DUI. It stands for driving under the influence and it is a major issue in American society.
About 1.5 million Americans are arrested for driving under the influence every year. Some of these people turn into repeat offenders and face even steeper penalties for it.
One thing that could make getting a DUI worse for somebody is if they were already on probation. This means they were convicted of this crime in the past or something similar to it.
If that is the case with you, you could be looking at additional penalties. Or even enforcement of older penalties that were held off.
So, what type of trouble are you in if you violate probation? What constitutes violating probation?
This is your guide.
What Is Probation?
Before we go into what happens when you violate probation, you need to understand what probation is.
To put it simply, probation is the list of terms that a judge has for you when you are convicted of a previous crime to avoid further consequences and penalties for that crime.
This is typically a condition when you are convicted of a DUI. In most cases, it can help prevent you from serving any jail time for that DUI.
General conditions of probation can include not getting arrested for suspicion of DUI again during the probation, checking in with your probation officer once a month, random alcohol testing in more serious cases, going to an alcohol treatment program, and more.
The agreement generally is to follow all of the terms of the probation and then your old conviction can be put to rest.
Next, you should be aware of what the general DUI penalties are in Florida. This usually depends on the nature of the offense and how many times you have been convicted of a DUI before.
Generally, if there was a minor in the car or your blood alcohol level (BAC) was .15 or more, there will be additional penalties. For context, the legal BAC limit in Florida and in most states is anything below .08.
According to Florida Statutes, your first DUI offense can result in a fine ranging from $500-1,000 and a maximum jail sentence of six months. For your second DUI offense, the fine range increases to $1,000-2,000 and the maximum jail sentence increases to nine months.
A third DUI conviction is slightly more complicated. This is because Florida has different penalties depending on the timing of it. If you have a third DUI conviction within 10 years of a previous conviction, it is considered a third-degree felony.
When you commit a third-degree felony, the jail sentence for it in Florida is five years. For context, this is the same penalty as getting a fourth DUI conviction or higher in any time period.
If a third DUI conviction happens more than 10 years after the previous one, then the fine range is $2,000-5,000 and up to a year in jail.
There is also a mandatory ignition interlock device placement at your expense for repeat offenders. For your second DUI, this stays on your vehicle for at least one year. For a third DUI conviction, it stays on your vehicle for two years.
DUI on Probation
So, now that you know about the typical DUI penalties and the typical terms of probation, we can talk about what happens if those two worlds collide.
Well, the first thing that you usually have to do if you get arrested for a DUI on probation is to let your parole officer know about it. Generally, this is a condition of your probation. But, if they find out about it before you tell them, there can be additional consequences.
After that, you are likely going to have to appear in court. You will have to do so not only for your DUI offense but also for violating your probation.
The consequences of your probation depend on who your judge is, how serious your offense was, and even if you are a repeat offender. If you show remorse and your past crime was less severe, there is a chance that you could be let off with a warning for your probation offense.
However, if a judge finds your violation to be more serious, you risk having to serve the jail time that you initially avoided because of your probation.
For example, let’s say that you were on probation for a previous DUI. That one was your first DUI and it had a maximum jail sentence of six months.
Then, you get arrested for an additional DUI while you were serving that probation.
In this situation, there is a chance that a judge does not look kindly at you. A judge can make you serve those six months in jail that you did not have to do before. On top of that, you could serve an additional nine months in jail for committing a second DUI.
Be aware of the risk of initial penalty enforcement for probation violations.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When it comes to having a violation while on probation, you are likely looking at more serious consequences from a courtroom. For this reason, you need to seek legal representation. So that you can defend yourself and get your potential penalties down to a minimum.
Having a criminal defense lawyer can help you with legal strategy and negotiation. And possibly save you from even more severe penalties.
Are you ready to get started? Get a free case review and a free video consultation with RHINO Lawyers today.
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