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Types of DUI Cases

The criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm represent clients on a wide variety of DUI charges. This article discusses the different types of DUI charges under Florida law and special defenses that might be available to fight those charges.

Charges for DUI can be classified according to the different types of chemical testing involved, enhanced penalties based on conduct, and enhanced punishments based on the number of prior convictions and when those prior convictions occurred.

Under Florida law, there are more than 15 different ways that a crime involving driving under the influence can be charged. 

Different Types of DUI Chemical Testing

After an arrest for DUI, the officer has three options for chemical testing. Depending on the circumstances, the officer can request that the driver submit to one or more of the following tests:

If the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing, then the officer will allege that the driver refused chemical testing which comes with its own consequences for an administrative suspension and formal criminal charges. Under some circumstances, a refusal to submit to chemical test (if it occurs after a prior refusal to submit) can be charged as a separate criminal offense and first degree misdemeanor.

Types of DUI Penalties Based on the Number of Prior Convictions

Florida law also provides for different minimum mandatory penalties for a DUI conviction depending on the number of prior convictions and when those prior convictions occurred.

  • First DUI (with no prior DUI conviction either in Florida or any other state); 
  • Second DUI either within five years or outside five years: 
  • Third DUI within ten years of a prior conviction;
  • Third DUI outside ten years of a prior conviction; 

Types of DUI Based on Conduct

Florida law also provides for certain enhanced penalties and punishments if certain conduct is alleged. The types of enhancements based on conduct committed during the DUI include:

  • a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) was over .15;
  • having a minor child under the age of 18 years old as a passenger in the vehicle;
  • being involved in an accident with property damage to another person's vehicle or property.

Special provisions also apply if the driver was under the age of 21 years old, including a "zero tolerance" policy that sets the legal limit at .02 instead of .08.

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles and individuals who hold a CDL license can also be cited for having a BAC even lower than .08. That type of accusation can be a career ending event for my CDL holders unless they hire a qualified DUI defense attorney to fight the accusation.

DUI Attorney for Different Types of DUI in Tampa, FL

Regardless of the type of DUI cases involved, the criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, are experienced in fighting for the absolute best result in the case. We understand different types of DUI charges under Florida law.

We can help you understand the potential penalties, special defenses, and ways to fight the charges no matter how the DUI charge is filed. 

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 813-250-0500 to discuss the case during a free and completely confidential consultation. 

This article was last updated on Friday, March 3, 2016.