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Can You Get a DUI on a Scooter in Florida?

An electric scooter can be a handy way to travel around and avoid Tampa’s traffic. For some people, these dockless scooters even seem like an easy way to avoid a driving under the influence, or DUI, charge. 

Here’s the problem with that idea: You can, in fact, get a DUI on a scooter in Florida. Check out why you could be arrested for a DUI, even on a scooter, and what penalties you could face if you don’t fight your charge with the help of a Tampa DUI attorney at Hersem Law. 

You Can Get a DUI on Any Vehicle

First, why can you get a DUI for a scooter? It’s not a car, after all, and the damage a scooter can do is typically much less than that of a car. The issue is that Florida’s definition of what counts as a “vehicle” is broad. 

A vehicle is seen as anything that can be used to transport someone or something from one place to another. That means all scooters, bicycles, riding lawn mowers, and other vehicles. 

Because of this, if you’re drunk while in control of any vehicle type, you could be arrested for a DUI. That includes those scooters you see on sidewalks and at intersections.

Penalties for a Florida DUI on a Scooter

If you were charged with a DUI in Florida, no matter what vehicle you happened to be using, you could face severe penalties that could affect your future, financially and otherwise. For example, your license could be suspended, depending on the details of your case. However, your license isn’t the only thing at stake. 

First, you might face fines, which could get expensive fast, if you’re convicted. Your insurance company could also see your conviction and use that against you. Your insurance rates may be raised, which makes it difficult or impossible to maintain your insurance coverage. 

You could even face jail time for a DUI. That’s why it’s so important to contact a qualified DUI lawyer at Hersem Law—no matter the circumstances or what kind of vehicle you were driving when you were arrested.

Contact a Hersem Law Attorney After a Scooter DUI

In Florida, you can just as easily be arrested for a DUI on a scooter as you would be for a DUI in a car. Unfortunately, that means you might have already been arrested, and now you may be worried about your options to fight back and beat that charge. 

If you’re concerned about a DUI conviction because you were accused of riding a scooter drunk, you need to call a DUI lawyer at Hersem Law. We can help you understand the charges, build a defense, and defend yourself against a conviction. 

Ready to get started? Reach out to schedule a free strategy session with our Tampa DUI defense law firm by calling 813-251-7291 or by filling out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.

Should I Get a Lawyer for My First DUI?

When you’re pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Tampa, you may be thinking, “Never again.” You’re not planning on getting in such trouble again, so you might be wondering whether it’s worth it to fight your charges. It was just once, after all—how bad could it really be? 

If you don’t fight your DUI charge, the truth is it could be really bad. First, you’ll have to make a difficult decision with your administrative suspension, and you’ll want an expert to help with that side of your case. (To learn your options for keeping your driver’s license after a DUI charge, click here.) Then, of course, you’ll have to handle the criminal side of your case.

If you’re questioning whether you should get a DUI lawyer for your first offense, it’s important to consider the penalties and how your future could be affected. Calling a Hersem Law DUI lawyer could save you from loads of stress and some hefty criminal punishments.

Even a First DUI Can Be Serious

Whether it’s your first DUI charge or your fourth, a DUI is a serious charge. Drunk driving is a well-known cause of auto-related injuries and deaths, of course. That’s why the prosecution will take your case seriously, even for a first-time arrest. 

Penalties for a DUI

When you’re accused of a first-time DUI, it’s important to consider exactly how a conviction might affect your life before you go to court. Choosing to accept a conviction could lead to major penalties that could affect you for years to come. 

For example, the financial penalties are harsh even for a first-time DUI. If you’re convicted, your fines will be at least $500 (topping out at $1,000), plus you’ll have court costs and the costs of the additional conditions of your sentence on top of that. That adds up to thousands of dollars!

In Florida, standard first-time DUI offenses don’t carry a mandatory jail sentence, but you could still be sentenced to up to six months in jail. And that could turn into nine months if you’re facing enhanced charges.

Also keep in mind the future effects of having a criminal record. Your employment, housing, and other opportunities could be affected if you don’t fight your charge with the help of an experienced Tampa attorney from Hersem Law. 

How Your DUI Lawyer Can Help

Of course, preventing a DUI conviction  isn’t easy. You may not have the resources or experience you need to build a strong defense on your own. Luckily, your Hersem Law DUI lawyer can help with that.

