Whether we like it or not, we don’t always make the best decisions. In the year 2017 alone, 515 people were killed in drunk driving accidents.
Obviously, drinking and driving is not a safe decision but sometimes we make mistakes. Those mistakes can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Let’s talk about Florida DUI laws, penalties, facts, and what you can do to protect yourself.
Florida DUI Penalties
If you’ve received a DUI, the first penalty will be your arrest and booking. Additionally, they will place you in the so-called “drunk tank”. Along with other folks with similar charges that night. And you will need to post bail for release.
If you are unable to cover the bail, you will either need a bail bondsman to cover the fee. Or you will remain in jail until your court date. Upon your release, you’ll receive dates to your arraignment where you will either plead guilty or not guilty. If you plea guilty or they find found guilty in a trial, there are some consequences.
Keep in mind that in the event of property damage, bodily injury, or death during the offense, these penalties may increase drastically.
For a first offense, you will likely receive a fine of between $500 to $1,000. If your blood-alcohol content (BAC) was found to be higher than 0.15, the fine will be between $1,000 and $2,000.
It is unlikely that you will serve time in prison for a first offense. As long as it was without any property damage or bodily harm. However, you could face up to a maximum of 6 months in prison for the first offense in Florida.
You will also face a license suspension of no less than 6 months to no more than 1 year (minimum 3 years with bodily injury), and you could face other penalties such as community service or be mandated to attend a drunk driving course or certified DUI program.
For a second conviction, you’ll be facing a minimum fine of between $1,000 and $2,000. And between $2,000 and $4,000 with a BAC of 0.15 or higher.
You will also be facing up to a maximum sentence of 9 months in prison with no additional charges. Plus, if your BAC was above the 0.15 threshold or if there was a minor present in the vehicle, the maximum will be raised to 12 months in prison. But, if this second conviction was within 5 years of a prior conviction, you will face a minimum sentence of 10 days in prison. Which is enough to lose your job!
If your second offense occurred within 5 years of the previous offense, then they will suspend your license for a minimum of 5 years. Although, you will have a chance for hardship reinstatement after 1 year. If it occurs after the 5-year mark, it will be between 6 months and 1-year suspension.
3rd & 4th Offense
For both offenses, you will face a fine of no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000. The minimum will be $4,000 if there is a minor in the vehicle or your BAC was found to be above 0.15.
For a third conviction, you will face a minimum of 30 days in prison with a maximum of 12 months. It jumps to a maximum of 5 years for a fourth conviction.
For your third offense, you will have a minimum of 10 years license revocation with the eligibility for hardship reinstatement after two years. The fourth offense will result in permanent revocation with a chance for hardship reinstatement after 5 years.
What You Need To Know About DUI Charges In Florida
DUIs are one of the most serious criminal traffic offenses in Florida and you can see that by the penalties listed above.
Florida sees over 40,000 DUI cases every year, and they can ruin your life. If you’re forced to spend even a few days in prison, it could be the difference between keeping your job and losing it.
It will also leave you with a criminal record that will last for your entire lifetime. While most states have a statute of 10 years to keep DUI charges on your record. Florida keeps them for 75 years. This will not only create challenges with future job prospects but it could also increase your penalties for future charges, especially ones associated with driving.
If you drive for a living, commute to work, or need your license in good standing, your job could be ruined. Truck driving is one of the most common jobs in the US. And your CDL will be instantly revoked after a DUI, which ruins your career.
In all the penalties, we didn’t even mention probation. That can cause headaches for years, hurt you on job prospects, and make smaller violations send you to prison.
How To Protect Yourself
If you find yourself facing DUI charges, you need to protect yourself. It’s clear to see how devastating these charges are and how easily they can harm your standing in life.
The best thing you can do is hire an experienced drunk driving lawyer to get you the best help. If they don’t have DUI cases under their belt. They won’t be able to help you the same way an experienced DUI attorney can.
Get Help Today
Drunk driving isn’t safe but we don’t always make the best decisions. Florida DUI laws are strict, and if you don’t take the proper precautions, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. If you’re fighting a case, don’t do it alone. Contact us today to see how a criminal defense lawyer can help you get the best results for your case!
CONTACT TAMPA TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY
RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team knows what it takes to fight on your behalf.
Let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.