If convicted of driving under the influence, you could face Florida DUI penalties. A DUI attorney with a track record of success may be able to help.
Driving Under the Influence in Florida
If a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, they could be convicted of DUI. Bear in mind that the BAC threshold is lower in case a commercial driver is behind the wheel (.04%).
Under Florida DUI laws, driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle is forbidden if the driver:
- has an unlawful blood alcohol level of .08% or more, or
- is under the influence of controlled substances or its combination with alcohol.
Being under the influence in Florida means the driver is impaired to the extent that they are deprived of their full possession of normal faculties.
The consequences of a DUI conviction in Florida depend largely on how many prior DUI-related convictions the driver has. You may need a DUI defense attorney who can help you understand the consequences and potentially avoid harsh penalties.
The Law Offices of Brian M. Carroll, P.A. provides clients and the local community with top-notch legal representation in the State of Florida. Brian is a DUI attorney and criminal defense attorney with a track record of success in courts all over Florida.
Potential Florida DUI Penalties
Getting arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious charge here in the State of Florida. This is not a charge you should be handling alone. Calling an experienced attorney to defend you and guide you through the process can be beneficial to your case.
A Florida DUI penalty chart can be a valuable resource when trying to get your mind around what penalties you might be facing. We have outlined some of the required and possible penalties if found guilty of driving under the influence.
There’s no mandatory minimum jail time for most first-offense DUIs. The maximum possible sentence depends on the circumstances of the case. Here are the maximum jail terms for first-offense DUIs involving the following circumstances:
- six months for a standard DUI
- nine months for a BAC of .15% or more
- nine months for having a passenger under 18 years old
- one year if there was an accident involving property damage or minor injuries, and
- five years if there was an accident involving “serious bodily injury.”
A standard first-offense DUI carries fines ranging from $500 to $1000. But if your BAC was .15% or more or you had a passenger under 18 years old, the fines will be from $1000 to $2000. And for DUIs where another person suffered “serious bodily injury,” fines can be up to $5000.
Florida judges are required to place all DUI first offenders on probation. Normally, the combination of the time on probation and time in jail can’t exceed one year.
As a condition of probation, the judge must order all DUI first-offenders to complete at least 50 hours of community service.
A first-offense DUI conviction carries a license suspension ranging from six months to one year. The suspension for a DUI conviction is separate from the administrative suspension discussed above. However, this doesn’t mean that a driver will always have to complete the two full suspensions—oftentimes the suspensions will have at least some overlap.
Ignition interlock devices.
For most first-offense DUIs, Florida judges aren’t required to order IIDs. However, for offenders with BACs of .08% or greater, judges have the discretion to order an IID for six months or more. An IID is mandatory for six months where the convicted driver had a BAC of .15% or more or a passenger who was under 18 years old.
Drivers convicted of first-offense DUIs will ordinarily have their cars impounded or immobilized for ten days. The ten days can’t overlap with any time the driver spends in jail for the DUI conviction.
All DUI offenders must submit to substance abuse evaluation if necessary. The court can also order a sobriety and drug abuse treatment program, including random testing and drug monitoring.
Penalties for Subsequent DUI Convictions
A second DUI conviction brings much harsher sentences. Fines can be as high as $4,000. In addition, if a second offense occurs within five years of the prior DUI conviction, the judge has the right to order a mandatory ten days of jail time.
A fourth DUI conviction in Florida is typically considered a third-degree felony and could result in your being labeled a habitual offender.
Can a DUI Attorney Help?
A DUI is a serious offense in the State of Florida, even if charged as a misdemeanor. On the other hand, felony DUIs generally carry more severe penalties than misdemeanor DUI convictions. They also include the possibility of spending quite a bit of time in jail or prison. But bear in mind that under certain circumstances, even the first DUI, like DUI serious bodily injury, can be charged as a felony.
Having a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer on your side can help to increase your chances of a positive outcome.