DON’T FACE YOUR DUI ALONE

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    TOP RATED DEDICATED ORLANDO DUI DEFENSE

    • #1 “Best DUI Attorneys in Orlando” Best DWI Attorneys, 2016, 2017, 2018
    • #1 “Best DUI Law in Orlando” Yelp, 2016, 2017
    • “Best DWI Lawyers in Orlando, FL” Three Best Rated, 2017
    • “Client’s Choice Award” for DUI, Avvo 2015, 2016, 2017
    • “Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Orlando” Expertise, 2016, 2017, 2018
    •  “10 Best DUI/DWI Attorneys for Client Satisfaction, Florida” American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys, 2017
    • Perfect 10.0 Avvo Rating
    • National College of DUI Defense
    • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
    • Top 40 Under 40 National Trial Lawyer’s Association
    • Defended literally thousands of Central Florida criminal cases

    Orlando DUI Client Testimonial

    “I want whoever reads this to know, that Joel Leppard is not only an excellent attorney, but an excellent human being. I know this because, he represented me in a situation where I was innocent but I was afraid and thanks to his advise I decided to take my case to trial. Guess what? We won!!!! He is soo awesome, he puts himself in your shoes, and walks you through the process as if it was him. He’s not just working for you, he’s working with you!” – Brenda, Orlando DUI Client

    MEET ATTORNEY JOEL LEPPARD

    Joel Leppard is the founder of Leppard Law, an Orlando, Florida DUI criminal defense law firm that provides each client with the resources of a large firm but with the personal attention and skillful representations that only a small firm can provide. Joel Leppard promises to keep in contact with his clients and remains accessible through frequent phone calls, emails, and even texts. Leppard Law offers evening and weekend consultations to accommodate the majority of his client base who work during the weekdays. Mr. Leppard enjoys defending people accused of DUIs because it allows him to use his ingenuity and resources to help people through difficult times.

    MEET ATTORNEY JOE EASTON

    Joe Easton focuses his practice almost entirely on DUI defense. Before fighting for the rights of those accused of DUIs in Central Florida, Joe Easton was a prominent DUI lawyer in Wisconsin for over 13 years, where he was renowned for his fearless advocacy and unique approaches to DUI cases. Mr. Easton achieved acclaim as a drunk driving attorney by his novel DUI trial strategies, earning him success at every stage, including DMV hearings, obtaining full acquittals at trial and getting courts to grant his clients new trials on appeal. Attorney Easton’s successful defense of his DUI clients has earned him the respect of other practitioners, prosecutors, and judges and he was named a “Rising Star” by the prestigious “SuperLawyers” rating service for lawyers who have attained outstanding peer recognition and professional achievement. Joe Easton has a perfect 10.0 “Superb” rating on Avvo and was named recently a “Ten Best” Florida DUI Attorney by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys in 2017. He is also a member of the National College of DUI Defense and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

    10.0Joseph Easton

    Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Florida which, unless defended aggressively, can result in severe penalties. If you are charged with DUI, you not only have a criminal court case to deal with, but there are administrative effects as well (such as having your license suspended) and collateral consequences such as loss of a job, employment licensure suspension, and adverse immigration consequences, among others. Navigating the legal territory after a charge of DUI can become an extremely complex, involved process, so it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney who is experienced in this type of case to defend you. With the legal knowledge and negotiation skills possessed by a qualified attorney, you could potentially have your case dismissed, or at least reach a more favorable outcome than if you attempted to defend yourself.

    With the legal knowledge and negotiation skills possessed by a good Orlando DUI attorney, you could potentially have your case dismissed, reduced and reach a more favorable outcome than if you attempted to defend yourself.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M CHARGED WITH DUI?

    In Florida, the State must prove you are guilty of DUI by demonstrating that you were in actual physical control of your vehicle and:

    1. Your “normal faculties” were impaired; OR
    2. Your blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol content was .08 or higher.

    Actual Physical Control

    “Actual physical control” is a significant term here. Note the word “control.” Actual physical control does not refer to the operation of a vehicle; you just have to be in control. In other words, you are in actual physical control of your vehicle if you are just sitting inside it, even though you may not be driving.

    Impairment of Normal Faculties

    If the State can show you were in actual physical control of your vehicle, then they must prove your guilt of DUI in one of two ways. The first one involves demonstrating your normal faculties were impaired when you were in actual physical control of the vehicle. “Normal faculties” is naturally a subjective term, but it generally refers to your ability to perform your daily functions as normal, e.g. driving, decision making. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily illegal to “drink and drive.” It only becomes illegal when your normal faculties are impaired, or if your blood-alcohol content or breath-alcohol content (BAC) tests above the legal limit, which brings us to our next point.

    BAC

    The second way the State can show your guilt is by proving your BAC was .08 or higher. Your BAC is supposed to show how much alcohol is in your system, but because this is determined by machines, there is a capacity for error. A skilled attorney can take advantage of this to help out your case.

    DEFENDING AGAINST DUIs

                Because the State has a strict burden of proof to meet to prove you are guilty of DUI, your lawyer can invoke a number of defenses to help your case.

    Lack of Reasonable Suspicion

    Law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion that you were committing a traffic infraction before they can pull you over. If not, then your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable freedom searches and seizures was violated and any evidence from the traffic stop cannot be used against you.

