What are the penalties for a first DUI in Florida?
Over the last few weeks we did a series of posts on how to avoid getting a DUI and also certain things your SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do if you are pulled over for DUI. In this post we will go over what potential penalties you might be facing in the even you are actually arrested for DUI.
If you are arrested and charged with DUI in Florida, you may face certain minimum penalties and consequences. The DUI Defense attorneys at Finebloom and Haenel wants to reinforce the importance of making the decision not to drive after you’ve been drinking. However, if you find yourself charged with a DUI for the first time, here are some basics to keep in mind:
- Potential Jail time: Maximum length of imprisonment: 6 months. Maximum jail sentence of 9 months if blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least 0.2 or higher OR if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of arrest.
- State of Florida Fines/Penalties: Minimum fine of $250 but not more than $500. If the BAC is 0.20 or higher OR if a minor was in the vehicle, the minimum fine climbs to $500 but not more than $1,000.
- State of Florida Driver’s License Suspension: Suspension can range from 6 to 12 months. Refusal of a chemical test will result in an automatic 1 year suspension under Florida implied consent laws.
- Zero Tolerance Law – If a driver under the age of 21 tests positive for ANY alcohol: 1st offense: Automatic license suspension for 6 months. Underage drivers in violation of the zero tolerance law must complete a Traffic Law & Substance Abuse Program before any hardship reinstatement (license reinstatement under restricted conditions) will be considered by the courts.
- Florida Conditional License: Your license may be reinstated during the suspension period under strict limitations. A conditional license essentially allows the driver to travel to and from work and school, but nothing more. Drivers must complete DUI school first.
- Florida Criminal Status: Any DUI violation resulting in property damage is an automatic first degree misdemeanor. Any DUI violation resulting in serious bodily injury to another person results in a third degree felony. A DUI violation that results in the death of another person results in DUI manslaughter charges.
- Vehicle Impound: Minimum seizure of the vehicle and impound for 10 days. (Exceptions may be made if the family or dependents of the person charged have no other means of transportation.
- Probation: 12 months maximum of probationary status
- Florida Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours of community service OR an additional fine of $10 per hour hour of community service required. This can mean up to $500 in additional fines. Florida courts may grant additional community service in lieu of DUI fines if the defendant is unable to pay.
Florida DUI Defense Lawyers
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota or Clearwater, Finebloom and Haenel can help. There are certain minimum fines and penalties on those convicted of a DUI. Our experienced lawyers will work to keep those fines at the bare minimum and prevent your case outcome from developing into something much more severe.
Call Finebloom and Haenel today for a free evaluation of your case! 1-800-FIGHT-IT