Criminal DUI Penalties

In the state of Florida, DUI is a crime. In the majority of cases, a DUI is charged as a misdemeanor criminal offense; however, for habitual offenders or in cases where accidents occur, a DUI may be charged as a felony. In either case, a criminal record is just one consequence of a DUI- you will also face criminal DUI penalties including fines, probation and incarceration.

Criminal DUI penalties are serious and you need to take action when you are facing DUI charges. There are possible defenses you may raise and you may also consider a plea bargain or first time offender diversion program, depending upon the circumstances of your arrest. An experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney can assist you in understanding your options after a DUI arrest and can help you to explore solutions to minimize or avoid criminal DUI penalties you face. The Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm have extensive experience representing clients in DUI cases and can put their legal knowledge to use in your case.

Florida Criminal Penalties for DUI

The criminal DUI penalties in the state of Florida vary depending upon the circumstances surrounding your arrest and past convictions. Some of the possible criminal penalties include:

  • A fine between $500 and $1000, 50 hours of community service and up to six months of incarceration. This is the penalty for a first offense DUI with a BAC below .15.
  • A fine between $1000 and $2000 and up to 9 months of incarceration. This is the penalty for a second offense DUI, or for a first offense DUI when a minor was in the car or when your BAC was .15 or higher.
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device installation on your vehicle for a second or subsequent DUI offense.
  • A fine between $2000 and $4000. This is the fine for a second offense with a BAC above .15 or for a second offense with a minor in the car.
  • A minimum of 10 days of incarceration, including at least one consecutive 48-hour period. This is the penalty imposed for a second DUI offense within five years of the first.
  • A minimum of 30 days of incarceration, with at least 48 hours served in a consecutive period of time. This is the penalty for a third offense that happens within 10 years of the prior two offenses. Up to 12 months of incarceration is possible for this offense.
  • Up to five years of incarceration as a habitual offender for a fourth and subsequent offense.

In addition to these criminal DUI penalties, you may also be subject to administrative penalties from the DMV. For instance, the DMV automatically suspends your driver's license when you are arrested for driving under the influence or if you refuse to take a blood alcohol test as directed by law enforcement. You will have ten days from the time of your DUI citation to appeal this administrative suspension.

The combined administrative and criminal DUI penalties can have a major and sometimes lifelong impact. As such, it is very important to be proactive in seeking legal assistance and advice to learn what options you have for dealing with the consequences you face.

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.