DUI


At the the Faett Firm we routinely represent clients with DUI/DWI cases. These cases involve difficult issues of science and law, and require years of experience to win. We have the specialized knowledge and years of experience necessary to beat a DUI/DWI case. We aggressively challenge the science behind test results with our years of education, expertise and experience.

DUI WITH PROPERTY DAMAGE
If you are in an accident at the time you are suspected to be driving under the influence it is likely thatvthe State will charge you with DUI with property damage. Property damage turns even a first DUI into a first degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail. It is also likely that the State Attorney will take a case involving property damage more seriously, often seeking jail time even on a first offense. If you are convicted, the judge will probably order restitution increasing the expenses you are facing. For these reasons it is important to have an experienced DUI defense attorney to challenge your case.

DUI WITH PROPERTY DAMAGE
If you are in an accident at the time you are suspected to be driving under the influence it is likely that the State will charge you with DUI with property damage. Property damage turns even a first DUI into a first degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail. It is also likely that the State Attorney will take a case involving property damage more seriously, often seeking jail time even on a first offense. If you are convicted, the judge will probably order restitution increasing the expenses you are facing. For these reasons it is important to have an experienced DUI defense attorney to challenge your case.

DUI MANSLAUGHTER
DUI manslaughter is the most serious form of Driving Under the Influence. If you are under the influence and someone dies as a result of an accident you are in it is likely that you will face this charge. It is also likely that law enforcement will have done a forced blood draw, greatly strengthening their case against you. It is important that you have an attorney that looks closely at who caused the accident, what law enforcement knew when they requested the blood draw, and how the blood was taken. Closely examining these factors may present you a defense to the charge.

When you are charged with DUI manslaughter you will be in felony court. In all felonies the State prepares a “score sheet” which gives the judge guidance as to what the potential range of sentences are. If you have more than 44 points, the court is required to sentence you to prison unless a valid reason to go “below guidelines” exists. With DUI manslaughters you will always score out to mandatory prison time without a reason for departure. Faett and Darrow has experience seeking guideline sentences. In fact, they represented one individual at both the trial court level and all the way through appeal in front of the Florida Supreme Court where the trial court went below guidelines and sentenced an individual convicted on DUI manslaughter to substantially lower than the amount of prison required by the score sheet. This individual did not serve any prison time at all, and the Florida Supreme Court ultimately agreed with Faett and Darrow’s argument that the trial court could go below guidelines in a DUI manslaughter case where the crime was an isolated incident and was committed in an unsophisticated manner. You can find the Supreme Court’s Opinion at State v. Vanbebber, 848 So.2d 1046 (Fla. 2003).

FELONY DUI
There are several ways that a DUI can become a felony. If someone suffers serious bodily injury as a result of a DUI, the charge automatically becomes a third degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison. If someone dies, the charge becomes DUI Manslaughter, a first degree felony with a maximum penalty of thirty years. If a DUI is a third within ten years of the last conviction, or a fourth DUI it becomes a felony.For obvious reasons individuals charged with felony DUI need to take their charges seriously. The State is likely to seek incarceration for an extended period of time. Preparing a strong defense may be the only way to stay out of jail or prison.

DUI PENALTIES (LINK)

Josh Faett, Esq.

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(239) 234-2072