Consequences Can Be Harsh For A Florida DWI Arrest

Hundreds of defendants are charged with DWI each year in Florida and severe penalties are imposed especially if a defendant does not take the time and effort to find the proper legal representation and hire a DUI lawyer. Hiring a Florida DUI attorney after a DUI charge can eliminate the sometimes negative repetitive outcomes for DUI cases.

Florida criminal defense attorneys have represented DUI defendants throughout the state of Florida. DUI lawyers understand DUI laws and have experience defending DUI cases. They can help you get the best outcome possible following your DUI arrest.

What is a DUI?

A Florida driver can be found guilty of a DUI if he is operating a motorized vehicle and the following criteria are met:

  1. The driver’s mental or physical faculties are impaired by consuming of any type of chemical substance or alcoholic beverage.
  2. The driver’s blood alcohol level is 0.08% or more grams of alcohol per 100 ml. of blood.
  3. The driver’s breath alcohol level is 0.08% or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

Penalties for DWI in Florida

First offense

Drivers who are convicted of a DUI for the first time are charged with a misdemeanor. Other penalties include:

  • Jail time for up to 180 days or probation for up to 1 year but the two combined can not be more than 1 year.
  • Required to pay a fine of $250 – $500
  • A choice between 50 hours of required community service or paying $10 per hour for each hour of required community service
  • License is suspended for six months to one year
  • Required to attend a alcohol abuse education course
  • Required impounding of one of the driver’s cars for ten days.

If the driver was found to have a BAC which was over 0.15% or if there was a child in the car, they will have additional penalties assessed against them including:

  • Required jail time for 270 days
  • 6 months required installation of an Interlock Ignition Device.
  • Required to pay a fine of $1,000 – $2,000
  • Potential license revocation for 180 days to one year

Second offense

The second offense is still considered a misdemeanor charge. If the driver’s first conviction is more than five years before their second they will have the following penalties assessed against them.

  • Required probation for up to one year
  • Required to pay a fine of $1,000 – $2,000
  • Suspended license for 6 months to one year
  • Required attendance of an alcohol education program
  • 270 day jail term
  • Impounding of all of the driver’s cars for 10 days
  • An Interlock Ignition Device must be put in the driver’s car for at least one year

If the driver was found to have a BAC which was over 0.15% they will have additional penalties assessed against them. In addition, if the second DUI charge occurs less than five years from the date of the first charge enhanced penalties are assessed against the driver.

Third offense

For Florida drivers whose second DUI conviction was more than 10 years before their third offense, they will be charged with a misdemeanor and be assessed the following penalties:

  • Required to serve a sentence in jail for 364 days
  • Required to pay a fine of $2,000 – 5,000
  • Required probation for up to one year
  • Suspended license for 6 months to 1 year
  • Required installation of an Interlock Ignition Device for two years
  • Mandatory attendance of an alcohol education program
  • All of the driver’s cars are impounded for 10 days

If the driver was found to have a BAC which was over 0.15% they will have additional penalties assessed against them. If the third DUI charge occurs less than ten years from the date of the second charge additional penalties are assessed and the charge is considered a 3rd degree felony charge.

Fourth offense

Drivers who are convicted of a DUI for the fourth time are charged with a felony. Additional penalties include:

  • Possible fine of $1,000 – $5,000
  • Lose of drivers license permanently and no hardship license will be issued
  • Required jail sentence of up to five years
  • Impounding of all of the driver’s cars for 10 days

Penalties may vary based on the length of time from the 3rd DUI conviction. A Florida DUI attorney can review your BAC information and the number of DUI charges which are on your record and provide more detailed information about the potential charges you may face if you are convicted of a fourth DUI.