Criminal Defense Attorney - DUI
To successfully defend against criminal charges in St. Johns County you need a St. Augustine criminal defense attorney with courtroom experience. Attorney Christy Opsahl is a former prosecutor with extensive trial experience. She handles a variety of criminal offenses including misdemeanors, felonies, and juvenile delinquency.
Ms. Opsahl has experience handling cases with a variety of sentencing enhancements, such as Habitual Felony Offender (HFO), Habitual Violent Felony Offender (HVFO), Violent Career Criminals, 10-20-Life, and Prison Releasee Reoffenders (PRR).
Driving Under the Influence
Christy Opsahl understands the long-lasting consequences a DUI conviction can have on your life and your driving privileges. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need to consult an experienced, local DUI trial attorney who understands the legal burdens a prosecutor must overcome in order to obtain a conviction and the minimum-mandatory punishments that accompany a DUI conviction. Christy handles every type of DUI, including drugs/medication/alcohol, 1st offenses, subsequent offenses, misdemeanor DUIs, felony DUIs, DUIs involving property damage or injury, and DUI manslaughters. It is important to understand that the will of a victim does not determine whether you are prosecuted. The State of Florida brings criminal charges against a defendant and can pursue prosecution with or without the consent of the victim. Both the criminally accused and victims of crimes have constitutional rights afforded them by the State of Florida. It is important that criminal defendants and victims of crimes understand these rights.
Time is of the essence once you are arrested for a DUI. Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test can result in an administrative suspension of your driving privileges by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This is a separate proceeding from your criminal court case. You only have ten (10) days from the date of arrest to request an administrative review of this suspension. You may be eligible for an immediate hardship license to allow travel to and from work. It is crucial to consult an experienced, local trial attorney to review your case within ten (10) days of arrest and determine the best course of action regarding an administrative suspension while your criminal case is pending in the court system.
If you agree to submit to a breathalyzer test and have breath alcohol of over .08 your driving privileges may be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This is an administrative suspension and a separate proceeding from your criminal court case. You only have ten (10) days from the date of arrest to request an administrative review of this suspension and may be eligible for an immediate hardship license to allow travel to and from work.
DUI convictions can result in enhanced penalties if you have had prior convictions, cause property damage or injuries, or have breath alcohol of over .15. Hiring an experienced, local trial attorney will ensure that your case is analyzed for constitutional or legal violations of rights as well as factual deficiencies in the State’s case. This analysis allows an attorney to gather mitigation and negotiate the best possible plea offer or obtain the best result at trial.
DUI convictions can also have long term implications on your driving privileges. Multiple convictions for DUI or DUIs coupled with other major traffic violations can result in you being deemed a Habitual Traffic Offender by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This can result in a simple DUI being classified as a felony offense exposing you to prison time or long term driver’s license revocation from six (6) months up to lifetime revocation. It is crucial to hire an attorney with the knowledge and experience to recognize the long term consequences of a DUI conviction.
Christy has experience on both sides of the law as a former prosecutor and defense attorney to guide you through the risks and rewards of plea negotiations, motion practice, and taking your case to trial. DUI offenses have unique legal and factual issues that need to be analyzed by an attorney familiar with these investigations, constitutional issues, discovery, and with jury trial experience.