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Best Orlando DUI Lawyers

TOP RATED DEDICATED ORLANDO DUI DEFENSE

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

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

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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.

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 Penalty Maximum Penalty Comments
Jail None Six Months – Max. Nine months if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle- Max. Year if crash
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Six Months One Year
Community Service Fifty Hours Discretionary
Impoundment Ten Days Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock None Six Months – Required if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
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 Penalty Maximum Penalty Comments
Jail Ten Days Nine Months – Max. Twelve months if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Five Years
Community Service None None
Impoundment Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock One Year – Two Years if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
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 Penalty Maximum Penalty Comments
Jail None Nine Months – Max. Year if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Six Months One Year
Community Service None None
Impoundment Ten Days Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock Year – Two Years if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
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 Penalty Maximum Penalty Comments
Jail Thirty Days 5 years – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Prison
Probation Early Termination 5 years – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Five Years Probation
Driver’s License Suspension Ten Years – eligibility for hardship driver’s license after 2 years
Community Service None None
Impoundment Ninety Days
Ignition Interlock Two Years
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
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 Penalty Maximum Penalty Comments
Jail None Year
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Six Months One Year
Community Service None None
Impoundment Ten Days Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock Two Years
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
Fine $2,000 $5,000 – $4,000-$5,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

 

4x Conviction of DUI or more:

Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty Comments
Jail None Year – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Prison
Probation Early Termination One Year – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Five Years Probation
Driver’s License Suspension Lifetime Revocation
Community Service None None
Impoundment None None
Ignition Interlock None None
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
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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