How To Prevent DUI Charges In Pinellas County From Ruining Your Life
Driving under the influence of alcohol in Pinellas County is no minor matter. You could face serious criminal charges as a result, as well as other ramifications that could impact you and those you love for years into the future. Our Seminole criminal attorney recommends steps you should take if facing a Florida DUI to prevent it from ruining your life.
The Harsh Penalties For DUI In Pinellas County
Under the Florida Statutes, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you are caught behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level higher than .08 percent. Many people are likely to reach this limit simply by having a couple of alcoholic beverages over the course of an hour.
Even if your BAC is not over the legal limit, you could still be arrested if you appear impaired. Being arrested and charged with DUI in Pinellas County is a serious matter and could result in harsh penalties. These include:
- Heavy fines totaling thousands of dollars;
- Loss of your driving privileges;
- Mandatory community service and attendance at alcohol education classes;
- A jail sentence of up to a year or longer.
In addition to the criminal penalties you face upon conviction, there are the personal ramifications that result as well. For example, a Pinellas County teacher was recently arrested for DUI in Polk County. Her name and picture were published in an October 2023 Patch report and in other news outlets, along with humiliating details about the arrest.
This will now appear in any online search of her name. In addition to the loss of her reputation and the public shame a DUI exposes her and her family to, it could also result in the loss of her job and her teaching credentials.
How To Protect Yourself If You Get A DUI In Pinellas County
If you are pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence, take the steps needed to protect yourself. Maintain your composure, keep your hands where the officer can see them, and comply with requests.
However, it is also important to assert your right to remain silent and to carefully consider whether to submit to a breathalyzer test. Refusing can subject you to an automatic license suspension but also denies prosecutors important evidence in your case.
If placed under arrest, request your phone call and contact our Seminole DUI attorney immediately. Steps we can take to help include:
- Arrange your release on bail or bond;
- Dispute the procedures arresting officers followed and any evidence obtained;
- Negotiate with prosecutors to get your charges reduced or dismissed;
- Arrange for alternative sentencing to prevent a conviction;
- Issue a public statement if needed, but otherwise, keep your name out of the press.
Contact Our Pinellas County DUI Attorney Right Away
A DUI in Pinellas County can ruin your life. For professional legal help to prevent a conviction, contact Reep Law Firm. Request a consultation with our experienced Seminole criminal attorney today.