If you’ve been accused of drinking and driving, your DUI attorney from our firm can defend you in court and fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. 

Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer About Your First DUI

Even a first DUI conviction can do a lot of damage. You can’t simply rely on the judge going easy on you. Instead of expecting lower penalties and hoping for the best, contact a lawyer from Hersem Law

After a DUI charge, contact legal help as soon as possible. You can get started with our firm by taking advantage of our free strategy sessions, during which we can discuss your options to fight a DUI conviction. When you’re ready to talk to a DUI lawyer at Hersem Law, give us a call at 813-251-7291 or fill out the following online contact form.

Is There a Diversion Program for DUIs in Florida?

A diversion program allows offenders to enter rehabilitation and avoid criminal penalties. For those who have been charged with a DUI in Florida, a diversion program probably sounds like a great alternative to a possible conviction, which can include fines, loss of your driver’s license, and even time behind bars.

But is there a diversion program for DUIs in Florida? Residents of most Florida counties will be disappointed to find that the answer to that question is typically no. However, if you live in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, the answer is more confusing.

A typical Diversion Program allows you to leave the criminal justice system, at least temporarily, in order to complete certain conditions. If you do all that is asked of you, then the State will dismiss your charge.  

Hillsborough hasn’t gone that far with DUI cases yet but, in March of 2018, the State Attorney’s Office introduced a program called Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR). While the RIDR program doesn’t end in a dismissal of your charge, it does provide you with a no-risk way of getting your charge reduced to a Reckless Driving, which can be a wonderful option for many people facing a DUI charge.

What Is RIDR?

RIDR seeks to reduce DUI offenders’ likelihood of reoffending and keep our roads safer by reducing drunk driving. The program allows offenders to have their DUI charge reduced to reckless driving—a much less serious charge—if they complete typical first-time DUI punishments, as well as some “voluntary” additional conditions like the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. A huge benefit to this program is that the State Attorney will also recommend a Withhold of Adjudication as part of the sentence. This decision is ultimately up to the Judge but, if granted, it will allow most offenders to have their record sealed after their case is closed.

Eligibility for RIDR

This program is for first-time DUI offenders in Hillsborough County, Florida. However, it’s important to remember that eligibility for the program is determined on a case-by-case basis. While this means that no one is guaranteed entry into the program, a few conditions will automatically disqualify you:

  • If you were charged with DUI in connection with an auto accident that led to property damage or injuries
  • If you blew over .20 (blood alcohol content) at the time of your stop
  • If there was a minor in the car at the time of the arrest
  • If you are already participating in another pre-trial intervention program

DUI cases that fall outside of the above categories may be eligible for the RIDR program, but eligibility is no guarantee of acceptance. That’s why it will benefit you greatly to have an attorney from Hersem Law negotiating to get you into this program (if that is how you would like to resolve your case).

Contact a DUI Lawyer at Hersem Law

If you have been charged with drunk driving anywhere in Hillsborough County, you have options when it comes to fighting your DUI charge. You can hire a Tampa DUI lawyer at Hersem Law to fight your charge directly, or you can work with Hersem Law to try to enter the RIDR DUI diversion program.

No matter the route you think you might choose, it’s important to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney at Hersem Law as soon as possible after your DUI charge. To get in touch with us and schedule a free strategy session, give us a call at 813-251-7291 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.

Florida DUI: Misdemeanor or Felony?

When you’re pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence, it’s important to understand just how serious your situation is. You’re facing criminal charges, and that can affect your future. It’s also important to understand just how severe the impact of a DUI conviction can be.

Understanding the nature and severity of your DUI charge can help you know what to expect and why it’s so important to avoid a conviction. But how do you avoid a DUI conviction in Florida? Call an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer at Hersem Law as soon as possible.

Misdemeanor DUI vs. Felony DUI in Florida

Most crimes in Florida can easily be described as either a first- or second-degree misdemeanor or a first-, second-, or third-degree felony. Each category has a maximum sentence that applies to all charges assigned to that classification. For example, a typical second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to sixty days in jail, six months of probation, and a $500 fine. 

A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and a $1,000 fine. However, Florida Statute 316.193, which covers Florida DUI offenses, is much more complex and can be very confusing.

