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Have you been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI)? Do not wait another minute to get the exceptional defense that you need to avoid a conviction or an overly harsh sentence. Let us help you.
Our firm is dedicated to practicing DUI in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County. This focus gives us an edge in the courtroom due to our familiarity with the local courts and our thorough understanding of Florida's DUI laws. Our team can build the strong defense that your case needs, no matter what type of DUI case you are facing. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to review your possible DUI defenses!
General Overview - DUI
DUI, or driving under the influence, happens when someone drives or operates a motor vehicle with blood levels of alcohol or “Blood Alcohol Content” (BAC) over a limit set by law. A person could have a high BAC because of alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances.
DUI is a criminal offense in Florida. Depending on the circumstances, a DUI can be a misdemeanor offense or a felony offense. Keep in mind that you may not have to actually drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to be convicted of DUI. In Florida, a BAC measurement over 0.08% would be enough for police to arrest you. The police would not have to prove that your driving was impaired or that you were under the influence of alcohol or some other substance. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, punishments for DUI in Florida include the following: paying a fine; community service; probation; impoundment or immobilization of your vehicle; and prison time.
Contact Steven W. Bowden, Attorney at Law Today
We practice locally and have strong roots in Pensacola, Florida, which makes us extremely familiar with the local courts. Our law firm can guide you through DUI and the sealing or expungement process, so contact our firm right away to get started.
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We Can Help You Clean Up Your Criminal Record
After you've been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you will have a black mark on your criminal record that may seem permanent. There is, however, a way for you to erase such a record. Individuals whose records were dismissed or dropped may be eligible to apply sealing or expungement. Individuals that comply with the terms of their probation or criminal sentence and endure it without incident may be eligible to request their record be sealed.
Arrest Record Sealing vs. Expungement in Florida
Record sealing and expungement are two different things. If you were arrested under charges of DUI, plead guilty or no contest to the charges, or were found guilty after a trial and adjudication was withheld, you may be eligible to apply for sealing. If your DUI charges were either dismissed by the Judge or dropped by the State and did not proceed to trial, you can apply for expungement. By getting your record sealed, the public will not have access to this record. Also, if someone asked if you have been arrested, you can answer “NO”. Some government agencies or agencies related to the government will have access to a criminal history record that has been sealed. When a criminal history record has been expunged, those agencies with access to the expunged record need to obtain a signed court order to gain access to the record. Without a signed order they will only see a statement describing that a criminal history record has been expunged. A DUI conviction cannot be sealed or expunged. A “ Back on Track” successful completion (withhold of adjudication on a reckless driving) can be sealed, but not expunged. Only a full dismissal or a not-guilty verdict can be expunged.
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