Van Riper | Nies Attorneys                         561-962-3130
Palm Beach DUI Defense


Christian Van Riper

Timothy C. Nies

"We help clients in trouble..."

Van Riper & Nies Law relies on personal service, hard work and trust to bring justice to our clients.

Our  attorneys, Christian Van Riper and Tim Nies are experienced trial attorneys. Christian is a former prosecuting attorney for the state of Florida, where he prosecuted and tried many Driving under the Influence (DUI) cases. From his years as a state attorney, Christian acquired unique insight into how prosecutors today evaluate and try DUI cases. Our attorney, Tim Nies, is a U.S. Army Veteran, having served with the 75th Ranger Regiment, and a former insurance defense trial attorney, where he litigated complex injury cases.

Our lawyers are known for the personal attention we give to our clients, and for leaving no stone unturned in our fight for our clients' rights.  Wouldn't it be reassuring to know that you hired a trial attorney that genuinely cares about you and your family, and will work hard to make sure that you or your loved one's legal and constitutional rights are being fought for? 

When choosing an attorney to represent you or a loved one in a DUI case, it important to consider hiring an experienced criminal attorney quickly.  Delay in hiring a skilled attorney may harm your case and your chances for a favorable resolution.  In fact, consulting a qualified criminal defense attorney early on may help protect your freedom. 

A DUI is a very serious criminal offense that can result in a number of severe penalties, including jail time, community service, fines, driver’s license suspension, probation, and others.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or refusal to take a breathalyzer test, contact our attorneys as soon as possible.  Our attorneys will defend you in court and in administrative proceedings before the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Some of the ways we can help those charged with a DUI, include:

-Challenging the validity of the traffic stop on Constitutional grounds,

-Challenging the validity of the breathalyzer results,

-Positioning your case to negotiate a plea to traffic violations, such as reckless driving to avoid license suspension or jail,

-Representing you at administrative hearings regarding your driver’s license,

-Trying your case before a Palm Beach County jury.

Our attorneys will proactively and tenaciously defend you in court. That is our job. That is why our clients hire us.  We simply do not plead guilty for you to obtain a fee – we work hard for your freedom and are ready and willing to take your case to a jury. 

In addition to DUI defense, our attorneys represents people accused of BUI (Boating Under the Influence), DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while license suspended, driving without a license, and felony DUI based on multiple DUI convictions.

For a free consultation, call us at 561-962-3130 or email me at Our address is 801 Northpoint Parkway, Suite 375, West Palm Beach, FL 33407.

By Tim Nies
Tim Nies on Google+ Profile

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 DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances). s. 316.193, F.S.

Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.

Fine Schedule s. 316.193(2)(a)-(b), F.S.

  • First Conviction: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000. With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
  • Second Conviction: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $2,000, or more than $4,000.
  • Third Conviction More than 10 years from second: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $4,000.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not less than $2,000.

Community Service - s. 316.193 (6)(a), F.S.

First Conviction: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required.

Probation - s. 316.193 (5)(6), F.S.

First conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.

Imprisonment- s. 316.193 (2)(a) 2, 4(b), (6)(j), F.S.

At court's discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward term of imprisonment.

  • First Conviction: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months.
  • Second Conviction: Not more than 9 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months. If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
  • Third Conviction: If third conviction within 10 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. If third conviction more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not more than 5 years or as provided in s.775.084, Florida Statutes, as habitual/violent offender.

Impoundment of Immobilization of Vehicle - s. 316.193 (6), F.S.

Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation: First conviction = 10 days; second conviction within 5 years = 30 days; third conviction within 10 years = 90 days. Impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with incarceration. The court may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicles that are owned by the defendant if they are operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.

Conditions for Release of Persons Arrested for DUI-s. 316.193 (9), F.S.

  • The person is no longer under the influence and;
  • The person's normal faculties are no longer impaired
  • The person's blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; or
  • Eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.

DUI Misdemeanor Conviction: (Accident Involving Property Damage or Personal Injury)-s. 316.193 (3), F.S.

Any person who causes property damage or personal injury to another while driving under the influence is guilty of a First Degree Misdemeanor (not more than $1,000 fine or 1-year imprisonment).

DUI Felony Conviction: (Repeat Offenders or Accidents Involving Serious Bodily Injury)-s. 316.193 (2),(3) F.S.

  • Any person convicted of a third DUI within 10 years or a fourth or subsequent DUI commits a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment).
  • Any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is guilty of a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment) or if habitual/violent felony offender as provided in s. 775.084, F.S.

Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide-s. 316.193 (3), F.S.

  • DUI/Manslaughter: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of DUI Manslaughter who knew/should have known accident occurred; and failed to give information or render aid is guilty of a First Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular Homicide: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular Homicide/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of vehicular homicide who left the scene of an accident is guilty of a First Degree Felony (nor more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).

Driver License Revocation Periods for DUI-s. 322.271, F.S. and s. 322.28,F.S.

A. First Conviction: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

B. Second Conviction Within 5 Years: Minimum 5 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 1 year. Other 2nd offenders same as "A" above. 

C. Third Conviction Within 10 Years of the second conviction: minimum 10 years revocation. May be eligable for a hardship reinstatement after two years. 

D. Fourth Conviction, Regardless of When Prior Convictions Occurred) and Murder with Motor Vehicle: Mandatory permanent revocation. No hardship reinstatement.

E. DUI Manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation. If no prior DUI related convictions, may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years. 

F. Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions: Minimum 3-year revocation. DUI Serious Bodily Injury having prior DUI conviction is same as "B-D" above.

 Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) - Alcohol-Related Convictions/Disqualifications-s. 322.61, F.S.

  • Persons convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .04 or above: driving a motor vehicle while he or she is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or refusing to submit to a test to determine the alcohol concentration while driving a commercial motor vehicle, driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, or driving a commercial motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year. This is in addition to any provisions of s. 316.193 for DUI convictions.
  • Second or subsequent conviction of any of the above offenses arising out of separate incidents will result in a permanent disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Palm Beach Veteran Owned DUI Defense Law Firm:  Palm Beach County DUI Defense Attorneys. There are no provisions for persons disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a hardship (business or employment) license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.  Van Riper and Nies motorcycle accident lawyers. Trial attorneys. Experienced DWI lawyers in West Palm Beach, Florida.  

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