Penalties for a 1st DUI in Florida

By Jonathan Blecher on February 10, 2016

Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence in Miami, Florida? If this was your first DUI offense, you may be curious to know what types of penalties you are up against, and reasonably so!

Before you consider pleading guilty or forgoing legal representation, I want you to understand the penalties for a 1st DUI under Florida law.

In Florida, it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances (both lawfully prescribed prescription drugs and illegal street drugs), and chemical substances. The state’s DUI laws can be found under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes.

Under Florida’s DUI laws, a driver can be found guilty of DUI when it can be proven that their normal faculties were impaired, or when the driver has an unlawful blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher while driving.

The penalties for DUI are the same, regardless of how the prosecution proves the offense was committed.

Penalties for a 1st DUI:

  • A fine ranging between $500 and $1,000;
  • If the BAC was 0.15 percent or above, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, a fine between $1,000 and $2,000;
  • 50 hours of community service (mandatory) or a $10 fine for each hour of community service that is required of the offender;
  • Up to 6 months in jail;
  • If the BAC was 0.15 percent or higher, up to 9 months in jail;
  • DUI school; and
  • Up to 1-year driver’s license revocation.

These are the basic penalties for a first DUI offense in Florida. There are other consequences that come into play as well, for example, if one is convicted of DUI their auto insurance rates will skyrocket and if they are sent to jail for six or nine months, they could lose their job.

Additional Consequences of a DUI Conviction

A first-time DUI conviction can impact one’s credit (if they don’t pay all of their fines), child custody cases, and their ability to afford and maintain auto insurance and obtain professional licenses. Plus, a criminal record can destroy future employment opportunities.

Is a DUI worth fighting? Absolutely! Even if it’s a misdemeanor DUI, a conviction can have long-lasting consequences on many aspects of your life. Rather than risking your future, contact my Miami DUI defense firm to see how I can help you!

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