Florida law enforcement takes DUI very seriously in the quest to reduce highway deaths and accidents. More than half of the 43,899 DUI violation tickets issued to Florida drivers in 2017 resulted in convictions in support of Florida’s mission to keep drunk drivers off the roadways. Seeking experienced legal counsel to defend a DUI arrest is imperative to any case seeking a reduction in imposed penalties related to the charge. The quicker you seek out legal help, the better chance you have for lighter sentencing if the attorney can disprove any of the DUI charges against you.
Driving under the influence.
Under Florida Statute 316.193, a person is guilty of the offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol when driving is affected to the extent that physical faculties are impaired and the impaired driver has a blood alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; and the driver has a breath-alcohol of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
The average costs related to a DUI can be high, including legal defense, fines, and auto insurance increases of approximately $8000., not to mention any time you may be out of work to fight charges, or costs of transportation when you cannot drive yourself to work. In certain occupations you may run the risk of losing your professional licensure, which could be financially devastating in some instances. Because actions of DUI are very serious, a driver can even lose their job or professional license if they are among a certain class of professionals including law enforcement, public officials and licensed medical personnel for instance. Sometimes there are temporary suspensions in place pending the outcome of the formal charges against the driver, but often times a full termination can apply depending on the circumstances of the DUI arrest and damages and injuries related to the accident.
Florida criminal case.
If a criminal conviction is achieved by the State, penalties could include fines, prison time, placement of ignition interlock devices in vehicles, and/or the loss of a driver’s license, either temporarily or permanently.
- Damage to property or person of another is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree;
- Serious bodily injury to another is considered a felony of the third degree;
- Hit and run could yield very serious penalties in accordance with Florida Statute § 316.062.
Civil case for damages.
After the criminal case has been resolved, a personal injury case can be filed in accordance with Florida personal injury law to compensate for any property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
First time DUI convictions.
May Result in Penalties Such As:
- Fine – $500 to $1000 (blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or minor in vehicle)
- Community Service – 50 Hours
- Probation – Not more than 1 Year
- Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
- Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
- License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
- DUI School – 12 Hours
- Penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida increase dramatically if BAL (Blood Alcohol Level is .15 or higher or if a minor is in the vehicle). In these cases an Ignition Interlock Device may be installed for at least 6 continuous months.
Additional DUI convictions.
Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney at Trevena, Pontrello & Associates who knows the laws that may support a claim for reduced penalties.
Trevena, Pontrello & Associates
801 W Bay Drive, Suite 509
Largo, FL 33770
Phone: (727) 581-5813