DUI Attorney Jacksonville FL

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Being charged with DUI can turn your life upside down. Suddenly, you face a potential jail sentence, fines, a suspended driver’s license, and a criminal record. However, a DUI charge isn’t a conviction, and an experienced Jacksonville FL DUI attorney may be able to obtain a favorable outcome that preserves your freedom. 

The criminal defense lawyers at the Leon Law Firm specialize in DUI defense and boast an impressive success rate for charge reductions and case dismissals. Our team of Florida DUI defense attorneys is dedicated to helping accused drunk drivers safeguard their rights and receive impartial justice. Speak to a Jacksonville DUI attorney at the Leon Law Firm today at (904) 585-2281.

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Why Choose Leon Law Firm To Handle Your DUI Case In Jacksonville, Florida?

Photo of Drunk Driving

When facing DUI charges, the first step is to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who will guide and support you through the entire legal process. The Leon Law Firm has successfully defended clients against all types of DUI charges in Jacksonville, Florida, for many years.

We understand that being arrested and charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience. Our criminal defense lawyers will be by your side every step of the way, providing you with the legal guidance and support you need to navigate the complex criminal justice system.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Jacksonville, Florida, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced DUI attorneys. We will review your case and discuss all of your legal options with you.

Understanding Florida’s DUI Laws

Florida has strict DUI laws, and if convicted, you face harsh consequences. Florida law states that a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is under the influence. You also can be charged with DUI if the police believe you meet the statutory requirements of DUI, even if you seem sober. Florida law does require you to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs to be charged with DUI. So, the state prosecutor must show you used some type of alcohol or drug. 

First Florida DUI Conviction

Florida Statute 316.193 states that a first DUI conviction in Florida has a fine between $500 and $1,000. You also can be jailed for up to six months. If your BAC exceeds 0.15% or a minor rode in your car, the fine may be up to $2,000. You could be put in jail for up to six months

Second Florida DUI Conviction 

A second DUI conviction has the same penalties as a first DUI. In addition to a fine between $1,000 and $2,000 and up to nine months in jail, you must have an ignition interlock device put on your car. The device costs hundreds of dollars to install and monitor, and you must pay for it. 

If you had a BAC over 0.15% or a minor was in the car, you face a maximum $4,000 fine and up to 12 months in jail. 

Third And Fourth Florida DUI Convictions

A third DUI conviction is a felony if it was less than 10 years since your last conviction. A fourth drunk driving conviction is always a felony, regardless of the amount of time that’s passed. 

In addition to fines and jail, anyone convicted of a Florida DUI must serve at least 12 months of probation and perform 50 hours of community service. You also must complete a substance abuse class. If you are referred to an alcohol and drug treatment program, you must complete it as part of your probation. 

Further, your car is impounded for 10 days for a first DUI offense, 30 days for a second conviction, and 90 days for a third conviction. Any DUI conviction in Florida also results in a suspension of your driver’s license for at least 180 days. 

The Legal Penalties For DUI Convictions In Jacksonville, FL

Underage DUI – Zero Tolerance

The state of Florida’s stance on underage DUI is that they implement a “Zero Tolerance” policy which means that violators under the legal drinking age are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system while driving. The penalty for this kind of DUI can be particularly harsh since the law ultimately tries to crack down on underage drinking. An officer who discovers an underage DUI is duty-bound to apprehend the perpetrator.

The penalties for underage DUI include the following: 

  • Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .02% or above under 21 years of age. If this is a first offense DUI, arrested persons will have their licenses suspended for six months. If the offender has a prior DUI conviction, he will have a license suspension for a year.
  • Refusal to undergo a breath or blood test for drivers under 21. If they refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, their driver will face license suspension for a year. If the driver had subsequent refusals to undergo these tests, he would have a license suspension for eighteen months or a year and six months.
  • BAC of .08% or above for those under 21 years of age. For the first offense DUI, the fine includes 500 to 1000 USD and the driver’s license suspension for three months to a year. The cars used may also get impounded, and the offender might be sentenced to jail time up to six months in addition to fifty hours of community service.
  • Under 18 years of age with a BAC of .02% and above. An offender may suffer a penalty of six months suspension of his driver’s license and a mandatory evaluation at an addictions institution or completion of a compulsory education program at a DUI school.

