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Florida's DUI Penalties

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If you are facing charges for a DUI in Jacksonville, it is in your best interests to speak with a lawyer from our firm at your earliest convenience. The penalties for even a first-time DUI can have an extremely damaging effect on one's life. It takes a skilled lawyer that has extensive experience defending DUI offenses to effectively protect your rights. In the United States, drunk driving is a serious crime with serious consequences. Although the specific penalties for a DUI conviction vary from state to state, one thing remains the same: DUI penalties are harsh.

One of the penalties you could face after a DUI conviction is higher insurance rates. While a law will not mandate an insurance company raise your insurance rates, insurance companies will do this on their own. The reason insurance companies do this is to protect themselves. Those who have had prior accidents on their record are seen as at a higher risk to be involved in an accident again. Insurance companies have to pay for your accidents, so if you are at a higher risk for accident then you will likely be charged more for insurance. If you do not hire a qualified attorney, you are far more likely to face harsh penalties such as:

First DUI Offense (Misdemeanor)

  • Up to six months in jail (up to nine months in special circumstances);
  • Fines ranging between $500 and $2000;
  • Six month driver's license suspension;
  • At least 50 hours of community service;
  • Up to a year of probation;
  • Mandatory counseling;
  • Level One DUI School;
  • Higher insurance rates;
  • Victim Impact Panel;
  • Minimum 10 day vehicle impoundment;
  • Possible deportation for Non-U.S. citizens; and
  • Six month ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Second DUI Offense (Misdemeanor)

  • Up to nine months in jail (twelve months in special circumstances);
  • Fines ranging between $1000 and $2000;
  • Up to a five year driver's license suspension;
  • Up to a year of probation;
  • Mandatory counseling;
  • Level Two DUI School;
  • Community service;
  • Impoundment of vehicle;
  • Two year ignition interlock device installation;
  • Higher insurance rates; and
  • Possible deportation for non-U.S. citizens.

Probation

Your first DUI conviction is punishable by one year of probation. According to Florida Statute § 948.001, probation refers to a form of community supervision. It involves specific contact with parole and probation officers and may include other terms as well. Different offenses may merit different types of probation. For instance, you may be sentenced to drug offender probation if convicted of a drug crime. Unlike normal probation, drug offender probation involves intense supervision and individualized treatment programs.

Florida's IID Program

Florida has had the IID program since 2002 and it continues to be a common DUI penalty, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). If you are arrested for driving under the influence for the first time, then you may not have to participate in the IID program. This is up to the court's judgment.

Listed below are the following IID requirements by conviction type:

  • First Conviction with Child Passenger of .15+ BAC- Minimum 6 month IID
  • Second Conviction- Minimum 1 year IID
  • Second Conviction with Child Passenger of .15+ BAC- Minimum 2 year IID
  • Third Conviction- Minimum 2 year IID
  • Fourth or Subsequent DUI- Minimum 5 year IID

If you are required to submit to the IID program, then you will receive a new driver license with a "P" on it which indicates your IID restriction. Driving another vehicle without an IID with this type of license can be considered driving on a restricted license which can warrant additional penalties. If you are convicted for DUI, then the court that your case was handled in will make a report to the DHSMV. The DHSMV will then take the necessary actions to issue the restricted license and install the IID. According to the Florida DHSMV, the actual device costs about $12, installation costs $75, $72.50 per month to monitor and calibrate and $100 will be deposited and refunded upon completion of the program.

Community Service

In Florida, your first drunk driving conviction is punishable by community service. If convicted of a standard DUI, you may be charged with at least 50 hours of community service or a fine of $10 per hour of community service. This fine is implemented in addition to other fines associated with your conviction. Simply put, community service involves donating your time to the local community and is distinct form volunteering because it is a legal requirement – not a voluntary effort. Any number of activities may qualify, but all community service must be performed without compensation.

Contact a DUI lawyer in Jacksonville today!

Additional DUI offenses can bring felony charges. A felony DUI conviction could damage your future irreparably. In addition, if you are involved in an accident and allegedly intoxicated your need for high-quality legal representation becomes even more significant. Our firm has helped many clients to overcome these serious penalties and fought for their ability to continue driving. Having a conviction on your record can be severely damaging to your future.

Don't allow one mistake to alter your path in life. If you do not hire an experienced Jacksonville DUI attorney, you could be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Our DUI team has over 90 years of combined legal experience. In addition, we have a former Division Chief who supervised DUI prosecutions and a former DUI Hearing Officer from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles on our side.

For a free case review, contact us online or call (904) 701-0591.

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