Have you been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach County and need an Attorney?
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach County, you probably have a lot of questions. Am I going to jail? Will I lose my driver’s license? How much is this going to cost? At Scott Berry Law, Board Certified Criminal Trial and DUI Attorney Scott Berry will answer all of your questions and take the time necessary to help you understand the consequences you face. He will not only guide you through the process but zealously advocate for you through every step of that process.
It’s Just a DUI. Do I need a lawyer?
Am I going to jail?
DUI is a crime in the state of Florida. It is not a mere infraction, like a speeding ticket or running a stop sign. While a speeding ticket will result in a fine and points against your license, a DUI conviction could result in a jail sentence or probation.
Most first time DUI offenders do not go to jail. As long as there was no property damage and no one was injured, probation is a more likely result. But probation can include conditions like community service, fines and court costs, attendance at classes, alcohol or drug treatment, a driver’s license suspension, the immobilization of your vehicle, or even the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car. All of these conditions are time consuming and expensive. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate the severity of these conditions. Of course, if you have damaged property, injured or killed another person, or have a criminal history, the likelihood of incarceration increases. In some cases, incarceration may even become mandatory.
Will I lose my driver’s license?
Most likely, you are going to lose your driver’s license for some period of time if you have been arrested for a DUI.
There are two different license issues with which you should be concerned. First, your driver’s license will be revoked as a result of a conviction in the criminal case. This is something that can sometimes be negotiated with the prosecutor as part of a plea agreement if your attorney is able to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charge. If the prosecutor insists on a conviction for DUI, you will be limited to negotiating the length of the suspension.
Second, your license will be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles if you either blew over the legal limit or you refused to blow into the machine. That suspension began on the day of your arrest, although you should have received a temporary license, if eligible (the DUI citation you received acts as a temporary license), which is good for 10 days from the date of your arrest.
During that 10 day period, you can request a formal review hearing through the DMV. At that hearing, your lawyer can challenge the suspension and if successful, get your license back. Unfortunately, in most cases, the DMV will uphold the suspension. If you are eligible, you can also request an immediate hardship license within that 10 day period. Failing to request either a hearing or an immediate hardship license will result in the loss of your driving privilege for 30 days (if you blew over the limit) or 90 days (if you refused to blow) before you would be eligible for a hardship license.
How much will this cost?
I charge $1,995 for a misdemeanor DUI in Palm Beach County. The charge is higher if the case originated outside of Palm Beach County because I have to account for travel time and expenses. I charge a trial fee of $1,000 per day that is due 45-60 days before trial. My fees do not include costs for things like experts, court reporters, and subpoena service. I also charge a separate fee of $750 to handle DMV hearings related to DUI driver’s license suspensions. My initial fee is due up front.
If your charge is a felony DUI, my fee increases to $2,995 plus $2,000 per day for trial. My fees for DUI Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide cases are decided on a case by case basis.
In addition to my fees, you will also have to worry about the costs of a conviction. If you are placed on probation, you will have to pay court costs, fines, costs of supervision, and costs associated with the various classes and treatment you may be ordered to do. You will also be responsible for the costs of drug testing, immobilizing your vehicle, and the installation and upkeep for any ignition interlock device that is required of you. Finally, the DMV will charge you fees to reinstate your driver’s license and your insurance company may increase your fees as a result of your arrest. These other costs will likely total several thousand dollars.