You should not take the punishment for DUI lightly. Those who choose not to get legal representation eventually regret it. Although a DUI lawyer may seem unnecessary at first, if you value your dom, then you should start asking the question of where you can find a DUI lawyer near you.

Commercial Driver DUI

Photo of Car Keys with Alcohol

Commercial drivers in Florida enjoy unique benefits. However, driving under the influence can affect them much worse than regular drivers and could affect their careers and employment.

As a start, the penalties can include disqualification from driving commercial cars for a year and a disqualification reinstatement fee to resume their work as commercial drivers. The penalties only become worse as you commit more offenses.

The authorities can enforce the penalties on commercial drivers who violate the following traffic violations: 

  • Using a licensed commercial car to commit a felony;
  • Driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance;
  • Refusal to take blood, breath, and urine tests;
  • Leaving the scene of the crime;
  • Transportation of hazardous materials while under the influence; and
  • Using a commercial license while driving under the influence.

Multiple DUI

liquor key fob and handcuffsFor most DUI lawyers, first-time offenders are easier to manage than multiple DUI offenders. The law provides harsher penalties for those who repeatedly violate traffic regulations and show their disregard or disrespect for the law. New DUI attorneys will find it more difficult to provide legal assistance to offenders with multiple DUI cases. 

Two DUI convictions within five years can be penalized with the following:

  • Nine months to a year as jail time;
  • Fines up to 4000 USD;
  • Suspension of driver’s license for up to 5 years;
  • Impounding the car for a month;
  • A year of probation after serving a sentence;
  • DUI school for advanced courses; and
  • Forced ignition interlock device installation.

Three DUI convictions within a ten-year time frame can be penalized with the following: 

  • Five years imprisonment in a state jail;
  • Fines up to 5000 USD;
  • Suspension of license up to 10 years;
  • Impounding the car for up to three months;
  • Probation up to 5 years after prison sentence; and
  • Two years of ignition interlock device installation.

A person arrested with more than three DUI convictions in FL is a third-degree felony in Jacksonville, Florida. It will damage your reputation, making it more difficult for you to get your life on track.

If you have a simple DUI or have been in an accident, you must find representation as soon as possible. Each offense has consequences, but sometimes, these consequences don’t need to be so harsh.

Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs

An offender arrested for driving under the influence of drugs will suffer a more significant penalty than a drunk driver. Many clients of DUI attorneys think that DUI charges only apply to drunk driving, not knowing that they are committing a worse offense when the DUI is with drug offenses.

When the intoxication is due to a controlled substance, an officer can determine its use through observation and field tests. If the person fails this test, they can be subject to other tests such as blood and urine tests. The standard here is that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.

The first-time penalty for a DUI of drugs can be the following: 

  • Fines of up to 1000 USD;
  • Jail or imprisonment for up to six months;
  • License suspension for up to a year;
  • Community service of fifty hours; and
  • Impounding the vehicle for ten days.

The problem with drug-related DUIs is the arrest of many people taking prescription drugs. People think that their prescriptions are valid DUI defenses. These arrests are good as long as officers observe that the driver is impaired. Law enforcement will have no choice but to arrest you under a Jacksonville DUI, and the penalties will still apply. You must contact DUI attorneys to sort this problem out if you have this kind of offense, especially in north Florida.

Out-Of-State DUI Charges

The conviction can follow you to your home state if you are a tourist charged with Jacksonville DUI. You will be experiencing fines, suspension of documents, and even criminal convictions due to the different states having an agreement that will allow certain convictions to transfer between states.

The Non-Resident Violators Compact (NRVC) and the Driver’s License Compact allow the states to share information regarding people’s history and enable prosecution of out-of-state visitors. For example, if you get convicted in the fourth judicial circuit in FL, it will affect other states who are members of the agreement.

If you have been charged with a DUI for the first time and failed to appear for the charge, then Florida can inform your home state and have your documents unusable until you fix this problem. Even if your home state is not part of the 44 members of the NRVC, you can still be subject to extradition back to Florida to answer for the charge.

