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The Watson Firm, PLLC The Watson Firm, PLLC
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Florida Boating Under The Influence Lawyer


Experienced BUI Lawyer In Florida

If you are facing a BUI charge in Florida, it can be challenging to know who to trust or where to turn. The process is often quite confusing and hard to follow. The prosecution is attempting to obtain a conviction, sometimes at the expense of your rights and interests. When facing these charges, it is crucial to have an experienced BUI attorney on your side to help you. They can help you navigate the legal process and thwart prosecution tactics that could potentially deprive you of your rights and voice. The Watson Firm, PLLC boating under the influence attorneys understand the consequences and penalties at stake in voting under the influence cases. As a result, our experienced criminal defense attorneys will handle your case with the care and consideration it rightfully deserves. The Watson Firm, PLLC criminal defense attorneys are ready to represent you. To learn more or schedule your initial case consultation, call (850) 607-2929 or visit our website today.

Information Center

  1. Experienced BUI Representation In Florida
  2. The Watson Firm, PLLC Represents You For BUI
  3. Boating Under The Influence (BUI)
  4. BUI Penalties
  5. Additional BUI Penalties
  6. Aggravated BUI
  7. What To Do If You Are Charged With A BUI In Florida
  8. Hiring A Florida BUI Attorney

Boating is a popular pastime in Florida. This pastime is not only shared by residents but by visitors alike. As with regular motor vehicles, operating under the influence is common. Boating under the influence, or BUI, is a serious offense, given the consequences of a conviction. Here's more on BUI, its penalties, and what to do if you are charged with a crime in Florida.

The Watson Firm, PLLC Represents You For BUI

The Watson Firm, PLLC can assist you with:

  • Boating Under The Influence (BUI);
  • BUI Penalties;
  • First Offense;
  • Second Offense;
  • Third Offense Within 10 Years;
  • Third Offense More Than 10 Years After Previous Offense;
  • Additional BUI Penalties, and
  • Aggravated BUI.

Boating Under The Influence (BUI)

As with driving under the influence, or DUI, Florida State officials take enforcement of this charge quite seriously. BUI occurs when you operate a boat or other vessel in Florida and do so while intoxicated. Florida BUI law establishes that intoxication means:

To be under the influence of drugs and or alcohol to the extent your normal faculties are impaired

You have a blood and/or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more.

Under Florida law, you may be arrested by a law enforcement officer and charged with BUI even if your blood or breath alcohol concentration is not above the legal limit. The Florida State law is broadly defined and provides law enforcement with significant discretion to enforce—or not enforce—BUI law.

BUI Penalties

BUI penalties can be harsh, including jail time, fines, a criminal record, and other associated penalties. Florida law breaks down penalties by the number of offenses and the number of violations within a certain amount of time.

First Offense

A first-time DUI offense is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. A first offense BUI conviction can result in six months in jail and a fine of up to $1000.

Second Offense

A second BUI offense is also a second-degree misdemeanor. A second offense conviction may result in up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $2000.

Third Offense Within Ten Years

If you are convicted of a third BI within 10 years, you face a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony BUI charge may result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5000.

Third Offense More Than 10 Years After Previous Offense

A third conviction more than 10 years after your most recent BUI conviction can result in a misdemeanor. The penalty includes up to one year in prison and a fine between $2000 and $5000.

Additional BUI Penalties

Regardless of the number of offenses, anyone convicted of a BUI in Florida is placed on probation for up to one year for each violation. Probation requires that you report monthly, complete community service, and pass drug and alcohol counseling. Probation may be extended depending on the severity and number of repeat BUI convictions.

Additionally, while these are not penalties imposed by Florida State law, you may also face other associated penalties. When a BUI conviction is placed on your record, landlords and potential employers can see those convictions. The existence of those convictions on your record can negatively impact your housing, career, and social life. That is why it is essential to have an experienced BUI attorney to assist you with your case to ensure that you put on the best defense.

Aggravated BUI

An aggravated BUI is when certain circumstances present during the offense increase the penalties you may face. Generally, these aggravating circumstances or factors caused or could have caused additional harm. For example, if you are found to have a blood alcohol content of .15% or greater, you could face aggravated BUI charges. The aggravated charges are imposed because the impairment with such a high alcohol content could result in additional harm to yourself or others while committing BUI. Other aggravating factors include property damage resulting from the offense, bodily injury or death of another person, presence of a minor on the vessel at the time of the offense, or hit and run.

You may face additional fines or prison time if aggravated circumstances are present. For example, suppose you are involved in BUI that causes bodily injury. In that case, you may be charged with a third-degree felony. This charge carries penalties of up to five years in jail and fines of up to $5000.

What To Do If You Are Charged With A BUI In Florida

Because the consequences of a BUI conviction in Florida are so severe, you must hire an experienced BUI attorney as soon as possible. Prosecutors seek convictions in as many cases as possible because of the potential for injuries. Even though BUIs can cause significant injuries, you are not necessarily to blame. As with all criminal cases, the prosecution has a burden of proof, a requirement that they must prove all elements of their case to obtain a conviction.

In some cases, regardless of the evidence presented, you are not actually at fault. However, because the prosecution is focused on obtaining a conviction, valid evidence or arguments may be left to the side and ignored, significantly hindering your defense. In these circumstances, an experienced BUI attorney can help you mount the best defense by presenting all the necessary evidence and legal defenses at your disposal. Your criminal defense attorney can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected every step of the way and help you achieve the best result possible.

Hiring A Florida BUI Attorney

If you have been charged with a BUI in Florida, do not wait to contact a Florida boating under the influence lawyer. The consequences of a BMI conviction can be severe, devastating, and potentially lifelong. When you are facing these charges, you must hire an experienced BUI attorney to represent you. An experienced BUI attorney can help you navigate the legal process, avoid prosecution tactics, and provide the best defense possible. The Watson Firm, PLLC criminal defense attorneys are ready to fight for you. To learn more or schedule your initial case consultation with our law firm, call (850) 607-2929 or complete our contact form today.