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Featured / 5/22/2024

Man Arrested For DUI After Driving Car Into Ocean

When Dominic Toretto drives his muscle cars off of ledges he usually jumps out first and is on a closed course with stunt teams and safety swimmers. The man who was recently arrested in Key West was incredibly lucky that the first person on the scene was a Special Forces Dive School Training Officer. The odds of that happening again are near non-existent. Drinking and driving is a gamble you won’t win.

More About the Case

Early Sunday morning a car ran off the road and into the water at Simonton Beach in Key West, Florida. As it started to float away, officers quickly arrived on the scene,  jumped into the water, and soon pulled a man to shore. He said he was new to the area and when the car he was following suddenly turned he went straight, and it just happened to be straight into the water. After their heroic rescue, the officers conducted a field sobriety test, and he was arrested on a DUI charge. 

Understanding DUI and Property Damage

DUI charges establish:

  • The driver was under the influence
  • The driver was behind the wheel
  • As a result of the accident someone was injured or property was damaged

Enhanced penalties are then considered in circumstances where minors are involved, level of damage, and such.

What is Contributory Negligence

Have you ever heard the phrase friends don’t let friends drive drunk? Well, friends who let friends drive drunk, can be considered contributory negligence. Contributory negligence depends on the individual case, but it’s what the liable party may argue contributed to the accident. 

For example, if you are a sober passenger and you allow a drunk friend to drive. Another example would be if you were another sober driver on the road and your actions of speeding or distracted driving reduced the drunk driver’s liability in the accident. 

Criminal Vs Civil Charges in DUI Cases

The punishment you face for DUI can be criminal or civil depending on the circumstances around your accident.

Criminal DUI charges are punishments such as fines, jail time, or probation from state prosecutors. Criminal defense charges for a first DUI usually start with:

  • Imprisonment
  • Fines of a minimum of $500-$1000
  • Suspension of driver’s license

Civil charges in DUI cases are for compensating the victims for the damages they’ve suffered of their DUI. 

  • Insurance companies won’t pay to cover damages for your intoxication
  • Suspensions including community service or education programs
  • State fines

Facing a DUI Charge with Major Property Damage

Florida’s laws have enhanced harsh penalties for major property damage to cars, physical property or even injuries. DUI with major property damage involved usually disqualifies you from the ability to enter the Back on Track Program, which allows for a reduction to reckless driving from a DUI. DUI involving major damage, or serious bodily harm, can be charged as a third-degree felony. Although it is the least severe class of felony it can result in a 5 year imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. 

Steps to Take After a DUI Arrest

There are several things that must be done after a DUI arrest and we know that the stress of the situation can lead to forgetting certain things or you might simply not know. That is why we have broken down each step of the process for you. 

Booking and processing:

During the Booking process, it’s important to remember that Florida has an implied consent law, that says you must consent to any chemical test that an officer requests. Refusing chemical tests can result in a one-year suspension of your license. 

Setting up your bond:

Once you’ve been held for eight hours, to allow your BAC level to drop, you will likely be released. Sometimes, especially for first-time offenders, you will be released without bond.

Start a case file for your attorney:

This can include witness testimony, receipts, text messages, or pictures from the night in question. You should also consider setting your social media pages to private. Anything incriminating from social media can be used against you.

The Importance of the Right Attorney

After release the first step is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer, even if it’s your first drinking and driving offense. An attorney can help reduce your sentence and manage your entire case. You never know what will happen once you’re in front of a judge, and from investigating the scene to representation at trial, it’s their job to ensure that these mistakes do not severely alter your life. 

Why Choose Garcia Law Firm?

Having years of experience defending those charged with DUI in FL we can work with you to understand the details of your case. By providing confidential consultation we can help get back on the right path after an arrest. Contact us and our attorneys will help determine the best course of action based on the circumstances of your case. 

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Let Us Take Care of Your Case

The team at Garcia Law Firm is a diverse group of legal professionals who have chosen Key West as their home and their commitment to the community is unwavering. They are passionate about the unique challenges and opportunities of the Key West legal landscape

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute client relationship.
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