Experienced Panama City DUI Defense Lawyer
Reasons To Choose Shepard Law
Aggressive advocate on your side
Backed by a proven track record
Former prosecutor defending you
Thousands of cases successfully handled
Panama City has one of the highest per capita DUI rates in the country. Many people who have been arrested for driving under the influence give-up on fighting the charge and holding the state to the burden of proving the case. In the face of evidence such as a failed field sobriety test or a breath/blood test which demonstrates a blood alcohol concentration ("BAC") above .08%, many people believe there is no way to avoid a DUI conviction.
On the other hand, a plea to a DUI carries many mandatory penalties including steep fines, drivers license suspension, installation of an ignition interlock devise on your vehicle, community service hours, and the possibility of jail time (of course there your insurance company will likely dramatically increase of your rates). The truth is that it is possible to challenge any DUI case and in many cases, the circumstances surrounding the case lead to a good defense. Further, it is not uncommon to have a DUI case reduced from a DUI to Reckless Driving once a good defense is presented to the prosecutor.
Proven DUI Strategies
There are many tactics that are specific to defending against the charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. For example, if the arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull you over, our team of attorneys may be able to have the case dismissed on the grounds that your Constitutional rights were violated based on an illegal stop.
Similarly, a careful study of the footage from the police in-car video camera may reveal that the officer made mistakes in explaining or administering the field sobriety tests such as the One-Leg Stand, the Walk-and-Turn or the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus ("HGN"). The State of Florida uses the Intoxilyzer 8000 breath test machine. Breath test results can often be invalidated by pointing to the fact that the Intoxilyzer was out of calibration, while the results of a blood test can sometimes be called into question when there are gaps in the documentation of the chain of custody of the sample. No matter how dire the situation may appear, as experienced former prosecutors, Mr. Shepard approaches DUI cases with the goal of having the DUI charge dismissed, reduced, or to attain a "Not Guilty" verdict at jury trial.
Panama City DUI Penalties
Up to $1,000 in fines
50 hours of community service
One year on probation
As long as six months in jail
Vehicle impoundment lasting ten days
Driver's license suspension for 180 days to one year
The penalties can be enhanced in cases where the defendant has a blood alcohol concentration above .15% or is accused of causing injury in an accident, while the punishment for a second, third or fourth DUI is gradually increased to the point of being a felony with a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a permanent license revocation.
DUI Defense in Panama City, FL
Out of State DUI
Don't let an arrest for drinking and driving while on vacation or a business trip in Panama City follow you home! Under the Driver's License Compact, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will most likely report your conviction to the DMV in your home state, meaning that you will lose your driving privileges when you return from this state.
DUI with Injury
Any arrest for driving under the influence is a serious matter, but this is especially true if you are accused of causing injury in an accident while driving drunk. The penalty you could receive if convicted depends on factors such as the severity of injury suffered by the accident victim.
Have you been accused of causing a fatal car accident while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol? This felony criminal offense is punishable by up to thirty years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and you must take action now to defend yourself against the charges.
When you have been arrested for DUI in Panama City, you have only ten days in which to request an administrative hearing with the DMV-otherwise your driver's license will be subject to an automatic suspension lasting between 180 days and a year. An attorney from the firm can represent you at the hearing, fighting to defend your privilege to drive.
Driver's License Restoration
Even when your driver's license has been revoked after an arrest for driving under the influence, there are actions you can take to reduce the term of your suspension and possibly get a restricted license so that you can drive to work. You may be required to pay for the installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
Call for Your Free Evaluation and Qualified Legal Guidance
Whether this is your first arrest or if you have a prior conviction on your record, you cannot afford to take any chances with the situation. Our attorneys have handled more than 6,000 criminal cases and are ready in your defense! Contact a Panama City criminal lawyer at Shepard Law today. Mr. Shepard is
available 24/7 to take your calls!