First Time DUI Charges in Panama City

Charged with a 1st Time DUI? Take action to fight back.

A first time DUI is an extremely frightening experience. This is often the first interaction that the accused person has ever had with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Whether your charges took place at a sobriety checkpoint or you were pulled over due to some alleged unsafe driving behavior or another minor infraction, the situation is extremely dangerous legally. There are many people who don't realize that there could be real options to resolve the case favorably, whether in a full dismissal, reduced charge or an acquittal. The first action to take after an arrest is to contact Shepard Law in Panama City. The firm has a reputation for excellent defense work and should review your situation on an immediate basis.

Defending First Time DUI Charges

The initial action to undertake is a full analysis of exactly what occurred. The attorney from the firm is on your side, and has the insight into the legal matters in DUI charges to identify any errors in police procedure. It is not uncommon for a significant error to have taken place, whether in a rights violation in the initial police stop, conflicting reports from officers or eyewitnesses, or a failure to correctly administer field sobriety tests. There are many reasons a person could fail the tests, including nervousness, physical problems, an inability to understand the language correctly, medical issues or simply fear. How the tests are administered can be of critical importance to your case. Allow the Panama City first time DUI lawyer to review all of the evidence to look for the weak points that could be exploited in a defense case.

Penalties for First Time DUI

There are extensive DUI penalties that can be imposed by the court in a first time DUI conviction. The dangers of suffering significant financial losses, lose the ability to drive a vehicle legally, as well as having permanent damage to your criminal record are very real. The law allows for certain penalties to be imposed in a 1st time DUI. These include:

  • Fines – up to $500
  • Community Service – 50 hours
  • Probation – up to 1 year
  • Jail time – up to 6 months
  • Jail time if minor in vehicle – up to 9 months
  • License revocation – minimum 180 days
  • DUI school – 12 hours

Underage drivers charged with DUI will be subject to the state's "zero tolerance" law. A person under the age of 21 will have other penalties imposed if the BAL level is .02 or higher.

At Shepard Law, you can expect to be represented by a highly experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer with years of success in court. The attorneys at Shepard Law have worked within the criminal justice system in the area, and have established strong relationships with the personnel in the various courts in the area. They are skilled communicators that have the ability to negotiate and seek a favorable reduction in charges when it is appropriate. As a former prosecutors, they possess a great deal of knowledge on how the "other side" operates and what factors could benefit a person accused of a first time DUI. Having served on over 6,000 criminal cases, you will be hard pressed to find a more experienced defense team. As a first time DUI offense is not minor, you should do everything possible to try to avoid a conviction. The record of your conviction will be easy for any person to discover when doing a background check, whether a potential employer, landlord, business partner or even a relationship partner. These are serious matters, as your personal and professional reputation can be heavily compromised if you are convicted.

Call the firm at once if you have been arrested and charged with a first time DUI. Immediate action will be taken to help you fight back.