Fort Walton Beach DUI Attorney
No one plans to get arrested for DUI. Whether you are a local or were here on vacation, a DUI arrest is a humiliating experience that can have a huge impact on your future. If you are in the military, it can be a career-ender.
My name is Tim Flaherty. DUI & Criminal Defense is 100% of my practice. Since 2001, I have been defending locals, tourists, and military members accused of DUI in Fort Walton Beach and throughout Okaloosa County.
If you are worried about the penalties you are facing, or whether you are going to be able to continue driving, give me a call right away at (850) 243-6097.
After a DUI arrest, it is very important to take immediate steps to protect your ability to drive. You must request a hearing with the Bureau of Administrative Review within 10 days of your arrest to avoid a suspension of your driver’s license. For more information about this process, click here.
If you entrust me with your DUI case, my main goals will be to protect your ability to keep driving, keep you out of jail, and do everything possible to get the DUI charge either dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.
Misdemeanor DUI in Fort Walton Beach
The vast majority of DUI charges in Fort Walton Beach are misdemeanors. The penalties vary based on whether it was a first or second offense, and whether or not your blood alcohol level was above or below 0.15.
First Offense DUI Penalties in Fort Walton Beach
- Up to 6 months in jail if your blood alcohol content was under 0.15
- Up to 9 months in jail if your blood alcohol content was over 0.15
- Up to 12 months probation
- Up to a 12 month license suspension
- Fines ranging between $500.00 and $2,000.00
- Ignition Interlock requirement if your BAC was over 0.15
- Community service
- DUI School
- Victim Impact Panel
- Vehicle Impoundment
While it is always technically possible to receive a jail sentence for a first offense DUI in Fort Walton Beach, it is highly unlikely. 99.9% of the time, you will not go to jail for a first offense DUI. If any attorney tells you differently, they are lying to you.
Second Offense DUI Penalties
While a second offense DUI is still a misdemeanor, the penalties will be enhanced.
- Up to 12 months in jail
- Up to a 5 year license suspension
- Mandatory 10 days in jail if the second offense occurred within 5 years of the first
- Multi-Offender DUI School
- Mandatory installation of the Ignition Interlock for at least 6 months
- Increased fines and costs
- Convictions from other states can, and will, be used to enhance your local DUI
Felony DUI in Fort Walton Beach
If your current DUI charge in Fort Walton Beach is a 3rd offense and it occurred within 10 years of the conviction for your second offense, you face a felony third degree charge.
Penalties for a 3rd offense:
- Mandatory 30 days in jail
- Up to 5 years in prison
- 10 year license suspension
- Ignition Interlock for up to 2 years
- Felony conviction on your record that can never be expunged or sealed
If your current DUI charge is a 4th offense, regardless of when the priors occurred, you face up to 5 years in prison and a lifetime revocation of your driver’s license.
DUI With Serious Injury or Death In Fort Walton Beach
The stakes gets exponentially higher if you are convicted of DUI and you caused an accident that seriously hurt or killed someone else. If this has happened to you, you may face charges of:
What to expect from a Fort Walton Beach DUI Attorney
While you may have spoken with friends, family, coworkers, or other attorneys, let me put your mind at ease. A DUI arrest does not necessarily mean you will be convicted or go to jail. Scare tactics and flashy sales pitches have becomes the norm with DUI attorneys in our area but you will NOT be subjected to that if I am your attorney. You will receive honest, straight-forward advice. You will also receive:
- In depth case analysis including a thorough review of the field sobriety tests and breath testing that was done in your case.
- An exhaustive review of police reports, witness statements, video evidence, and breath machine calibration and maintenance records.
- Cost/benefit analysis based on your needs.
- 24/7 access to your defense team.
- The peace of mind that comes from knowing you are defended by an attorney YOU have chosen, and not one assigned to you by the state.
- Over 16 years of experience in Fort Walton Beach with extensive knowledge of local judges and prosecutors.
I want you to be as informed as possible regarding the charges you are facing and the various tests and procedures that could play a part in your case. To help with that, I have provided the following informative articles related to DUI charges in Fort Walton Beach:
If you have any questions about these topics, or any other aspect of your case, I would be happy to answer your questions.
Fort Walton Beach DUI Attorneys for Military Personnel
Aside from all the consequences that may be handed down from the Fort Walton Beach civilian courts, military personnel may face further disciplinary consequences from their particular branch of the military. In our experience, however, the military typically takes a back seat to the civilian courts, which means that you will have the chance to clear yourself of these charges before any of those long-term consequences ever come into effect. We will work with you to build a comprehensive legal strategy to protect your career and your future.
If you are serving in the military and have been arrested for a DUI in the Fort Walton Beach area, our legal team will challenge each and every aspect of your arrest in an effort to reduce or, ideally, eliminate your charges altogether.
Consult a Fort Walton Beach DUI Attorney
I have been defending local residents, military members, and vacationers charged with DUI in Fort Walton Beach since 2001. If you are ready for me to put my expertise to work for you, call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097.