Am I Going to Jail?
At The Ansara Law Firm, the number one question we get from those who have been arrested for a DUI is: Am I going to jail? Most people who are arrested for a DUI have not had any serious brushes with law enforcement before, and the entire criminal process can be terrifying, especially the possibility of having to go to jail.
The reality is that the answer of the question 'Am I Going to Jail?" is going to depend upon the circumstances surrounding the DUI. A first time offender with a low BAC may be able to avoid going to jail, even if convicted, while someone who has repeat offenses is almost always going to spend some time in jail. The best option you have to try to minimize or avoid jail time in any Fort Lauderdale DUI is to speak with an experienced Boward County DUI attorney. While every case is different and there are no guarantees, the DUI attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm have helped many clients to successfully avoid jail time, and we can put our legal experience to work for you.Florida DUI Penalties and Jail Time
Anyone may be sentenced to a term of incarceration after a DUI offense- even first time offenders. Under Florida Statute 316.93. even first time offenders may face up to six months of imprisonment. However, just because a first time offender may be sent to jail does not mean he will be sent to jail. The first-time DUI offender in Florida may be sentenced to just probation, or to probation and incarceration. The main rule is that the total combined time of incarceration and probation will not exceed one year. In addition, first offenders will also need to complete 50 hours or more of community service.
If there are any aggravating factors, this increases the chance that you will go to jail. For instance, first offenders who have a BAC above .15 may be sentenced to up to nine months in jail. When their BAC is higher, the court is also less likely to show leniency in sentencing after a conviction. Again, there is no required jail time, but it is much more likely that you will go to jail. The same is true if you have a minor in the car with you at the time of your arrest.
Once you become a repeat offender, however, things change. The penalties become harsher and there are mandatory minimum sentences. For a second offense within five years of the first, for example, you will have to spend at least 10 days in jail and at least two of those days must be consecutive (i.e. 48 full hours must be served). For third and subsequent offenses, mandatory minimums also exist and grow longer.
When a mandatory minimum sentence is imposed, your only option for avoiding jail time is to try to raise a defense to avoid conviction, or to try to arrange a plea bargain with the prosecutor assigned to your case. In either of these cases, you will want a Boward County DUI lawyer to help you in order to have the best chance of avoiding jail.
If you have been charged with DUI in South Florida, call The Ansara Law Firm today for your free initial consultation at (954) 761-4011! You can also contact us online. It only takes a minute to call, but it can make all the difference in the world.