Fight a DUI Charge in Panama City
What are the penalties for DUI in Panama City?
Arrested for drinking and driving? You must take action now to avoid a
conviction and the serious consequences this could have for your future.
Driving under the influence is not merely a traffic violation for which
you can pay the fine and go on your way. It is a
criminal offense, punishable by fines, time in jail and additional penalties.
If this is your
first arrest for drinking and driving, the sentence you could receive include:
- $500 in fines
- 50 hours of community service
- Up to 6 months in jail
- 10 days of vehicle impoundment
- 180-day driver's license suspension
The penalties are increased for a
second conviction, including:
- $2,000 fine
- Up to 9 months in jail
- 30-day vehicle impoundment
- 5-year driver's license revocation
third conviction sees a dramatically increased sentence:
- At least $2,000 in fines or more than $5,000
- Minimum of 30 days in jail and up to one year
- 90 days of vehicle impoundment
- Driver's license revocation lasting a full 10 years
In addition to these
DUI penalties, you may be ordered by the court to pay for the installation and maintenance of an
ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which will require you to provide a clean breath sample
before starting your car and at intervals during driving. A breath sample
with alcohol will immobilize the vehicle and will be reported to the authorities.
You can also expect to see your
insurance rates increase dramatically, as the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
will report your conviction to your insurance carrier.
Is it possible to beat DUI charges in Panama City?
Contrary to what you may have heard, it is nearly always possible to successfully
challenge the evidence in a DUI case, with the result of having the charges
reduced or even dismissed, or even to secure a full acquittal in a trial.
One of the most common strategies involves demonstrating that the police
officer did not have probable cause to pull the suspect over in the first
place, which constitutes an unlawful traffic stop in violation of the
suspect's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure-this
would make the evidence that was subsequently gathered inadmissible in court.
Similarly, we might be able to use cross-examination and other evidence
to reveal that the police officer made errors in administering the field
sobriety tests, or that there were mistakes in analyzing and handling
your blood test sample. You cannot be convicted unless it is proven beyond
a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime, and we place the burden
of proof squarely on the prosecutor.
Contact us at Seaton Law Offices, P.A. now to learn more about
our DUI defense strategies and to take the first steps in your case.