DUI Defense

Lyons, Snyder & Collin Provide Courtroom Defense For People Charged With DUI

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Arrested? We Can Help!

As a former Special Unit Assistant State Attorneys, Philip M. Snyder and Nabeel Basit prosecuted thousands of individuals charged with motor vehicle crimes, including DUIs.

As a result of this experience, our criminal defense attorneys know first hand that the key to a successful resolution in these cases is hiring an attorney who is familiar with the specific statutes, motions, and penalties associated with motor vehicles crimes and, more importantly, are not afraid to go to trial.

Any attorney can represent you and encourage you to take a plea. The DUI attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin aggressively explores criminal defenses and prepares for trial from day one.

If you have been arrested for Driving While Under the Influence (DUI), the first question is whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a Felony DUI, the State Attorney's Office will most likely petition the Court to impose a lengthy period of incarceration, regardless of your criminal history.

Felony DUI

DUI Manslaughter

The State will charge an individual with DUI Manslaughter when somebody is killed as a result of an alleged drunk driver. The Legislature designated this offense as a 2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.

DUI Serious Bodily Injury (DUI / SBI)

The State will charge an individual with DUI / SBI when somebody (other than the alleged drunk driver) is seriously injured as a result of the crash. The Legislature designated this offense as a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.

Felony DUI

The State may charge an individual with Felony DUI when they are arrested for their third or more DUI offense. The Legislature designated this offense as a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.

Misdemeanor DUI

The State will charge an individual with Misdemeanor DUI when they are arrested for a first or second DUI. The Legislature designated this offense as a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail, depending on the nature of the offense.

Know The Law

In Florida, in order to prove that you were driving under the influence, the State must prove that you:

  • Drove or were in actual physical control of a vehicle;
  • While under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, chemical substance, or controlled substance; and
  • To the extent that your normal faculties were impaired OR having a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
If you agreed to take a breath test

In Florida, the police administer the breath test after you have been arrested. Therefore, even if your breath alcohol level is below a .08, you will still go to jail. Additionally, the State can still charge you with driving under the influence if your breath alcohol level is below .08.

If your breath-alcohol level is .08 or above, the Legislature has deemed you presumptively impaired and the State will only have to prove this element to convict you. The fact that your breath-alcohol level is .08 or above does not preclude you from taking your case to trial and receiving a not-guilty verdict.

The DUI attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin comb through the probable cause affidavit and DUI video (if any) to point out any glaring inconsistencies that would prove that the breath test machine was malfunctioning or provided a false reading.

If you refused to take a breath test ("Refusal")

In Florida, the State will charge you with driving while under the influence, even if you refused to take a breath test. In these cases, the State will attempt to convict you through other evidence such as your driving pattern, your physical characteristics, your speech, your statements, and/or how well you performed on your field sobriety exercises.

Florida DUI attorneys Philip M. Snyder and Nabeel Basit have experience pointing out to the jury the inherent flaws with the administration of field sobriety exercises. We will aggressively customize your defense to highlight one of the infinite numbers of reasons you refused to provide a breath sample.

We also guide you on your options concerning how to obtain temporary driver's license.

Know The Penalties

If you are convicted of a first DUI, the Court must sentence you to the following minimum penalities:

  • Probation
  • License Revocation
  • DUI School
  • Fine + Court Costs
  • Community Service
  • Immobilization of your vehicle (in most cases)
  • Interlock device on your vehicle (if your breath sample was over .15)

If you are convicted of a 2nd DUI with 5 years, the penalties also include a mandatory 10 days in County Jail.

The Florida DUI lawyers at Lyons, Snyder & Collin are skilled in working with prosecutors to reduce charges to avoid the harsh penalties associated with a DUI conviction. Attorneys Marc P. Lyons and Philip M. Snyder thoroughly examine your case and provide you with tailored representation depending on the issues. We aggressively cross-examine the stopping officer, arresting office, and breath technician to uncover mistakes in their investigations.

We will always advocate that the Court not impose any jail conditions regardless of the facts and circumstances of your case.

I Need To Drive

Independent of the imposition of the sentence by the Court, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will immediately suspend your license upon arrest. The State allows you only 10 days from the date of arrest to contest any suspension of your license. You must request a formal or informal hearing with the DMV.

If you fail to contact the DMV within those 10 days, the State will suspend your license for 30 days (if you provided a breath sample) and 90 days (if you refused to provide a breath sample).

After this time, you may be eligible for a hardship license.  At a DMV hearing, the DUI lawyers at Lyons, Snyder & Collin will argue on your behalf that the officer did not have probable cause to effectuate an arrest, and accordingly, your license should not be suspended.

***  As of July 2013, you can get immediately apply for a hardship license if you waive your right to a DMV hearing and enroll in DUI school.

Diversion

First, your vehicle will be immobilized for 10 days. You will then need to submit to an alcohol monitoring device for a 3-month (Tier 1) or 6-month (Tier 2) period. You will be able to choose from three different devices:

  • Ignition Interlock: This device requires you to take a breath analysis test before you will be able to start your car.
  • SCRAM Monitor: This device is an anklet bracelet that constantly monitors your blood alcohol level.
  • Visual Alcohol Monitoring: This device combines photo and breath testing devices to ensure the identity of the person submitting to the test.

Tier 1 includes a $250 fine and Tier 2 includes a $500 fine, plus court fees. Random urine tests will be performed during your time in the program. You will also need to perform 50 (Tier 1) or 75 (Tier 2) hours of community service at a court-approved location.

You will also need to complete level one of the DUI School within the first four months of the program and complete a substance abuse evaluation within the first two months. Finally, you will need to complete a one-hour Victim Impact Panel Class online.

If you fail to complete the program, the DUI charge will be reinstated and you will be sentenced to 90 days in the Palm Beach County Jail.

Contact the Florida DUI Defense Lawyer office location nearest you to schedule a free consultation