A driving under the influence (DUI) charge is a serious offense that can have major repercussions on someone’s life. Driving under the influence includes driving while intoxicated, on prescription drugs, or while using illegal street drugs. And, if you are caught with a blood alcohol level over 0.08% if you are over 21 or over 0.02% if you are under, then you can be charged with a DUI in Florida.
Getting a DUI can be life-altering due to the charges that can be brought against you, fines, and loss of your license for up to two years.
It is recommended by https://strolenylaw.com/dui-bui/ not to drink and drive. If you feel like you are too intoxicated to get behind the wheel, you should call a rideshare company or a friend or family member to take you home safely.
What is a DUI Charge in Florida
Let’s take a deeper dive into the convictions for a DUI charge.
First DUI Offense
If it is your first conviction then you will serve time in prison, but not more than six months. If your blood alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the accident, you will serve no more than nine months in prison. You will also be fined $500 to $1,000.
Second DUI Offense
If you have committed a second DUI offense, then you will serve no more than nine months in prison. If your BAL was more than .15 or a minor was in the vehicle, you will serve up to 12 months in prison. If your second conviction is within five years of the first conviction, there is mandatory imprisonment of ten days, no matter the plea. You will also be fined no less than $1,000 and no more than $2,000.
Third DUI Offense
If the third conviction is within ten years of the prior conviction, you will serve a maximum of 30 days. If the third DUI conviction has taken place after ten years, you can serve up to 12 months in prison. The defendant will also be charged no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000 in fines.
Fourth or More DUI Offense
For your fourth or more DUI conviction, you will serve up to five years in prison. Although, if you are a violent career criminal, habitual felony offender, habitual felony violent offender, or three-time felony violent offender, you may get additional penalties and jail time. A fourth or more conviction is also considered a third-degree felony, and you will pay fines no less than $2,000.
The penalties for a DUI are serious in the state of Florida, which is why hiring a lawyer to help you is essential.
There are also additional penalties for extenuating circumstances in a drunk driving accident.
- Damage to property or another person is a first-degree misdemeanor. When this happens, you can pay up to $1,000 in fines, and depending on the damage to the property or person, you can spend up to life in prison.
- Serious bodily injury of another person is a third-degree felony. When this happens, you can pay a maximum of $5,000 in fines and spend up to life in prison, with mandatory imprisonment of at least four years. If you have prior felony charges, you may have additional penalties.
- The death of another person or child is manslaughter and is punishable as a first and second-degree felony. When this happens, you will pay up to $10,000 in fines and serve up to life in prison. Again, if you have prior charges, more penalties could be involved.
- Added to all these penalties is getting your driver’s license taken away from you for at least six months and up to two years after the incident occurred, no matter if it is your first or fourth conviction. The more convictions that occur, the longer your driver’s license will be taken away.
Getting a DUI can be a hard situation to handle on your own. Make sure to seek the help you need if you are charged with a DUI.