as important as the case. Ashley Aulls does more than just fight to protect your rights and your future from convictions — he seeks to educate you on your charges and keep open communication lines for your concerns.
To begin fighting your first DUI charges in Hernando County, Citrus County, or Sumter County, call Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. at (352) 593-4115 today to schedule your initial case consultation.
First Florida DUI in Hernando County Defined
Many first DUI offenders in Hernando County are under the impression that to be arrested and convicted of DUI, you must be driving a vehicle with an alcohol level over the legal limit. While this certainly counts as a DUI offense, it is just one facet of Florida DUI law. Under Florida Statute § 316.193, you can be arrested for DUI under two different circumstances:
- if you are in actual physical control of a vehicle with your normal faculties impaired by alcohol, inhalants, or controlled substances (like Oxycodone, marijuana, Xanax, or cocaine), or
- if you are in actual physical control of a vehicle and have a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher – also known as a "per se" DUI.
Actual physical control does include driving; however, many factors contribute to determining whether you were in actual physical control of a vehicle, such as if you had the keys in your possession or on your person, your location in or around the car, and whether the vehicle is operable. "Normal faculties" are defined by Fla. Stat. § 316.1934 as including the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, make judgments, and normally perform general mental and physical acts of daily life. If you do not have full possession of normal faculties, you are considered impaired.
It is therefore possible under Florida law to face your first DUI offense in Spring Hill, Brooksville, Timber Pines, or elsewhere in Hernando County or the surrounding areas if an officer perceived your faculties to be impaired even if your BAC was not over the legal limit, or if you were sleeping off the effects of the alcohol in your car in the bar parking lot. No matter the circumstances surrounding your first DUI offense, whether you were driving or met other Florida specifications, the advice of an experienced DUI defense lawyer serving Hernando County is strongly recommended.
Penalties for First DUI in Florida
The penalties that come with a conviction for a first DUI in Florida are extensive and can vary based on the circumstances of your case. By statute in Fla. Stat. § 316.193(2)(a), a first conviction for DUI comes with a $500-$1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Additionally, as a first drunk driving offender, you could also face the following penalties:
- 50 hours of community service, up to half of which the judge may allow you to "buy out" per Fla. Stat. § 316.193(6)(a) at $10 an hour
- Immobilization or impoundment of your vehicle for 10 days, which may not be served concurrently with incarceration
- 6-12 months of a driver's license revocation, separate from any administrative penalties
- 6 months of administrative driver's license revocation for a BAC test over .08
- 1 year of administrative driver's license revocation for refusal to take a BAC test
- Level I or Level II DUI school, which may include an evaluation for alcohol and/or drug abuse as well as mandate continued treatment
A first DUI is graded as a first-degree misdemeanor according to case law, which means you will be required to disclose it on most Florida job applications. It can therefore affect your future educational and professional opportunities. If you are considering the services of an experienced Hernando County DUI defense lawyer as a part of your defense strategy, it is best to contact such a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest.
Enhanced Penalties For Florida First DUI
Certain circumstances are considered aggravating circumstances for DUI no matter if you are on your first or a subsequent offense. If you had a BAC of .15 or higher or were accompanied by a minor in the commission of your DUI offense, you will face additional penalties. Your first DUI penalties will be enhanced to a maximum jail sentence of nine months, a fine of $1,000-$2,000, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, which you must pay for, for at least six months. An experienced DUI defense lawyer serving the Brooksville area can help you fight against these enhanced penalties or other first DUI penalties in Hernando County.
Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. | Defense Attorney for Spring Hill First DUI
If you are facing your first DUI in Hernando County, Citrus County, or Sumter County, contact Ashley M. Aulls, P.A.. Experienced DUI defense attorney Ashley Aulls has over 15 years of defending criminal defense clients like you, and putting their needs first. Call (352) 593-4115 today to see what experienced defense lawyer Ashley Aulls can do for your first DUI case.