Despite being potentially deadly for those involved, driving under the influence (DUI) is one
of Naples, Florida’s most common criminal charges. A DUI is a severe criminal charge, and a
conviction could have a lasting impact on your life, even if it was your first offense.
Those convicted of a DUI could face fines, probation, and even lengthy imprisonment. If you
have been charged with a DUI in Naples, all hope is not lost, and you have the right to
fight the charges against you.
After getting arrested for driving under the influence, it is essential to reach out to an
experienced Naples DUI attorney as soon as possible. Drunk driving defense attorney Robert
H. Hanaford of the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford has decades of experience defending
clients’ rights in Naples and the surrounding areas. Attorney Hanaford is a former police
instructor certified to administer sobriety field tests in Florida and will use his vast
knowledge to develop the best defense strategy for your case.
What to Expect If I’ve Been Arrested for DUI in Naples
Finding oneself facing a DUI arrest can be a bewildering and overwhelming experience. If
you’ve been arrested for DUI in Naples, it’s essential to be aware of the steps you can
expect to encounter in the legal process and the potential consequences.
The DUI process often begins with an arrest. If you’re pulled over by law
enforcement and the officer suspects you are driving under the influence of
alcohol or drugs, you may be subjected to field sobriety tests and a
breathalyzer test. Failing these tests could result in your arrest, followed by
booking at a local police station or county jail.
After being arrested and booked, you’ll likely have to wait for your release.
This could involve spending a few hours or overnight in custody until you’re
sober and deemed fit for release. In some cases, you might be released on bail
or your own recognizance.
Your first court appearance, also known as an arraignment, will take place within
a few days of your arrest. During this hearing, the charges against you will be
formally read, and you’ll have the opportunity to enter a plea.
In addition to the criminal charges, a DUI arrest triggers administrative actions
against your driver’s license. Your license may be suspended, and you may have
to request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension. It’s crucial to consult with
an attorney to navigate this process effectively.
Obtaining legal representation is one of the most critical steps you can take
after a DUI arrest. An experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your
rights, build a strong defense, and guide you through the legal proceedings.
Depending on the specifics of your case, your attorney might file pretrial
motions to challenge evidence, conduct, or other aspects of your arrest.
Negotiations with the prosecution may also take place to explore the possibility
of a plea bargain.
If no plea agreement is reached, your case will proceed to trial. During the
trial, both sides will present evidence and arguments, and a judge or jury will
determine your guilt or innocence. If you choose to plead guilty or are found
guilty, sentencing will follow.
A DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences beyond legal penalties. It
can impact your driving record, insurance rates, and even your employment
prospects. Certain jobs, particularly those involving driving or positions of
trust, might be affected by a DUI conviction.
Being arrested for DUI in Naples, or anywhere else, is a serious matter with
potentially life-altering consequences. Navigating the legal process can be
complex, but with the right legal counsel and a commitment to making informed
decisions, you can work towards minimizing the impact of the arrest on your
Types of DUI Offenses and Penalties in Florida
In Florida, the severity of a DUI charge changes if you are a repeat offender and could take
the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. The followings are the different types of DUI
offenses in Florida and the penalties you could face for each:
If it is your first time being charged with a DUI, the crime will likely be
charged as a misdemeanor. Those convicted of a first-offense DUI could face up
to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail. Additionally, convicted
individuals must serve at least 50 hours of community service and expect their
driver’s license to be suspended for one year.
In most circumstances, a second offense of DUI is charged as a misdemeanor.
Convicted individuals could be sentenced to up to $2,000 in fines and up to 5
years in prison. Those convicted of DUI for the second time could also face the
Up to one year of probation
30 days of vehicle impound
Ignition interlock device installation in their vehicle
Drivers license suspension for up to five years
Those convicted of a DUI for the second time may also be required to attend a
mandatory DUI course or an alcohol treatment program.
After a third DUI conviction, the penalties increase exponentially. A third DUI
offense is classified as a misdemeanor unless you have a prior conviction within
the last ten years, in which case the charge will escalate to a felony.
Individuals convicted of a third DUI could face up to $5,000 in fines and up to
five years in state prison. Additionally, those convicted of a third DUI may be
Driver’s license suspension for up to ten years
90 days of vehicle impound
Up to one year of probation
Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
DUI school or an alcohol treatment program
Even if your third offense is classified as a misdemeanor, these hefty penalties
could have a significant impact on your life.
If you are convicted of a DUI for the fourth time, the charge escalates to a
felony, and the consequences are severe. Those convicted of a fourth or more DUI
could face up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison. The convicted
individual will also face all of the consequences listed above, in addition to
five years probation and a permanent suspension of their driver’s license. Those
convicted of felonies face other long-term effects on their lives, such as
trouble finding employment and housing.
It is also essential to note that these penalties could increase significantly if
the DUI resulted in any property damage or bodily harm. If someone was injured
while you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be
charged with a felony, even if it was your first DUI offense.
Attorney Robert Hanaford understands how severely to even a single DUI conviction
can affect your life and the stress facing such a severe charge can cause. He is
dedicated to getting to know you and the details of your case personally to
understand every detail and construct the best DUI defense strategy for your
unique situation. Some of the many ways Attorney Hanaford can help you include:
Interviewing any involved parties
Negotiating a favorable plea bargain
Conducting an independent investigation into the case against you
Analyzing all evidence
Selecting a jury to ensure a fair trial
Negotiating severe penalties
While facing drunk driving charges can be harrowing, it does not need to damage
your life. An experienced and trusted DUI attorney could help you fight your
charges and negotiate a fair deal so that you can move forward with your life.
Contact Our Experienced Naples DUI Lawyers Today For a Free
When you partner with criminal defense Attorney Robert H. Hanaford, you not only get the
expertise of 38 years of legal experience, but a personalized approach to your case that
will make you feel heard and understood. Our firm is dedicated to being open and available
to each and every client and will be a staunch advocate for your defense. When you work with
him, you can have peace of mind that your case is in the hands of a highly-qualified and
caring legal professional. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, Contact the Law
Office of Robert H. Hanaford today by calling (239) 351-1904 or filling out our Contact form.
Hanaford Law Offices is a criminal defense attorney providing
high-quality legal services in Florida across Naples SW Florida and Chicago Illinois.