Jacksonville Attorneys Explain DUI Penalties For Driving Under The Influence
The importance of knowing Florida’s laws regarding DUIs
Under Florida law, you can be charged with DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol, if there is”impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above.” DUI convictions carry consequences that can be serious and longlasting. And depending upon the circumstances of your arrest, there’s far more than your loss of driving privileges at stake: You may lose your license, your car, your job—your very freedom, if your sentence includes considerable jail or prison time. No matter how minor your DUI offense may seem, it’s in your best interest to seek experienced legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected and the penalties you face, if any, are the minimum under the law.
Field tests are not designed to prove your innocence. They are tools to develop evidence against you. So are breath tests. Once arrested, your license will be suspended, effective in 10 days. You only have that short time to fully protect your rights and privileges. Do not wait. Get experienced legal help immediately.
At Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A., our criminal defense attorneys have more than 80 years of combined experience defending Floridians against DUI charges. We are well aware that our state’s law enforcement officers are only too happy to pull you over and have you submit to field sobriety tests if they suspect you’ve been drinking and driving. Contact us as soon as possible to ensure you’re represented by a legal team that explores all your options and gives you the best possible chance of having the charges against you dropped or reduced.
The penalties for driving under the influence in Florida
Florida, like other states, has taken a hard line against drivers who drive drunk or even mildly impaired. Your DUI charge and the severity of the penalties you face depend upon the judge who hears your case, the county in which it’s heard, and whether this is your first offense, second offense, third offense, or fourth or subsequent offense. A first offense DUI is generally a misdemeanor; a fourth offense DUI becomes a felony. The penalties for DUI conviction in Florida can be summed up as follows:
- First offense: Maximum incarceration between 6 and 9 months; mandatory 50 hours of community service; fines between $500 and $1,000; up to one year’s probation; your vehicle impounded for 10 days
- Second offense: Maximum incarceration between 9 and 12 months and mandatory minimum of 10 days; fines between $1,000 and $4,000; your vehicle impounded for 30 days
- Third offense: Maximum incarceration between 9 and 12 months and mandatory minimum of 30 days; fines between $2,000 and $5,000; vehicle impoundment for 90 days
- Fourth offense: Maximum incarceration of 5 years with a mandatory minimum of 30 days; fines of $2000 and greater; vehicle impoundment for 90 days.
In addition to the penalties listed above, those convicted of DUIs may face the following:
- Suspended or revoked driver’s license
- Mandatory attendance at driving school
- Installation ofignition interlock devicein your vehicle
Of course, the charges and penalties increase if you cause serious bodily harm or death while driving under the influence or are a repeat offender, having been convicted of multiple DUIs. Our experienced legal team is well versed in Florida DUI laws and penalties, giving you the edge you need in beating the charges against you or having them reduced.
Contact us for help with your DUI charge in Florida
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s important to seek solid legal counsel as soon as possible, to protect your rights and secure for your freedom. At Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A., our Jacksonville attorneys understand the wide range of penalties involved with DUI charges in Florida and are thoroughly prepared to offer you a determined defense. Don’t delay: contact us online or call our office today at 904-353-5800 for a free consultation with a member of our firm.