Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that puts others at risk for injury or death. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida, the penalties can be harsh if you are convicted. In addition to formal penalties doled out by the legal system, you might suffer professional and personal consequences, too.
Whether you’ve been released on bail, you are still locked up, or you are searching for legal help for a loved one, contact the skilled DUI defense team at Khonsari Law to discuss the circumstances of your arrest and charges. A good defense attorney might be able to help you reduce your charges, reduce your penalties, or get your case dismissed.
Florida law defines a DUI as driving under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances, or a controlled substance as evidenced by the impairment of a driver’s normal faculties, or a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or more. Section 316.193 of Florida Statutes contains all of the laws concerning DUIs and their penalties. Below we provide a broad overview of potential fines, imprisonment, license suspensions, and other laws that govern DUI convictions in Florida.
Like all penalties for DUI convictions in Florida, fines vary based on the driver’s blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC), whether the driver has been convicted of past DUIs, and whether a minor was in the vehicle. The fines, as of August 2019, are as follows:
If you are convicted of a DUI, Florida law gives the court discretion to sentence you to jail time. In some cases, the court might order you to serve your time in an inpatient alcohol and/or substance abuse treatment program in lieu of jail time or reduce your sentence based on the amount of time you spend in treatment. Mandatory and maximum jail sentences for each conviction are below:
Florida law allows the court to impound or immobilize a vehicle after they convict a person of a DUI, as long as the person’s family has other transportation. Vehicle impoundment cannot occur at the same time they are serving jail time. The amount of time a court impounds or immobilizes a vehicle depends on the driver’s history with DUIs.
All DUI convictions are at least a second degree misdemeanor under Florida law; however, some circumstances might elevate the charges and associated convictions to a serious first degree misdemeanor or a felony. Here are some common scenarios:
Getting charged with a DUI in St. Petersburg can be a life-altering event with harsh consequences. In addition to the laws outlined above, you might also be ordered to attend DUI classes, install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle, and you can expect to have your license suspended or revoked, depending on your situation.
The experienced DUI defense attorneys at Khonsari Law in St. Petersburg can protect your rights and help you get the best outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today for a free consultation at (727) 269-5300 or online.