Florida DUI Penalty Attorney
The penalties for a DUI are similar in some ways to other misdemeanor offenses, but they also are punished in unique ways that go beyond the standard misdemeanor penalties of probation, fines or jail time. Persons convicted of DUI in Florida can be sentenced to driver’s education classes or community service. They can have their driver’s license suspended or revoked, and they can be forced to pay for an ignition interlock device to be installed on their vehicles if they keep their license.
You have a lot on the line when you get arrested for DUI, but an arrest is not a conviction. With the help of an experienced DUI legal defense team, you might be able to beat the charges against you or avoid the worst potential penalties of a conviction. Learn more about DUI penalties below, and contact Meldon Law if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in Florida. We’re here to help.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Florida?
The penalties and punishments in the law increase depending on whether you have prior DUI convictions and other factors, but even a first offense can be punished harshly. In general, these are the penalties that could be imposed:
- Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000
- A sentence of up to six months in jail or an alcohol treatment program
- A suspension of your driver’s license from 180 days to one year
- Ten-day vehicle impoundment (this penalty can be avoided if the vehicle is your family’s sole means of transportation)
- Up to 50 hours of community service (in lieu of performing community service, you can opt to pay $10 for each hour assigned)
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000
- A sentence up to nine months. Ten days of jail time (including at least 48 consecutive hours) is mandatory for a second conviction within five years of a prior conviction.
- A suspension of your driver’s license for five years (this suspension can be reduced to one year due to hardship)
- 30-day vehicle impoundment (unless the vehicle is the only means of transportation)
- Mandatory placement of ignition interlock device at the convicted person’s sole expense for at least one year on every vehicle the individual owns, leases or routinely operates, if they qualify for a permanent or restricted license
- Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000
- Up to five years in prison. Thirty days of jail time (including at least 48 consecutive hours) is mandatory for a third conviction within ten years of the first offense).
- A suspension of your driver’s license for ten years (this suspension can be reduced to two years due to hardship)
- 90-day vehicle impoundment (unless vehicle is sole means of transportation)
- A fine of at least $2,000
- A five-year habitual offender prison sentence
- Lifetime revocation of your driver’s license (can be reduced to five years due to hardship)
Things That Make DUI Penalties Even Worse
If you have a minor in the vehicle at the time of arrest or if you blow .15% or higher, then you can be sentenced to up to nine months in jail on a first offense or up to a year on a second offense. Fines are also enhanced, from $1,000 to $2,000 on a first offense and from $2,000 to $4,000 on a second offense. For a third offense, the fine will be at least $4,000.
A DUI can also be charged as a felony under certain circumstances, such as getting a third DUI in ten years or a fourth DUI at any time, or causing serious injury or death to another while driving under the influence. The penalties and consequences of a felony DUI are much worse than the misdemeanor penalties described above. Be sure to have a strong, experienced defense legal team working for you if you are charged with a felony DUI. See our Felony DUI page for more information, or call us for immediate assistance.
Get Strong Legal Defense Against Florida DUI Charges
As you can see, the penalties for a DUI conviction, even for a first offense, can cost you significantly and disrupt your life for a long time. Never forget that even if you are arrested and charged with a crime, you are presumed innocent in the eyes of the law. You are entitled to present a strong defense and have an attorney represent you. If the government can’t meet its burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, then you go free with that presumption of innocence intact. The Constitution was drafted to protect people accused of a crime from being unfairly treated or railroaded by the government. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you protect and exercise your Constitutional rights.
At Meldon Law, our Florida DUI defense attorneys fight to get the very best result for our clients accused of driving under the influence. We work to get charges dropped or reduced, have the case dismissed, obtain a favorable result without going to court, or represent our clients at trial and present all applicable defenses. We never stop fighting for you.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, call Meldon Law at 800-373-8000 for a free consultation with an experienced, dedicated and successful Florida DUI defense attorney.