Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts you in danger. As well as everyone else on the road. If you aren’t sober, it’s always better to get a ride with someone who is. According to the CDC, Florida’s number of intoxicated drivers is higher than the national average. If you’re a Florida driver, you may want to brush up on Florida DUI laws. So, you know what to expect after getting a DUI in Florida.
DUI laws can be complicated, and there are a lot of factors for the court to take into consideration when deciding on a suitable punishment for the crime. It goes without saying that if you’ve gotten a DUI, your first step should be to hire a DUI attorney.
What are some of the possible outcomes of a DUI in Florida? What should you expect in the days and months after getting arrested for driving under the influence? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Counts as a DUI In Florida?
Florida DUI laws can get a little bit confusing, so let’s start with what officially counts as a DUI in Florida. The basic concept is that if you’re over the legal limit of intoxication while driving, you’ve broken the law. The question is, how do you know when you’ve crossed the legal limit?
Like other states, Florida considers a BAC level of 0.8% or higher over the legal limit. If you are asked to take a breathalyzer test and blow a BAC of 0.8% or higher, you will receive a DUI.
That being said, this isn’t the only way to land a DUI. Police officers are also allowed to make a judgment about whether your normal faculties (ie seeing, walking, and driving) are impaired by the use of a substance. As such, a DUI can also apply to instances when a driver was on a drug (including some prescriptions) that impaired their ability to drive safely.
What Happens Next?
So you’re pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence. After the initial arrest, you can expect at least one. If not several–dates in court, when a judge will determine what punishments you should face for your crime. Most of the time, DUIs are considered misdemeanors, but the consequences can still be harsh.
DUIs result in fines that can add up quickly. Even after your first DUI in Florida, you can expect a fine of no less than $500. If you blew a BAC of 0.15% or higher, that fee will be at least $1,000 and could be as high as $2,000.
But, if it’s your second DUI, your fine will be no less than $1,000. And, if it’s your third, it will be no less than $2,000. As you can see, getting a DUI is an expensive matter.
Community service is often one of the requirements you will need to fulfill after getting a DUI. How much community service you have to do (and what options are available to you) will vary from case to case. A first offense DUI tends to come with a mandatory 50 hours of community service, which you can skip in exchange for another $10 fee per hour of community service you don’t serve.
Most first-time offenders who are in court for a DUI receive a minimum of six months of probation. During this time, you may be required to periodically check in with a probation officer. There may be limitations on your ability to travel, and this could last anywhere from six months to one year depending on the conditions of your DUI.
Not everyone who gets a DUI will walk away with jail time, but it is a possible consequence whether it’s your first DUI or your third.
For your first offense, you may face up to six months of jail time. If your BAC level was 0.15% or higher, that maximum sentence goes up to nine months.
For your second offense, you may face up to nine months of imprisonment. If your third offense is within ten years of your second offense, you will face a mandatory sentence of at least 30 days. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI, that could last up to twelve months.
After getting a DUI, you will definitely face license suspension. The minimum length of time for a first offense is 180 days, which is a long time to go without a license. You may be able to apply for a hardship license that first time, but after a second offense, you will not be granted one.
When Is a DUI In Florida a Felony?
As we mentioned earlier, most DUIs are misdemeanors–but not all. At what point does a DUI become a felony?
There are three circumstances under which a DUI can become a felony:
- DUI Manslaughter: another person was killed by the intoxicated driver
- DUI with serious bodily injury: another person was seriously injured or harmed by the intoxicated driver
- Third offense DUI
Once a DUI is considered a felony, it is possible to face a prison sentence of one year or longer. In turn, many of the other punishments are harsher, as well.
Don’t Fight DUI In Florida Alone-Hire RHINO Lawyers
Florida DUI laws tend to get complicated. If you received a DUI in Florida, don’t try to fight it alone. With the help of RHINO Lawyers, you may be able to avoid a suspended license, receive lighter fines, lower your jail time, and more.
To get started, contact us for a free case review. You tell us the facts of your case and we’ll let you know what kind of sentence you may be looking at, how we can help you, and more.
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.