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Drunk Driving, Florida Criminal Law


What are you facing if you are CONVICTED of DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Now the worst has happened. Not only did you take a terrible risk and drive after you had been drinking, but you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence. DUI or Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances is a criminal charge under Florida Statute Section 316.193.

You need to know what you are facing and start to take action now. DO NOT WAIT. Contact an experienced and aggressive DUI lawyer as soon as you are able to. Conviction of DUI will carry severe consequences. You want a lawyer who is going to WORK FOR YOU and not just LAY DOWN.

Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.


You will have a criminal record – for a first offense it is a criminal first class misdemeanor.  A second violation may result in a conviction for  another First Class Misdemeanor.  Third and subsequent conviction could result in a Felony conviction.


For a first Conviction: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000. With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. A second conviction: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $2,000, or more than $4,000. Finally, a third conviction More than 10 years from second: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $4,000.


First Conviction: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required.


First conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.


At court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward term of imprisonment. First Conviction: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months. Second Conviction: Not more than 9 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months. If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. Third Conviction: If third conviction within 10 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. If third conviction more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months. Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not more than 5 years or as provided in s.775.084, Florida Statutes, as habitual/violent offender.


Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation: First conviction = 10 days; second conviction within 5 years = 30 days; third conviction within 10 years = 90 days. Impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with incarceration. The court may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicles that are owned by the defendant if they are operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.


These are very serious penalties. In addition, your insurer will almost automatically drop your coverage and you will be state required to have greatly increased insurance requirements. You could lose your job and if your job involves driving – there is probably no chance your employer or their insurer is going to allow you to drive. Finally – you are going to pay a lawyer whether they get you a good result or not. Do not hire a cheap lawyer. They may not look at all the evidence and may make a quick buck off you. You want a lawyer who looks at ALL the evidence and can guide you to making a proper decision as to whether to go to a trial or settle. A good lawyer can speak to the Assistant State Attorney and if there is a flaw in their case, make a much better deal for you than a lawyer who looks at nothing and meets you for the first time when you are pleading guilty.

If you find yourself in such a position it is best to consult an attorney with substantial experience. There are so many different circumstances that a proper answer to your particular problem can only be obtained by a trained and experienced lawyer.

If you have any question regarding this or any other legal matter our firm may be able to help you. Please contact Jupiter Legal Advocates at (561) 748-8000 or email us at for further information and assistance. We try our very best to respond immediately.

If you require the immediate services of a highly experienced and aggressive attorney, please call for a FREE consultation


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