Tons of factors can affect whether your DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, as well as whether you’ll face a first- or second-degree misdemeanor charge. Or is it somewhere in between? In Florida, DUIs are unique in the fact that they don’t  fall into the normal definitions of first- or second-degree misdemeanor. 

That being said, a first-time-DUI will always be a misdemeanor offense unless there was an accident with serious injuries or death involved. If your BAC was below .15 or you refused to provide a breath sample, your charge will most likely be considered a “standard DUI,” which comes with a maximum penalty of six months in jail. 

If your BAC was above .15, your DUI in Florida will be considered “enhanced,” which increases the maximum sentence to nine months in jail. If there was an accident with property damage and/or you had a passenger under the age of 18 in the vehicle at the time of your offense, then your DUI will become a true first-degree misdemeanor, and the maximum penalty can be up to a year in jail.   

A second DUI within five years of the first conviction carries several enhanced penalties.  These include: a ten-day minimum mandatory jail sentence; increased fines; a five-year driver’s license suspension; and a lengthy ignition interlock device requirement after your license is back in your hands. The sentence for a second DUI outside of five years of a first conviction looks like a first-time DUI sentence, but there are some enhanced penalties with this charge, as well, such as no permit available for driving during the criminal license suspension and a mandatory ignition interlock device requirement. 

A third DUI within ten years of a second conviction can be charged as a felony.  This offense also requires a thirty-day minimum jail sentence. However, a third DUI outside of ten years of the second conviction remains a misdemeanor offense and can no longer be charged as a felony. 

Contact a Tampa DUI Lawyer for Help 

If you’re facing a possible DUI conviction in Florida, it’s important to understand your case. Is your Florida DUI a misdemeanor or a felony? The answer depends on the circumstances of your case, but no matter what the charge ends up being, it’s important to fight the charge by calling a lawyer at our firm.

At Hersem Law, we know that even a misdemeanor can have a huge impact on your life, which is why we’re focused on helping you through this, whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony. 

If you’re facing a DUI conviction, get started on your case with a free strategy session. We understand how confusing your case could be, so we offer these short sessions to discuss your case before you commit to our firm. To begin, call 813-251-7291 or complete the online contact form below.

What Are My Rights When Arrested for Drunk Driving in Florida?

A DUI is a serious offense, which is why it’s important to be prepared when you’re pulled over. You want to protect yourself and your future, but that can be tough when you’re not sure what your rights are. 

Learning your rights can help you do more than avoid self-incrimination. Protecting your rights during and after any arrest is vital to your legal defense, so knowing what to expect is important. 

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Florida, reach out to Hersem Law as soon as possible. For more information on your rights when you’ve been arrested for DUI, read on.

Probable Cause

Consider whether the police officer had a right to pull you over, investigate you, and place you under formal arrest. Police officers must have probable cause to arrest you, which means they had a valid reason to stop you and, based on your interactions, they now have well-founded  reason to suspect that you were drinking and driving

Some reasons for the stop of a vehicle may be swerving, speeding, or sudden lane changes without using your signal. While these mistakes can simply be driving mistakes, you could also be pulled over on suspicion of drinking. Your attorney from Hersem Law can help you determine whether the officer truly had enough to pull you over and if there was probable cause for your arrest. 

Miranda Rights

If the police choose to arrest you, it’s important to remain respectful. However, that doesn’t mean telling the police everything. In any event, you should have your Miranda rights read to you upon your arrest. These state, in part, that you do not have to speak or answer questions that would incriminate you. 

Because of this, you don’t have to answer the police officer’s questions about what you’ve been drinking, how much you drank, or anything else about your day or night. The officer who pulled you over may try to get you to talk. Typically, however, you’ll want to avoid saying anything until an attorney is present. 

Protect Your Rights with a Tampa DUI Attorney

If you’ve been pulled over for drinking and driving, you might be concerned about your legal case, but what about your rights?

At Hersem Law, we understand how easy it can be to accidentally overlook a violation of your rights, say something incriminating, or make your situation worse for yourself. That’s why we offer free strategy sessions. We can talk about your case and your rights when you’ve been arrested for drunk driving. 

When you’re ready, give us a call at 813-251-7291 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.