Consult With DUI Lawyer About Your DUI Charges
Drinking and driving charges may result in either DUI misdemeanors or DUI felonies. Typically, a person receives a DUI misdemeanor for their first, second or third DUI offense. Felony charges typically result after a person’s third DUI offense or if they were involved in a car accident that caused bodily injury or property damage.
Penalties for DUI misdemeanors are generally lesser than felony DUI penalties, but they vary state-by-state. The severity of the charges usually depend on whether a person has had any prior DUI misdemeanor charges:
- monetary fines
- mandatory alcohol counseling
- license suspension and/or restricted driving privileges
- jail time.
Drunk driving laws are not limited to just alcohol impairment in automobiles, while different circumstances and past criminal convictions affect how each DUI defendant is charged. The presence of certain aggravating factors in a DUI case can result in enhanced penalties by either increasing the range of potential sentences or by raising the actual charge to a higher level, depending on the state where the DUI prosecution takes place.
List below are a few examples of situations that could lead to an aggravated DUI charge with enhanced penalties.
NOTE: DUI charges and punishments vary between states. Consult DUI attorney in your state to get answers about your specific case.
Extremely High Blood Alcohol Concentration
States all set a legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – usually .08%. The law presumes that anyone who is caught driving with a BAC over the legal limit has committed DUI.
Minors in the Vehicle
The presence of minors in the vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest can also result in an aggravated DUI.
Multiple DUI Convictions
Courts also will hand down elevated sentences if the driver has had multiple DUI convictions, sometimes even when one or more of the multiple convictions occurred in another state or states. States give harsher punishments to repeat offenders in order to discourage people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol after their first DUI conviction.
Suspended or Revoked License
Aggravated DUI charges can also result when a DUI defendant is caught driving on a suspended or revoked license. Penalties for this situation increase because the defendant has shown a blatant disregard for the law by driving on a suspended or revoked license.
A state can charge a DUI defendant with excessive speed in addition to DUI. In some states, if a person exceeds the speed limit by a certain amount, it may also result in an aggravated DUI (or DWI) charge.
Most states classify a standard DUI (or DWI) charge as a misdemeanor. Certain circumstances can raise the level of the charge to a felony, however. A conviction for a felony DUI carries stiffer penalties and more lasting consequences than a misdemeanor charge.
Florida DUI Penalties
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida are rough, even if you have a clean driving record. Even refusing a breath test will get you a suspended license for one year.
First DUI conviction
- Maximum six months in jail
- $500- 1,000 in fines
- 180-day to 1 year driver’s license suspension
- 50 hours of community service
Second DUI conviction (within 5 years)
- Mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days and up to nine months
- Mandatory ignition interlock device installation for at least one year
- $1,000- 2,000 in fines
- Minimum 5-year driver’s license suspension
Third DUI conviction (within 10 years)
- Felony conviction
- Minimum 30 days in jail
- $2,000- 5,000 in fines
- Minimum 10-year driver’s license suspension
Fourth DUI conviction
- Felony conviction
- Maximum 5 years in jail
- Permanent revocation of driver’s license
- Minimum $2,000 in fines
Breathalyzer Test Refusal Penalties
- First refusal: 1-year suspension of driver’s license
- Any additional refusal after the first: 18-month suspension of driver’s license
- Each additional refusal is a misdemeanor offense
Consult With Florida DUI Attorney About Your Specific Case
If you are facing a DUI in Florida consult with a Florida DUI attorney to gets answers and help you protect your rights. The decisions you make regarding your drunk driving case could impact the rest of your life. A DUI lawyer can help you get the information you need early in the process so you can take measures to protect your rights.
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.
Protecting your right to drive
Unless your request a DMV hearing within 10 days of arrest, you will lose your driver’s license. Even if your license is revoked, we can apply for a hardship license, which is usually immediately granted to you. We have never had a hardship license denied to one of our clients.