Have you or a loved one recently been convicted of a DUI in the state of Florida? Do you fear the repercussions of driving under the influence for your loved one? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about Florida DUI laws.
When learning about Florida’s progressive DUI laws, it’s important to understand the penalties, definitions, and parameters. They’re meant to punish those that are repeat offenders while giving first-time offenders the chance to learn from their mistakes.
See below for an in-depth guide listing all of the things you need to know about Florida DUI laws for you and your loved ones.
You Need Legal Representation
Many people have the misconception that their life is over once they receive their first DUI offense in Florida. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The state of Florida’s progressive DUI laws are laid out to help people see the error of their ways. For example, it’s meant to help first-time offenders turn their lives around while coming down harder on those that have collected a second or third offense.
The most important thing is to hire a DUI attorney to represent your case. They can help you receive the minimum penalty for your offense, prove your innocence, etc.
Depending on the severity of your case, you could be facing jail time. A DUI attorney can help you avoid that situation using their experience and savvy.
They can also help you keep up with legal deadlines, such as requesting certain things to use as evidence for your case.
Local Tampa lawyers are well-connected with the prosecutors that are working your case. They can use that professional rapport to create a plea bargain to help you avoid jail time.
Whenever you have your first meeting with your DUI lawyer, be sure to tell them everything that happened leading up to the DUI charge. Remember to be honest with your attorney, you’re protected by the attorney-client privilege.
The More Offenses, the More Penalties
If this is your first time getting a DUI charge, then you should know that the penalties depend on your specific situation. You could be facing such penalties as having your license revoked for an extended period of time, being forced to pay fines, or even serving jail time.
The severity of these penalties depends on how many times you’ve been previously charged with a DUI. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the potential penalties for each:
- First-Time Offenders: License could be revoked for up to 1 year; You could face up to $1,000 in fines; You might be forced to serve up to 6 months in jail
- Second-Time Offenders: Your License could be revoked for up to 1 year; You could face up to $2,000 in fines; You might be forced to serve up to 9 months in jail
- Third-Time Offenders: Your License could be revoked for up to 1 year; You could face up to $5,000 in fines; You might be forced to serve up to 12 months in jail
As you can see, the penalty worsens from offense to offense. On top of all these potential penalties, second and third-time offenders will be forced to drive with an ignition interlock device for 2 years. First-time offenders could also have an IID installed on their car for 6 months if they had a blood-alcohol level of .15-percent or higher at the time of the DUI charge.
Time Plays a Factor
As you likely noticed in the potential penalties above, the state of Florida comes down hard on those that collect a second or third DUI charge. So much so, that a third offense is labeled as a felony charge.
It’s important to know that time plays a significant role in the severity of your penalties. All of the potential fines and sentences listed above were generalities. The penalties are severely harsher if you’re given a second offense or third offense within a five-year or ten-year window of the previous charge.
Those that get a second DUI offense within five years of their first offense will have their license revoked for 5 years and at least ten days in jail.
If you receive a third offense within ten years of either your first or second offense, you could be serving up to 5 years in jail, while having your license revoked for ten years.
The Legal System Keeps a Close Eye on You
As we’ve mentioned a few times already, Florida DUI laws were established to help DUI violators find methods of change. Not only can it help you avoid another charge, but it can also help you turn your life around.
Anyone that violates Florida DUI laws is put in programs to ensure they’re learning from their mistakes. This includes things like:
- Frequent drug monitoring
- Mandatory substance abuse classes
- Monthly probation checkups
These are not optional. If the judge orders you or your loved ones to these programs, you/they must abide by them to avoid further consequences.
They’re Harsher on Underage Drinking
The state of Florida is actively trying to prevent underage drinking and driving, and its laws reflect it.
If a minor is charged with a DUI, then they will have their license revoked for 6-months (or more), with the potential of serving up to nine months in jail.
Whether you’re over or under the age of 21, make sure that you find a trusted DUI lawyer to represent you. Now is not the time to take whatever penalty is given to you.
A DUI charge can make it difficult to do things like shop for car insurance or apply for job positions in the future. Find a DUI attorney that can help you fight it!
Florida DUI Laws: Find a DUI Lawyer You Trust
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on Florida DUI laws and how they’re broken down, be sure to use this information to your advantage.
Be sure to read this article on DUI charges. There you will find more information on what happens if you refuse a breath test in the state of Florida.
For any inquiries that you might have, be sure to reach out to us at our 24-hour hotline 813-334-3910 and we’ll be happy to assist you further.