    Challenging FSTs and BAC results

    Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and BAC results are common forms of evidence on which the State relies when prosecuting a DUI case. However, both humans and machines are prone to error. An experienced lawyer will thoroughly challenge the accuracy of any specific equipment or testimony used against you. For example, if a breathalyzer was used to test your BAC, how recently was it inspected? Was it properly sanitized before you were tested? If an officer employed FSTs, were they properly administered? Did you have any conditions that would explain poor performance?

    Possession of Normal Faculties

    Whether or not you were in possession of your “normal faculties” is a very subjective question. A skilled lawyer can challenge the law enforcement’s observations that led him to infer you were impaired while you were in control of a vehicle.

    WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR DUI?

    The State of Florida punishes DUI harshly; as such, there are a number of penalties a court will enforce if you are convicted of DUI. In addition, repeat offenses and aggravating factors (such as the presence of minors, or damage to property) may lead to a more severe sentence. The penalty scheme for DUI convictions is quite complicated, so here are some charts than can help you make sense of it.

    1x Conviction:

    Minimum PenaltyMaximum PenaltyComments
    JailNoneSix Months– Max. Nine months if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle- Max. Year if crash
    ProbationEarly TerminationOne Year
    Driver’s License SuspensionSix MonthsOne Year
    Community ServiceFifty HoursDiscretionary
    ImpoundmentTen DaysThirty Days
    Ignition InterlockNoneSix Months– Required if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
    DUI Counterattack ClassRequired
    Victim Impact PanelRequired
    Fine$500$1,000– $1,000-$2,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

     

    2x Conviction within 5 Years of Previous DUI Conviction:

    Minimum PenaltyMaximum PenaltyComments
    JailTen DaysNine Months– Max. Twelve months if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle
    ProbationEarly TerminationOne Year
    Driver’s License SuspensionFive Years
    Community ServiceNoneNone
    ImpoundmentThirty Days
    Ignition InterlockOne Year– Two Years if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
    DUI Counterattack ClassRequired
    Victim Impact PanelRequired
    Fine$1,000$2,000– $2,000-$4,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

     

    2x Conviction with Previous DUI Conviction Outside of 5 Years:

    Minimum PenaltyMaximum PenaltyComments
    JailNoneNine Months– Max. Year if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle
    ProbationEarly TerminationOne Year
    Driver’s License SuspensionSix MonthsOne Year
    Community ServiceNoneNone
    ImpoundmentTen DaysThirty Days
    Ignition InterlockYear– Two Years if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
    DUI Counterattack ClassRequired
    Victim Impact PanelRequired
    Fine$1,000$2,000– $2,000-$4,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

     

    3x Conviction within 10 Years of Previous DUI Conviction:

    Minimum PenaltyMaximum PenaltyComments
    JailThirty Days5 years– If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Prison
    ProbationEarly Termination5 years– If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Five Years Probation
    Driver’s License SuspensionTen Years– eligibility for hardship driver’s license after 2 years
    Community ServiceNoneNone
    ImpoundmentNinety Days
    Ignition InterlockTwo Years
    DUI Counterattack ClassRequired
    Victim Impact PanelRequired
    Fine$2,000$5,000– $4,000-$5,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

     

    3x Conviction with Previous DUI Conviction Outside of 10 Years:

    Minimum PenaltyMaximum PenaltyComments
    JailNoneYear
    ProbationEarly TerminationOne Year
    Driver’s License SuspensionSix MonthsOne Year
    Community ServiceNoneNone
    ImpoundmentTen DaysThirty Days
    Ignition InterlockTwo Years
    DUI Counterattack ClassRequired
    Victim Impact PanelRequired
    Fine$2,000$5,000– $4,000-$5,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

     

    4x Conviction of DUI or more:

    Minimum PenaltyMaximum PenaltyComments
    JailNoneYear– If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Prison
    ProbationEarly TerminationOne Year– If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Five Years Probation
    Driver’s License SuspensionLifetime Revocation
    Community ServiceNoneNone
    ImpoundmentNoneNone
    Ignition InterlockNoneNone
    DUI Counterattack ClassRequired
    Victim Impact PanelRequired
    Fine$2,000$5,000

     

    ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES

    If you are charged with DUI, you may also suffer administrative penalties, which are separate from the court system. If law enforcement asks you to take a test to determine your BAC, you can technically refuse. However, if you do refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for a year and you will receive a DUI citation. If you comply and your BAC tests at .08 or higher, your license will be suspended for 6 months and you will still receive a DUI citation.

    If you receive a DUI citation (which means your license was suspended), the citation acts as a driving permit for 10 days after the issuance of the citation. Within those 10 days, you have a decision to make. You can either:

    1. Apply for an administrative hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to challenge your suspension (or better yet, hire a lawyer to do it for you); OR
    2. Apply for a hardship license that will allow you to drive only to school, work, and church, but waiving your right to an administrative hearing

    The administrative hearing is an excellent opportunity to gather evidence and develop your case for criminal court. For one, if the police officer involved does not show up, then your license is automatically reinstated. Otherwise, you or your lawyer can confront the evidence the State holds against you, subpoena any relevant witnesses, and testify on your behalf. There is a drawback, however. If you lose the hearing, then you must wait through a “hard suspension” before you are able to apply for a limited driving license.

    CONTACT JOEL LEPPARD

    Handling a DUI case is an extremely complicated (not to mention nerve-racking) process. Contact Orlando DUI  lawyer  Joel Leppard and you will have the confidence that a highly qualified DUI attorney is representing your best interests. Joel Leppard focuses almost exclusively on DUI cases and will analyze your specific situation from every angle and find the best solution for your case.

    Your initial consultation is always free and Leppard Law is available to take your call at almost any hour of the day.

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