Labor Day weekend - the official end of summer. Even though those of us in Florida can enjoy beautiful year-round summer weather, Labor Day Weekend is typically a 3-day long celebration to enjoy the last few days of summer and kick back with a few drinks while we enjoy the weather. Unfortunately, 3-day weekends such as Labor Day in Palm Beach County are typically big weekends for law enforcement looking to stop and prevent drunk driving

Such was the case this most recent Labor Day weekend when multiple agencies in Palm Beach County worked together for driving under the influence enforcement initiative. As a result, over 628 traffic stops and 18 DUI arrests were made this past Labor Day Weekend in Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Tequesta, and West Palm Beach.

If you or a loved one was affected by a DUI arrest this weekend, or simply want to learn more, keep reading to hear the expert insights from a top-rated DUI Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County. 


DUI Enforcement Initiative in Palm Beach County 

You may be wondering - what is a DUI Enforcement Initiative? Essentially, a DUI Enforcement Initiative is a coordinated effort between multiple law enforcement agencies such as the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and others. Typically the initiative involves multiple sobriety checkpoints across the county, increased patrol by police officers and sheriff deputies, and well as general heightened surveillance to discourage drunk driving and remove drunk drivers from the roads.

This past Labor Day weekend, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office conducted the DUI Enforcement Initiative spanning from State Road 706 (Indiantown Road) to State Road 806 (Atlantic Avenue) and State Road (U.S. 441) to U.S. Highway 1. 

What is the Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor DUI Arrest?

Of the 18 DUI arrests made this past Labor Day weekend in Palm Beach County, there were two felony arrests and 11 misdemeanor DUI arrests. So what is the difference between a Felony and a Misdemeanor DUI arrest? Typically, a misdemeanor is a lesser offense than a felony and is punishable by up to one year in jail. A felony on the other hand is a crime that is punishable over one year. For most, a first-time offense or second-time DUI offense is a misdemeanor in Palm Beach County, Florida. However, if the DUI resulted in the bodily injury or death of another person, then it is considered a felony. A DUI misdemeanor may also become a DUI Felony in Florida if this is a third-time offense or more within 10 years. 

It’s important to also note that amongst misdemeanor and felony DUI charges are various degrees of severity. A first-time DUI offense is typically charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. Even if not as serious as a felony, being charged with a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida can still carry heavy consequences and affect you for the rest of your life. If you are charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for a DUI you can face up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine. 

There are exceptions though. If you caused bodily injury or death to another person, your BAC was over 0.15%, or you had a minor in the car at the time of the DUI, even a first-time offense can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor carrying more severe legal consequences with up to 1-year in jail, 1-year probation, and a $1,000 fine. 

What to Do After a DUI Arrest in Palm Beach County

If you or a loved one have been arrested following a DUI, you should do everything you can to fight the charges. Contacting an experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County, such as The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky, should be the first thing you do. They will do everything they can to protect your rights in court to negotiate the best outcome possible. After contacting your DUI Defense Lawyer, it’s important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Stay Calm and Remain Silent: Exercise your constitutional right to remain silent if questioned by Law Enforcement. While the officer may still arrest you, it is important not to speak without your lawyer present since anything you say can and will be used against you to officially convict you of a DUI in court.
  2. Keep Documents and Take Notes: Gather receipts leading up to your arrest, any eyewitness testimonials, and other evidence that can help you fight a DUI charge. Being proactive and organized not only helps your lawyer build a case for your defense, but it may make or break your case altogether. 
  3. Keep Your Social Media Private: Cops have Facebook too. The last thing you want is for them to use your social media posts or photos against you in court - especially if there are any posts pertaining to alcohol on your social media accounts. 
  4. Time is of the Essence: You only have 10 days from the time of your arrest to either request an administrative review hearing or ask for a waiver of formal review. This is why it is so important to contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County as quickly as you can. 

How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Florida?

We won’t lie - we know hiring a good attorney is not cheap. But the consequences of not hiring an experienced DUI Defense attorney or not hiring a lawyer at all are way more severe. A DUI conviction comes with hefty legal fines - up to $500! But the financial burden is not the most important thing you have to worry about.

In Palm Beach County Florida, a DUI conviction can stay on your record indefinitely. This means that any potential or current employer will be able to see that you have a DUI on record. Many jobs have a zero-tolerance policy, meaning that a potential employee with any criminal record is not eligible for employment. This includes both misdemeanor and felony DUI convictions. 

Hiring a highly experienced DUI Lawyer is crucial and can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. The cost of not hiring one can be far more expensive in the long run. Can you afford not to have the best legal representation? 

Contact us now for a consultation with an experienced attorney. We can help you understand the legalities of the charges against you and what you need to do to prevent a conviction. Let me put my experience to work for you, and download our free guideWhat You Must Know About Your DUI Case Before You Do Anything: Attacking DUI Myths That Will Hurt Your Case,” to help you better understand the serious impact a DUI will have on you and your family.
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