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How does a Florida DUI affect your life?

Like most people, after you make a mistake, you simply want it to go away. Even if you vow never to repeat the mistake, it may still haunt you. For instance, a DUI arrest, let alone a conviction, affects your life in ways you might not anticipate. Florida takes drunk driving seriously, and the consequences affect nearly everything you do, especially in the short-term, and often in the long-term.

How a DUI on your record affects your life

A conviction for DUI often comes with the following consequences:

  • Driver's license suspension: Without your driver's license, getting to work and social functions becomes a challenge. Even a first offense often results in the loss of your driver's license for at least 180 days. This does not include paying fines or spending time in jail or prison, depending on the circumstances. If you drive for a living, you could lose your job.
  • Background checks: Potential employers, colleges or universities, and landlords often conduct background checks. Even a misdemeanor DUI could affect your chances in these areas.
  • Employment: A potential employer might use your conviction to deny you employment, especially if the position requires you to drive. If an employer's choice for a job opening is between you and another person, your DUI could cause you to lose the opportunity.
  • Auto insurance rates: Your car insurance often goes up as the result of a DUI because companies now consider you a "high risk" driver.
  • Personal and professional relationships: Friends, family and coworkers might view you differently. You might feel embarrassed or ashamed, which affects how you interact with them.
  • Scholarships: Many scholarship programs disqualify applicants with DUIs. A current scholarship could be revoked.

Too many people simply plead guilty to DUI charges without considering the long-term ramifications.

So, what am I supposed to do?

An arrest does not equal a conviction. You retain the right to challenge the charges even if an officer tells you that you blew .08 or higher on a breath test. First, the machines used to conduct those field tests require maintenance and routine calibration to remain accurate. Second, the officer administering the test requires training to use the equipment properly.

Other alleged evidence of your intoxication must also meet certain standards. The traffic stop, field sobriety tests and laboratory tests require scrutiny as well. People make mistakes, and that includes police officers and laboratory technicians. Weaknesses in the evidence could result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges. Considering the stakes, an attorney could prove invaluable.

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The Law Office Of Cheyenne Whitfield, P.A.

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Brandon, FL 33510

Phone: 813-314-7231
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