Florida features some of the strictest DUI penalties in the country.
The consequences of a first-time DUI offense can range from hefty fees to jail time and revocation of your license. Second- and third-time offenses only get worse.
If you’re pulled over for a DUI, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney in Daytona Beach will ensure you have a chance to fight and reduce your charges in court.
What Constitutes a DUI in Florida?
In Florida, a driver can be charged with a DUI offense for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
Enhanced penalties can be handed down if your blood alcohol level exceeds 0.15%.
First-Time DUI Offense Consequences in Florida
A first-time DUI offense in Florida is a serious matter that comes with several consequences. Penalties will largely depend on the nature of your arrest.
A first-time DUI offense will include a mandatory six-month suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, If you refuse chemical testing during your arrest, your license can be suspended for up to one year.
If you’re convicted of a DUI, you may apply for a “hardship license,” which will allow you to drive to work, church, school, and medical appointments only.
While there’s no mandatory minimum amount of jail time imposed on first-time DUI offenders, the courts may impose the following maximum punishments:
- Six months of jail time for a standard DUI offense
- Nine months of jail time for DUI above 0.15% BAC
- Nine months of jail time if there was a passenger in the vehicle under the age of 18
- One year of jail time if there was property damage or injuries
- Five years of jail time if the DUI offense involved serious bodily injury
A judge will impose a sentence by considering the factors involved in the DUI. A seasoned attorney can help reduce your charges and minimize the consequences associated with a DUI.
Fines and Probation
Standard first-time fines for a DUI will vary between $500 and $1,000.
Additional fines can be imposed if the DUI involves a 0.15% BAC or greater and can range from $1,000 to $2,000.
For DUIs that involve serious injury, you can face up to $5,000 in fines.
No matter the BAC, any first-time offender in Florida will face mandatory probation. The length will vary depending on the circumstances but will generally not exceed one year.
Judges in Florida may also sentence DUI offenders to complete at least 50 hours of community service.
Additional DUI Penalties
On top of the fines and possible jail time, judges have the discretion of requesting that an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) be installed in your vehicle. These can be installed for six months or longer, depending on your BAC and other factors.
Also, vehicle impoundment comes with any DUI arrest. Generally, a car will be held by local law enforcement for at least ten days. You’ll have to pay the corresponding fees to get your car out of impound.
Consequences of Repeat Offense DUIs
Any second- or third-time DUI offense will incur increased penalties, fees, and mandatory jail time.
Some of these include:
- Suspension of license for five years
- Mandatory IID
- 30-day vehicle impound
- Minimum fine of $1,000
- Minimum ten-day jail sentence
Repeat DUI offenses carry heavy consequences and can be a major disruption to your day-to-day life. You should consult with a team of knowledgeable Daytona Beach DUI attorneys to learn more about your options in court.
Daytona Beach DUI Attorneys
Whether it’s your first, second, or third DUI offense, you’ll need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney to navigate your case and fight your charges.