Collier County DUI Defense Lawyer
Getting stopped and subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can turn your life upside down in seconds. Like many states, Florida takes DUIs seriously, and those convicted could face losing their driver’s license or even their freedom. Many people assume that a failed field sobriety test may mean an automatic conviction. However, this is not necessarily the case, and you can still fight the charges against you.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Collier County, Florida, it is best to have a highly qualified attorney on your side. Robert H. Hanaford of the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford has nearly four decades of experience crafting solid defense strategies and achieving the best possible outcomes for his clients in Collier County. When you partner with him, you can have peace of mind that your case is in the caring and capable hands of an expert on Florida law.
Will My DUI Be Charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Collier County?
As a criminal charge, a DUI can have severe ramifications beyond that of a routine traffic stop. While most Florida DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, there are several aggravating factors that could raise the charge to the felony level. Some aggravating factors include:
- The DUI resulted in bodily harm
- The DUI is the driver’s third offense in ten years
- The DUI resulted in a fatality
- If the driver was involved in an accident and failed to provide their information or render aid to those involved
- High Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
Individuals convicted of felony-level DUIs can suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives. In addition to receiving more severe sentences than those convicted of misdemeanors, convicted felons often have trouble securing employment or college admission. Additionally, convicted felons may lose certain civil rights, such as their right to vote or bear arms.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Florida
If you have been charged with a DUI in Collier County, Florida, you may feel frightened, and understandably so. Depending on the severity of your charge, you could be facing life-altering penalties if you are convicted. Misdemeanor and felony DUI charges carry different penalties, and understanding them is vital for understanding your options.
The penalties for a misdemeanor DUI vary heavily depending on if you have ever been convicted of a DUI in the past. If it is your first offense, you could face up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. If this DUI is your second offense, you could be penalized with up to $2,000 in fines and up to nine months in jail. While misdemeanor convictions have more minor long-term consequences than felony convictions, one can still have a lasting impact on your life. Many people charged or convicted of a misdemeanor DUI could still lose their jobs or financial aid for school.
A felony-level DUI carries hefty penalties. Those convicted may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is essential to hire an attorney who understands what is at stake. Attorney Hanaford is committed to providing a personalized approach to every case so he can deliver the highest quality defense for his clients in Collier County.
Possible Defenses for a DUI Charge in Collier County, Florida
Attorney Hanaford has developed his expertise over 38 years and can employ a number of defense strategies based on his client’s needs. He will get to know you and conduct an independent investigation into your case to craft the best possible strategy. Some possible defenses for a DUI case include:
- Improper testing
- You were arrested unlawfully
- The police officers were guilty of misconduct
- Insufficient evidence
- You were not the one driving the vehicle
Breathalyzers and other field sobriety tests are known to malfunction. The test could produce inaccurate results due to poor maintenance or lack of officer training. Attorney Hanaford is trained and certified to administer field sobriety tests and uses this knowledge to help his client’s cases.
Partner With a Premier DUI Defense Lawyer in Collier County
A DUI can carry severe consequences that can drastically alter your life. Fortunately, you do not have to challenge your charges alone. Attorney Robert H. Hanaford of the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford is an expert in Florida law and has dedicated his career to using his expertise to help his clients in Collier County. He has a proven track record of success and is committed to being a fierce advocate for the accused.