DUI Penalties Florida
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol-related crashed account for approximately 30 percent of all driving fatalities each year. Furthermore, drunk driving accidents cost the citizens of the U.S. nearly $200 million annually. With this information in mind, DUI penalties in Florida are severe for good reason. Not only can the concept of strict punishment prevent drivers from hurting themselves, but it can also save lives. Many drivers get behind the wheel after a few drinks because they feel like they are coherent enough to drive safely. However, in many circumstances, this is not the case.
Alcohol decreases awareness, reaction time, as well as coordination. This is even true of those who are below the legal threshold of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent. In fact, recent studies have shown that just having .05 percent alcohol concentration can increase a driver’s odds of being in an accident by nearly 100 percent. Those who are above .08 percent increase their likelihood of a crash by three times. The dangers of driving while intoxicated are well stated, but we are humans and humans are prone to making mistakes. If you have been charged with a DUI offense, it is understandable if you are worried about the potential consequences (as they can be life-altering). Fortunately, you do not have to defend yourself alone. Working with a proven DUI lawyer in Orlando can significantly increase the odds of a favorable outcome in your DUI case.
What is DUI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a punishable offense under Florida law. A DUI offense is proven when a person operating a motor vehicle on public highways or roads shows that their “normal faculties” are impaired due to the consumption of alcohol and/or they have a BAC of .08 or higher. While breathalyzers, field sobriety tests, and other anecdotal evidence can be compelling, they are not always ironclad. In many cases, an experienced DUI lawyer in Orlando will have the necessary tools to investigate whether or not your traffic stop was legal and/or if the evidence is strong. If you are stopped by the police and they suspect you of driving under the influence, it is imperative that you know your rights. It is not recommended for you to take a field sobriety test. However, in most cases, it’s in your best interest to agree to a breathalyzer. If you do not, you could be taken to jail and face imminent license suspension for refusal of an approved chemical test. Learn more about DUI penalties in Florida below.
DUI Penalties in Florida
Legal consequences levied against those who have been convicted of DUI will largely depend on the amount of alcohol in your system at the time of arrest, how many convictions you’ve had in the past, and if there was any property damage, serious injuries, or deaths as a result of an accident. Listed below are the potential penalties that drivers convicted of DUI offenses face.
- License Suspension: Those convicted of a first-time DUI offense are subject to having their license suspended for up to a year. Second-time offenders can have their license suspended for up to five years and third-time offenders may face a 10-year suspension. If you are convicted of a DUI four or more times, you can potentially have your license permanently revoked.
- Jail time: DUI charges mandate that the driver must go to jail. Jail time can range from eight hours to five years in prison. The specific amount of time given will correlate with the number of conviction you have as well as other factors related to your conviction such as level of intoxication (.15 or higher will result in more severe consequences), whether or not there was a minor in the car with you, and it there was any damage, serious injuries, or death caused as result of your intoxication.
- Fines: Fines for DUI convictions start with a minimum of $500 but can go as high as $5,000 depending on your specific record.
- Probation: Probation time can range from six months to five years.
In addition to the previously mentioned penalties, drivers convicted of a DUI offense may have to pay restitution, complete 50 hours of community service, pay restitution, as well as attend DUI school or an alcohol treatment program. Though no attorney can guarantee that you escape severe consequences for a DUI charge, working with an adept DUI lawyer in Orlando can certainly be an asset in your fight to have the charges dropped or decreased.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
The legal penalties associated with a DUI conviction can be devastating for anyone. However, these are not the only consequences that a person has to deal with once they have a DUI on their record. A DUI conviction means that you will have a permanent criminal record. This can make it difficult to obtain as well as maintain stable employment. Furthermore, it will cost you a lot of money. Not just in fines, but in the amount you spend on transportation, rent, etc. DUI penalties in Florida stretch well beyond the courthouse. They can last a lifetime.
Contact Parikh Law – Top DUI Lawyer in Orlando
Of the more than 55,000 DUI-related tickets given to Florida drivers each year, many do not result in DUI convictions. The largest contributing factor for this is that defendants choose to work with proven and experienced DUI attorneys. Fighting a DUI charge alone against an experienced prosecution is an uphill battle that you are more likely to lose than you are to win. Hiring a DUI lawyer in Orlando who can provide proof of their past success is an essential step in escaping the devastating consequences of a DUI conviction. Our team a Parikh Law is dedicated to fighting for your rights and taking every step within our arsenal to work towards a favorable outcome in your case.