DUI 1st Offense in Florida
In the state of Florida when arrested for a first offense DUI charge the arresting officer will confiscate the driver’s license and issue the driver what is referred to as a “Notice of Suspension”. This notice will act as the driver’s license for the next 10 days.
Important: A person who has been arrested on a first offense DUI charge in Florida only has 10 days from the date of arrest in which to request a hearing with the FLHSMV if they wish to avoid having their driving privileges automatically suspended for the next 6 months. If you hope to have a successful outcome at your hearing it is very important that you contact one of Florida DUI lawyers today to have our lawyers schedule your hearing and represent you at the hearing.
Florida DUI First Offense Penalties
A person convicted of a first offense DUI in court will face a fine amount of $500 to $1,000 for a blood/breath alcohol level of less than .15%. If the person’s BAL was above .15% or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of driving under the influence the fine amount shall be not less than $1,000, and not more than $2,000.
A first offense DUI in Florida will result in a jail sentence of no more than 6 months in jail for a BAL of less than .15%. A BAL of .15% or greater, or with a minor in the vehicle at the time of driving will result in a jail sentence of up to 9 months.
Drivers License Suspension
A first offense DUI will result in the driver’s license being suspended for a minimum period of 180 days (if the driver was unsuccessful at winning their administrative drivers license hearing). If another person was killed or seriously injured as a result of the defendant’s DUI, their license will be revoked for 3-years with no chance of receiving a restricted license during the revocation period.
Before the FLHSMV will issue a restricted license during the suspension period the person must successfully complete the required DUI schooling. If the person waits out their suspension period they will be required to at minimum show proof of enrollment in a state approved DUI school prior to having their license fully reinstated. The driver must complete the DUI schooling within 90 days of having their license reinstated, otherwise their license will be cancelled and will not be reinstated until the person completes the required DUI school.
For anyone arrested on a first offense DUI in Florida with a BAL of .15% or greater or a minor in the vehicle at the time, an ignition interlock device must be installed in their vehicle prior to being issued a restricted license or before full reinstatement of their license following the suspension period. The ignition interlock must remain in place for at least 6 months, possibly longer if deemed necessary.
If you wish to obtain a hardship license during your suspension period you will need to complete an approved Florida DUI school prior to the DMV issuing you a hardship license. If you decide to wait out the suspension period, you will only need to show the DMV proof of enrollment in an approved DUI school prior to them reinstating your license following the suspension period.
First time DUI offenders in Florida will also face a mandatory 50 hours of community service. If the person feels that are not able to perform community service they may be given the option of paying an additional fine in the amount of $10 for each hour of required community service, or $500 in additional fines.
Chemical Test Refusal
A first offense DUI chemical test refusal in Florida will result in a suspension period of 1-year with no chance of receiving a restricted license during the suspension period.
West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
The consequences of a first offense DUI arrest in Florida can be severe and follow a person for a long time if not dealt with swiftly by a skilled Florida DUI defense lawyer. When a person is arrested on a first offense DUI charge in Florida they will be facing two separate cases: the criminal charge of driving under the influence, which will be handled through to Florida court system and the administrative side, i.e. the drivers license, which will be dealt with through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or (FLHSMV).
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. We will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
In addition to DUI/DWI charges, we represent clients in DUI accident cases, including
- Leaving the scene of accident with severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI homicide
- DUI/DWI manslaughter
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 561.880.4300. Se habla español.