Florida DUI Penalty: The Break Down
Even though a DUI lawyer does everything he or she can to acquit clients, the topic of DUI penalties, if convicted must be discussed. There are a couple things to take note of. The following is just a guideline. Everyone’s case is different. So you won’t automatically receive these penalties, if convicted. Also, unless otherwise noted, people convicted of a DUI offense usually receive the maximum jail time, not the minimum.
First DUI Conviction
Your blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than .015 percent which makes this a misdemeanor. Fines range from $500 to $1,000. You may do at least 50 hours of community service. Your vehicle is impounded or immobilized for about 10 days. Your driver’s license could be revoked for at least 180 days. You could receive six months in jail.
If this is your first DUI with special circumstances, you could face a different penalty. The special circumstances are if your BAC is higher than .0.15 percent or you have a child in your car at the time you were stopped.
It is still a misdemeanor. However, the penalties are harsher. Penalties include up to nine months in jail. There’s no community service time, but fine range from $1000 to $2000. For 30 days your vehicle is impounded or immobilized if it’s your second conviction within five years. Your license is suspended for 180 days to a year. If this is your second conviction within five years, you face a five year suspension. In addition, you have to wait at least one year for hardship before you receive your license.
Second DUI Conviction
It’s still a misdemeanor if you’re convicted for a second DUI charge. If your BAC is less than 0.15 percent, the fine increases to up to $2,000. Your license could be suspended for a year. Your car could be immobilized or impounded for 30 days if it’s your second conviction in five years.
A second DUI conviction with a 0.15 percent BAC or higher or a child in the car yields higher penalties. You have to pay up to $4,000 in fines. If this is your second conviction in five years, you may have to go to jail for up to a year. If you don’t receive a year, you’ll definitely have to the minimum of 10 days. Your license could be suspended for 180 to 365 days. That’s if it isn’t your second conviction. For a second DUI conviction you receive a five-year suspension and a one year wait to gain a hardship license.
Third DUI Conviction
Florida, like most states, increases the penalties for those convicted of driving while under the influence. For a third misdemeanor DUI conviction it doesn’t matter your BAC percentage. You face up to a year in jail and fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. You could lose your license for 180 days. Like a second misdemeanor DUI conviction, the state could suspend your license for five years. One of the prior DUI convictions must have occurred within five years. You have to wait at least one year for a hardship license.
A third DUI conviction within 10 years is a felony. You receive up to five years in jail. If your third DUI conviction was within the last 10 years, you automatically receive the minimum 30 days in jail. Your vehicle is impounded or immobilized for 90 days. Your license is revoked for 10 years with at least a two year wait for a hardship license.
Fourth DUI Conviction (or Higher)
With a fourth conviction, you’re guilty of a felony. You may receive five years in prison and/ or a $2,000 fine. You permanently lose your license. You’re not eligible for a hardship license. The same goes for any other DUI convictions over four.
Florida is tough on DUI cases. If convicted, you can receive a fine, jail time or lose your license. A Florida DUI conviction is on your driving record forever. Plea bargains are a part of the legal process. However, Florida prohibits reducing a DUI charge if your BAC was over 0.15 percent.