If you are in the difficult situation of having been arrested for your first DUI in Florida, know that having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side will make a big difference in the legal outcome. There are a number of different potential penalties, and understanding what happens when you get a DUI in Florida will help you make the right decisions that will impact your life for a long time.
What Does It Take To Get a DUI in Florida?
According to Florida law,
“Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above.”
Depending on your body size and metabolism rate, the strength of your drinks, and how fast you drink them —your system could get to .08% or above with just one drink.
What Are the Consequences for a First DUI in Florida?
There are many consequences when you get a DUI in Florida. From fines to potential imprisonment, the state has a wide range of areas it addresses. These consequences often depend on the quality of your legal representation. An experienced Florida DUI attorney is knowledgeable about the justice system and works diligently to get clients the best possible outcome.
Here are the areas:
- Fines — minimum of $500, but could be up to $2,000, plus court costs. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .15% or higher, or if there is a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense, your fine could be anywhere from $1558 to $4,000.
- Community Service — a mandatory 50 hours of community service or an extra fine of $10 for each hour of community service.
- Probation — if this is your first DUI in Florida, the maximum will not be greater than one year. This includes the total period of time for incarceration and probation.
- Imprisonment — this is at the court’s discretion. Several things you need to understand here: (1) terms of the sentence may be served at a residential alcohol or drug abuse treatment program – with the time being credited toward the full sentence terms (2) if convicted, the term will be a maximum of 6 months. If your BAC was .15% or higher (or there was a minor in the vehicle), the maximum is up to 9 months.
- Driver’s License — your suspension/revocation can be from 180 days up to a year, and you will have to attend DUI school and/or treatment to get your license back.
- Additional Consequences — other things that can happen when you get convicted for a DUI in Florida include having to get an ignition interlock device when you get your car (and license) back, an increase in your car insurance (or cancellation), potential difficulties with getting professional licenses or a passport, difficulties with obtaining a government student loan or even renting a home.
Contact a Florida DUI Attorney Right Away
If you were recently arrested, call a lawyer immediately and don’t make any statements to the police. If you have already made a statement, it is still important to contact a Florida DUI attorney as soon as possible. Do not wait! Time is of the essence. There is a 10-day deadline for a preconviction work permit.
A DUI attorney knows the complexities of the laws in regards to driving under the influence. Because there are ranges in fines and periods of times for imprisonment. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
A first DUI in Florida is very hard to go through, but know there are professionals that work hard each day to protect your rights and get the best possible outcome so you can move on with your life.
Dean Tsourakis is dedicated to helping people and committed to your case each step of the way. Don’t delay in reaching out to set up a free consultation. After you have been charged with your first DUI in Florida, you only have ten days to request a DMV Administrative Review Hearing. Speaking with a lawyer may make the difference in you getting your license revoked or not, as well as make an impact on the other penalties including fines, imprisonment, and probation.
Contact the law offices of Dean Tsourakis today. Our number is 727-785-2700. Dean is a highly experienced DUI attorney helping people throughout the greater Clearwater, Florida area.on Jul 16, 2018