If you are facing a first time DUI in Florida, you may be anxious and stressed about the consequences you may face. Although the DUI laws in the state of Florida are hardly the strictest in the nation, Florida DUI penalties can be harsh. For example, in 2008, Florida enacted a law that requires drivers with a first-time DUI conviction whose BAC was 0.15 percent or higher to install an Ignition Interlock device on their vehicle.
Penalties for DUI Offenses
Sometimes just one additional beer can put you over the legal limit of 0.08. When this happens, you can find yourself facing serious consequences and penalties that could adversely affect your entire life. Even first-time DUI offenders could face serious Florida DUI penalties, including:
Fines as high as $1,000
Up to six months in jail
The possibility of losing your driver’s license for up to six months
50 hours of community service
If you have no prior criminal history, you could receive probation for up to a year, a license suspension for up to six months and a $500 fine. You might also have to attend drunk driving school or a drug and alcohol program, or you could receive a community service sentence.
If you refuse a chemical test, you will lose your driver’s license for a period of twelve months, regardless of the outcome of your DUI criminal charges.
Second and third DUIs in the state of Florida have considerably harsher penalties—the fines can be as high as $4,000, there is a mandatory 10-day jail sentence, with the potential for up to twelve months in jail, and a longer license suspension.
Additional Consequences of a DUI
In addition to the criminal penalties you will face for a first time DUI in Florida, you could potentially lose many personal freedoms. Your auto insurance premiums are likely to increase to the point where they are unaffordable, or your insurance company could cancel you altogether.
If you end up with a felony DUI (if you seriously injure another person or kill another person while drinking and driving, or if you are being charged with a third or fourth DUI), you could be unable to obtain a passport, purchase a firearm, obtain a professional license, rent a home or obtain a government student loan. Even finding a job could become exponentially more difficult.
Contact Our Florida DUI Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a first time DUI in Florida, speak to a knowledgeable Florida DUI attorney as soon as possible for the best resolution to your charges. Even first time DUI arrests can result in serious and long-term consequences.
To avoid the maximum penalties and to protect your future, we can help. Our office is conveniently located in Melbourne, Florida, and we serve all of Brevard County, Florida.
Please contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer at The Law Office of Jeffrey Thompson today by calling (321)-253-3771. Your future and your freedom are at stake.