No one plans on getting a DUI. And for most of us, we feel fine to drive after a few drinks. In today’s climate, however, a few drinks is all it takes to land yourself in jail, facing a DUI arrest. That is why our advice is to pick a designated driver or take a cab anytime you will be out drinking. If the unthinkable has happened, and you’ve been arrested, I want you to know that you have options. I also want you to know that we are here to help with any DUI arrest in Okaloosa County.

With the number of alcohol-related fatal accidents that happen each year throughout Florida, law enforcement has understandably stepped up their drunk driving patrols. This is especially true during the summer tourist season, which causes the number of DUI arrests in Fort Walton Beach and Destin to rise dramatically.

The information on this page will deal exclusively with misdemeanor DUI charges, which means 1st offense and 2nd offense DUIs without an accident involving serious injury or death.

Misdemeanor DUI Attorney

Remember, just because you were arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. I have defended thousands of clients in Fort Walton, Destin, and Niceville who were facing their first DUI charges and I am ready to defend you. Call us today at 850-439-0999 for a free consultation to talk about the details of your case and find out how we will defend you.

Overview of Misdemeanor DUI Cases

Penalties For A First Offense DUI

A first offense DUI will be charged as a second degree misdemeanor, which can result in a combination of penalties if convicted:

  • Under 0.15 BAC
    • Up to six months in jail;
    • Probation;
    • Community service;
    • 1st Offender DUI School;
    • Victim Impact Panel
    • Vehicle Impoundment
    • Driver’s license suspension for up to 12 months; and
    • Fines between $500 and $1000
  • Above 0.15 BAC
    • Up to nine months in jail;
    • Probation;
    • Community service;
    • 1st Offender DUI School;
    • Victim Impact Panel
    • Vehicle Impoundment
    • Driver’s license suspension for up to 12 months;
    • Fines between $1000 and $2000; and
    • Ignition Interlock Device- This is a machine that is installed in your vehicle that measures your BAC. Before starting your vehicle, you must blow into the machine. If your BAC is above the legal limit, the car will not start.
Penalties For A Second Offense DUI?

The good news is that a second offense DUI is still a misdemeanor. But that is where the good news stops. You will be confronted with much harsher punishment if you have a prior DUI on your record from any state. Don’t let this happen to you. If you have been charged with DUI in Okaloosa County, and you have a prior conviction, call Robert Dees and let us go to work for you.

Unfortunately, the penalties only get higher with each subsequent DUI. The county court Judges in Fort Walton Beach are particularly tough on repeat offenders. The punishment, if convicted is as follows:

  • Up to twelve months in jail;
  • A mandatory sentence of 10 days in jail if this arrest is within 5 years of your last conviction;
  • Probation;
  • Community service;
  • Multi- Offender DUI School;
  • Drug and alcohol treatment;
  • Counseling;
  • Driver’s License Suspension for a minimum of one year, up to 5 years, without the possibility of a hardship license;
  • Fines between $1000 and $4000; and
  • Vehicle impoundment
What does the State have to prove for a DUI conviction?

Under Florida law, DUI is defined as the act of driving (or being in actual physical control of a vehicle) while a person is impaired beyond his or her normal faculties, or while he or she has an unlawful blood alcohol level.

To prove the crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Florida, the prosecution must establish that:

  • The defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle, and
  • While driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, the defendant either (a) was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances (such as prescription medications), or controlled substances to the extent that his/her normal faculties were impaired, or (b) had a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher.

If the State is alleging that your current arrest for DUI is a repeat offense, we will force them to provide proof of the prior conviction. We will not just take their word for it and we will definitely not do their job for them.

Finding the Right DUI Attorney

I hope the information on these DUI pages is helpful to you. The Law Offices of Robert A. Dees is ready to take your call and answer any questions that you have. We are ready to step in and defend you. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call us at 850-439-0999.

While no case has a guaranteed outcome, we have a reputation of successfully defending misdemeanor and felony DUI cases in Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and throughout the tri-county area. If you are ready to put a professional team to work for you, contact The Law Offices of Robert A. Dees at 850-439-0999 for a free consultation.