St Augustine DUI Lawyer

St Augustine DUI Lawyer

St. Augustine DUI Attorney

Whether you are being charged with your first DUI (driving under the influence) or have had prior convictions, Florida handles DUI penalties very seriously. You may receive both criminal punishments, like fines and jail time, and administrative punishments, like a license suspension or revocation. These convictions can limit your freedom and your future. When you work with a criminal defense attorney, you can achieve the most favorable outcome for your case. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help limit or drop the charges and penalties against you.

Kevin A. Raudt, P.A., has worked to serve the community in St. Augustine and the surrounding towns. Our firm is proud to represent those facing criminal charges and DUI charges, and we can defend your rights in the face of DUI charges. Kevin Raudt and his team can provide you with an effective legal defense during administrative hearings and criminal cases. He can contest the suspension of your license and mitigate the criminal charges you face. It can be scary to face DUI charges, but strong legal advocacy can help you feel more assured about your situation. Kevin A. Raudt, P.A., has worked for years in criminal defense and DUI law and can use that experience to your benefit.

St. Augustine DUI Laws

A DUI means that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances, or another substance that impaired you. This means that one of the following is true:

  • Your blood alcohol or breath alcohol level (BAL) is 0.08% or more.
  • Your normal faculties, such as your senses, decisions, or movement, are impaired by a substance.

This means that you could have a BAL under 0.08% and still be arrested and eventually convicted of a DUI. A police officer may believe your driving to be impaired, and the prosecution could prove that you were not driving safely. A DUI defense attorney can help defend you against this by showing evidence that your driving was not impaired.

The legal limit is not the same for everyone. For drivers who are under the age of 21, a 0.02% BAL is the legal limit. For commercially licensed drivers, the legal limit is 0.04% BAL.

License Suspension

DUI cases are made up of administrative and criminal cases. When you are arrested for a DUI, your license is suspended. It’s essential to challenge this suspension through an administrative hearing, or else you could lose your license for many months or even years. You must challenge a license suspension within 10 days after your arrest.

An administrative hearing doesn’t guarantee that you will retain your license, but it gives you a chance to begin your defense and may prevent suspension. You want to contact an attorney asquickly as possible in this situation. They can help you challenge the suspension and prepare for both cases.

Should I Get a Lawyer for a DUI in Florida?

Facing a DUI charge without an attorney can be incredibly overwhelming. It also means that you’re more likely to face extreme penalties and charges. In an administrative hearing, you will face an administrative panel that will determine whether you should retain your license. In a criminal case, the prosecution is the state, which has a lot of power and resources.

When you work with an experienced attorney, you have someone with comparable experience and resources on your side. An attorney advocates for you and crafts your defense. They can gather important evidence that you may not have access to and use their understanding of DUI and criminal law to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case. Your attorney may be able to find a defense for your unique circumstances that can get all your charges dropped.

How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Florida?

The cost of a DUI attorney depends mostly on their level of experience. A more experienced attorney may charge higher rates. How complex or difficult your case is expected to be may also affect the cost of an attorney. On average, a DUI attorney is likely to cost from $700 to $1,500, plus some additional court costs, even if you reach an out-of-court settlement. Cases that go to trial can cost closer to $5,000 to $8,000, and they can be significantly higher if your case is particularly lengthy or complex.

How Much Does the Average DUI Cost in Florida?

The fee penalties for a DUI conviction depend on the severity of the DUI and if there have been any prior charges. Fees include:

  • Between $500 and $1,000 in fines for a first offense
  • Between $1,000 and $2,000 if the driver had a BAL over 0.15% or had a minor in the car
  • Between $1,000 and $2,000 for a second offense
  • Between $2,000 and $4,000 if the driver had a BAL over 0.15% or there was a minor in the vehicle
  • Between $2,000 and $5,000 for a third offense
  • A minimum fine of $4,000 if the driver’s BAL was over 0.15% or there was a minor in the car
  • A minimum fine of $2,000 for a fourth offense

Enhanced Penalties in a St. Augustine DUI

There are several circumstances that can enhance the penalties for any DUI offense. These include:

  • Property Damage or Personal Injury

In addition to any DUI penalties a person may already be facing, there are penalties for a DUI conviction where being under the influence caused an accident that resulted in property damage or bodily injury. This results in up to $1,000 in fines and/or imprisonment for up to a year, as well as a license revocation for a minimum of 3 years.

  • Crash With Serious Bodily Injury

This is a DUI that causes an accident where someone is seriously injured. Penalties include up to $5,000 in fines and/or up to 5 years in prison.

  • DUI Manslaughter

This is a DUI that leads to an accident that causes or contributes to someone’s death. It results in up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 15 years in prison. It also results in a permanent and mandatory license renovation.

  • DUI Manslaughter Hit-and-Run

This means that a driver who was under the influence caused a crash, should have known that an accident happened, and fled the scene. They failed to provide information or give aid to an injured person, and the injured person died in the crash. Penalties include up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 30 years in prison.

Other Penalties for a Florida DUI

A first-offense DUI comes with the lightest sentencing, but it is still very serious. For each subsequent offense, penalties are harsher, and it becomes more difficult to mitigate the sentencing. It also becomes more important to your future that you work with a DUI attorney.

A first-offense DUI with no enhanced or aggravating factors results in:

  • Up to 6 months of jail time
  • Minimum license revocation of 180 days up to 1 year
  • Vehicle impounded for 10 days
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) at the court’s discretion for 6 months

A first-offense DUI with either a 0.15% BAL or higher or a DUI where a minor was present in the car, results in:

    • Imprisonment for up to 9 months
    • Mandatory installation of an IID for 6 months

A second-offense DUI is a DUI conviction within 5 years of the first. Penalties include:

      • Up to 9 months in jail, and a mandatory minimum of 10 days
      • License revocation for 5 years, with the possibility of a hardship license after 1 year
      • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days
      • Up to 1 year in jail if a minor was present in the car or the BAL was over 0.15%

A third DUI offense results in:

      • Up to 5 years in prison if the offense was within 10 years of the 2nd offense
      • Up to 1 year in jail if the offense was after 10 years from the 2nd offense
      • License revocation for a minimum of 10 years, with a hardship license possible after 2 years
      • Vehicle impoundment for 90 days

A fourth DUI offense results in permanent license revocation, although there is a possibility of a hardship license after 5 years.

Potential Defenses to a DUI

The defense that would be most effective for your DUI case depends on the specific circumstances of your case. A DUI defense attorney can determine what would be most beneficial for your situation. Possible defenses include:

      • Lack of probable cause for the stop
      • Inaccurate chemical test, including a blood test and a breathalyzer test
      • Contaminated blood test sample
      • Improper procedure for a field sobriety test
      • Rising blood alcohol defense
      • Not being read your Miranda rights
      • Improperly calibrated equipment
      • Failure of police training
      • Lack of evidence
      • Police entrapment
      • Disputing a DUI checkpoint’s legality
      • A medical condition that led to a false positive chemical test

Your DUI defense attorney can counsel you on what is ideal for your circumstances and begin to create a defense to minimize or drop the charges against you.

Kevin A. Raudt, P.A. Can Defend You

We understand how overwhelming and stressful a DUI charge is. If you have been arrested for a DUI in St. Augustine, your greatest chance at keeping your future intact is to work with a defense attorney with experience and understanding of cases like yours. Contact Kevin A. Raudt, P.A., today if you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI.


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