Once the shock of your DUI arrest has worn off, you will likely have quite a few questions about how things will play out. It’s important to remember that a DUI is a criminal act in Florida, and that you can be charged with this crime while under the influence of not just alcohol, but illegal drugs, controlled substances, or any other substance that significantly impairs your ability to safely operate a vehicle. But understanding the process that is ahead of you can go a long way toward mitigating some of your fears and anxieties.
Yes, there is a fine associated with a DUI conviction. For a first conviction, you will have to pay a fine between $500 and $1,000, but not to exceed $1,000. If it is your second conviction, the fine will not be less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
Not necessarily, because many offenders – especially those convicted of DUI for the first time – are placed on probation and required to complete a substance abuse treatment program in addition to community service.
However, if you are found guilty of a DUI and are not given probation, and it is your first offense, you will typically be sentenced to six months or less in jail. If it is your second conviction, you will face a sentence of nine months or less in jail. But if that second conviction takes place within five years of your first offense, you must serve a mandatory 10 days in prison in addition to your sentence. If you are convicted of a third DUI within 10 years of a second DUI conviction, you will serve a mandatory 30 days in prison in addition to your sentence. It’s important to remember that these are just guidelines, and that “six months or less” could mean a sentence of just a few days or the full six months.
In Florida, a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath is the standard for you to be considered over the limit.
In some cases, the court can recommend a diversionary program in which you can serve some or all of your sentence in what is known as a ‘residential alcoholism or drug treatment facility’, where you can receive treatment that can help you overcome your addiction.
– Yes, one of the most important things to remember is that you only have 10 days after your DUI arrest to request an administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). At that hearing, you can ask for permission to retain your driving privileges through what is known as ‘hardship’. This is only granted to a person who is undergoing the legal DUI process. If 10 days pass without you attending this hearing, the DMV will automatically suspend your license.
– Yes, because the law permits police officers to arrest you for DUI even if you are sitting behind the wheel of a stationary vehicle. It’s also important to remember that a police officer can arrest you for DUI if you are on a golf cart, bicycle or any vehicle used for transportation.
A DUI conviction can result in probation, community service, suspension of your driver’s license, the seizure of your vehicle, and the installation of an ignition interlock device, which incapacitates your vehicle’s engine if you fail an alcohol breath test.
At Stokes Law Firm, we have spent years helping our clients through the complexities of DUI cases. We ensure that police officers acted within legal limits during your arrest, and we aggressively pursue any possible violations of your civil rights. Please contact us today at 727-954-0186 for a free legal evaluation.