The Legal Process For DUI Cases

Photo of Gavel with Alcohol on Table

After a Florida DUI arrest, you must go through the criminal court process. This involves several court appearances and may include these steps: 

  • Arrest and first court appearance: You will soon have your initial appearance after the arrest. The judge will set your bell and address any other arrest circumstances. It is vital to hire an experienced Florida DUI attorney at this point. Your chances of a favorable case outcome without an attorney are remote. 
  • Arraignment: There will probably be an arraignment after the first court appearance. The judge will state the charges against you, and you will enter your plea. It’s almost always recommended to plead ‘not guilty.’ 
  • Pretrial hearings: There could be pretrial hearings where your lawyer and the state prosecutor discuss your case. There may be negotiation that leads to a plea agreement. Our Leon Law Firm DUI attorneys know the local courts and prosecutors and may be able to secure a favorable plea bargain at this stage. 
  • Trial: If negotiations fail, your DUI case may go to trial. The state will produce their evidence against you, witnesses will testify, and the jury or judge will render their verdict. 

Importance Of Hiring A Jacksonville FL DUI Attorney Quickly 

It’s rare for anyone charged with DUI to have a good case outcome without a skilled DUI attorney. Here’s why hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is paramount for your future: 

DUI Law And Procedure Expertise

A Florida criminal defense attorney knows the state’s DUI laws and procedures. Your Leon Law Firm attorney knows the laws and regulations in effect so your case goes smoothly. 

Protects Your Civil Rights

It’s vital to have an attorney protecting your rights when you are charged with drunk driving. Your attorney will make sure your rights are safeguarded during the process. This includes ensuring that the police obtained the case evidence legally and that the trial is fair. 


Sometimes, a plea bargain may be negotiated, reducing penalties and charges. This could be critical if the police have strong evidence against you. If you are convicted, your attorney may negotiate a lighter sentence, such as probation. 

Peace Of Mind

Having a proven DUI defense attorney defend you also gives you peace of mind during a stressful time. Facing a drunk driving charge is scary and even worse if you go up against the Florida criminal justice system alone. A skilled attorney will offer legal advice, answer your questions, and carefully guide you. 

Are There Any Legal Defenses Against DUI In Jacksonville?

Part of the legal system is no conviction without due process. This rule is also applicable for DUI cases. It is essential to contact Jacksonville DUI lawyers to give the best DUI defense available for you since there might be circumstances that would allow you to walk from a DUI charge.

DUI defense can be complex, but good DUI lawyers usually use the following defenses:

  • Testing Errors. Not all created tests are the same. Every test has a margin for error and is still subject to hardware and human error.
  • Invalid Testing Location. The place you got tested might not have the proper permits to operate.
  • Invalid Test Due. There is also the necessary 20-minute observation time before administering the test.
  • Illegal Procedures. The stop is illegal if probable cause does not exist and it is invalid evidence in court. Checkpoints must also have followed the proper procedure to make them legal. Otherwise, every arrest using those particular checkpoints is considered illegal.
  • Other Technical Defects. Other procedural defects of an arrest include informing arrested people about their Miranda Rights.
  • Sobriety Tests. Some officers conduct almost impossible tests that a sober person cannot pass. We can challenge these standardized and non-standardized tests that have a problem with accuracy in court.
  • Vehicle Problems. We can defend against DUI and Actual Physical Control (APC) by claiming that the vehicle in possession is inoperable or incapable of being driven.
  • Video Footage. Video footage directly contradicting police officers’ stories can be used to challenge the arrest and could lead to a verdict of innocence.
  • Personal Medical Issues. You can use valid prescriptions and other medically relevant evidence to prove the necessity of taking controlled substances to mitigate or justify their use of a motorized vehicle.

In these instances, the necessity of having Jacksonville DUI lawyers where you have an excellent attorney-client relationship can help you get the best possible DUI defense possible. The assistant state attorney will not be afraid to use the full extent of the law against you. Your relationship with your lawyer must be based on mutual trust and respect if you want to win.

Speak To Our Jacksonville FL DUI Attorney Today 

If you’ve been charged with DUI, it’s a frightening moment in your life. But it is merely a charge; you have not been convicted. Let our Jacksonville DUI lawyers at the Leon Law Firm help and build the most robust defense for you today. Our clients have routinely given us excellent reviews for our criminal defense work. Avvo also highly rates our attorneys, and many are on the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. We look forward to assisting you. Contact a Jacksonville DUI defense attorney today for a free consultation.

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