Florida DUI Facts

Florida DUI Facts: Breathalyzers, License Suspensions, Fees, and Court

If you’re rubbing your head trying to find out what happened last night after getting stopped driving under the influence and how a DUI may impact your future, this article is for you.

Once you’ve sobered up and been released, it’s important to take stock of your situation and understand the implications so you can plan for the future. While it may seem grim in the harsh light of morning after a night in the drunk tank, there is hope. Arming yourself with information if the first step in reclaiming that hope and choosing to move forward.

First DUI on Your Record

While your first DUI can be embarrassing, it isn’t the end of the world. Yes, there are repercussions, but by working hard you can move forward. Ensuring you have a knowledgeable South Florida criminal defense attorney can help you with the legal process.

Florida statutes lay out the minimum and maximum penalties for DUI. Charges and penalties are impacted by your BAC level, age, whether there were minor passengers in the car, and whether anyone was hurt or property was damaged. The following penalties are for cases in which BAC was below .15, the driver is 21, there were no passengers in the vehicle, and no harm was done.

  • Type of Charge: Misdemeanor
  • Fine: $500-$1000
  • Community Service: 50 hours mandatory community service
  • Probation: Up to one year of probation
  • Imprisonment: Up to 6 months of imprisonment
  • Impoundment: 10 days unless the family has no other means of transportation
  • License: Your license will be revoked for at least 180 days and up to one year.
  • DUI School: Yes, back to school you go. If you want to get your license back early due to hardship, you must complete DUI school. If you’ve completed your revocation period, you need to show that you’ve registered for the course. Attendance is mandatory and failing to complete the course may lead to your license being cancelled.

Second DUI on Your Record

If you are arrested and charged with DUI within 5 years of another DUI charge, you will be facing steeper consequences. Once again, these penalties apply for individuals who did not cause harm to others or to property, who did not have passengers, and who had a BAC of less than .15.

  • Type of Charge: Misdemeanor
  • Fine: $1000-$2000
  • Imprisonment: Up to 9 months
  • Impoundment: 30 days unless it is the family’s only vehicle
  • License: Your license may be revoked for 5 years or more, but can apply for hardship after one year.
  • Breathalyzer: Mandatory ignition interlock installation.
  • DUI School: Necessary to receive a license again.

Third DUI on Your Record

If you are arrested and charged with DUI within 10 years of a second DUI charges, you will be charged with a third degree felony.

  • Type of Charge: Third Degree Felony
  • Fine: $2000-$5000
  • Imprisonment: Up to five years
  • Impoundment: 90 days unless it is the family’s only vehicle
  • License: License will be revoked for a minimum of ten years. There is a chance to apply for hardship after two years.
  • Breathalyzer: Mandatory ignition interlock installation.
  • DUI School: Necessary to receive a license again.

DUI Homicide or Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

An individual who has been caught driving under the influence and has caused severe bodily harm to another person or destroyed property may be charged with a felony.

These charges include:

  • DUI/Manslaughter—Second Degree Felony
  • DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene—First Degree Homicide
  • Vehicular Homicide—Second Degree Felony
  • Vehicular Homicide/Leaving the Scene—First Degree Felony

If you are charged with any of these crimes, it is imperative that you have someone working on your behalf to help you maneuver through the legal system.

Consulting With a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

Did you know some South Florida criminal defense lawyers specialize in DUIs? That means they know the law backward and forwards when it comes to DUI cases. Consulting with a Florida criminal defense attorney that specializes in DUI cases can help you better understand the charges against you and assist you in planning for your future.

A knowledgeable South Florida criminal defense attorney can inform you of your options and help you plan realistically. DUI is a serious charge—make sure you have someone to represent you as you face the legal consequences of your actions, someone who understands the system. Contact Florida Ticket Firm today to learn more about our DUI criminal defense services and how they can help you.