Jacksonville DUI Defense Attorneys
Arrested for Driving Under the Influence?
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida occurs when someone operates or is in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs, whether over-the-counter, legally prescribed, or illegal.
Like other U.S. states, Florida imposes criminal penalties on drivers who are convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, or whose impairment made them unable to operate a vehicle safely. And, like other U.S. states, Florida’s penalties for drivers convicted of DUI within the state can be onerous.
First-Time DUI Penalties in Florida
The penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida may include the below:
- From $500 to $1000 in fines for a BAC under 0.15. For a BAC of 0.15 or above, fines may be increased to $2000.
- Fifty hours of community service.
- Up to six months of jail for a BAC under 0.15. For a BAC of 0.15 or above, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, up to nine months of jail time.
- Probation (with or without jail time) up to one year.
- Driver’s license revocation of 180 days to one year.
Second-Time DUI Penalties in Florida
A second conviction for DUI within a certain time period comes with increased penalties. These include fines from $1000 to $4000; 9-12 months of jail time; additional community service and probation requirements; and a driver’s license revocation for up to 5 years, if the second DUI conviction occurs within five years of the first one.
Subsequent DUI Penalties in Florida
In most instances, a DUI conviction for the first or second time is a misdemeanor under Florida law. However, a third or later offense within ten years may be charged as a felony. Felony crimes are more serious and come with much stricter penalties if a person is convicted, including the possibility of a prison sentence.
Possible penalties that come with a felony-level DUI conviction in Florida include the following:
- At least $2,000 in fines.
- At least 30 days in jail and up to five years of imprisonment in jail or prison.
- Probation or parole following jail/prison time.
- Driver’s license revocation of up to 10 years, with the chance for a hardship reinstatement after two years.
- Additional fines, costs, and penalties as imposed by the court.
A DUI may also be charged as a felony if it involves a death. In these cases, a felony charge may be issued even if the charged person has a completely clean criminal record.
Because the penalties increase with additional DUI convictions, keeping a DUI conviction off your record is important not only in the short term, but also because it may affect your future.
Your Right to a Strong Defense
You have certain legal rights under Florida and U.S. law whenever you face criminal charges, and a DUI charge is no different. The Florida criminal defense attorneys at Farah & Farah can help you build an aggressive defense that protects the full extent of your legal rights and also fights for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today for a confidential case evaluation at (904) 263-4610.