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DUI Punishments

Consequences of Driving Under the Influence in Florida

If you have been arrested for a first DUI in St. Petersburg, contact an experienced attorney at Morris Law Firm, P.A.

The vast majority of DUI arrests involve individuals with no prior convictions for DUI. Many of these individuals have never been arrested for anything before in their life. The fact that the individual has little to no criminal record can be used as an effective tool for negotiating the best possible resolution with the prosecutor.

DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or any chemical or controlled substance. Under Florida law, DUI can be proved in one of two ways:

  • The driver’s blood alcohol or breath alcohol level was over the legal limit of .08; or
  • The driver’s normal abilities were impaired due to the effects of alcohol or drugs.

1st DUI Penalties and Punishments Under Florida Law

Florida statute 316.193 sets out the minimum mandatory punishments for a first DUI including:

  • Fine for a first DUI conviction of not less than $500, or more than $1,000. If the driver blew over a 0.15, then certain enhanced penalties apply, including an enhanced fine that may not be less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. Florida Statute 316.193(2)(a)-(b).
  • Community service for a first DUI conviction mandates 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service that the individual decides to “buy out.” The courts typically allow only one-half of the hours to be bought out. Florida Statute 316.193(6)(a).
  • Probation for a first DUI conviction requires a total period of probation and incarceration which may not exceed one year. If no jail time is required, the court will typically impose 12 months of probation with the option for early termination of the DUI probation after 6 months, if all special terms and conditions are met. Florida Statute 316.193(5)-(6).
  • Jail time for a first DUI conviction cannot exceed 6 months unless the breath or blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or higher, in which case the court can impose imprisonment of up to nine months. Florida Statute Section 316.193(2)(a), 2, 4(b), (6)(j).
  • Immobilization or impoundment of your vehicle is required for a first DUI conviction under Florida law for 10 days, which must not occur concurrently with incarceration. Furthermore, the judge may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicle owned by the defendant if the vehicle is driven solely by other employees of a business owned by the defendant. Florida Statute Section 316.193(6).

Reinstating Your Florida Driver’s License After a First DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of DUI in the State of Florida, the court must impose a driver’s license revocation that begins when the plea is entered and lasts from six months to 12 months thereafter.

Before the revocation period expires, you may apply for a hardship license at the Administrative Reviews Office in the county where you live after you have completed DUI school and treatment. If you wait to reinstate your Florida driver’s license until after the revocation period is over, then you must still show proof of enrollment or completion in DUI school and treatment.

Penalties for a Second DUI in Florida

The minimum mandatory punishments that you will face for a second DUI conviction depends on whether the second DUI arrest is counted as being “within 5 years of a prior conviction” or “outside of 5 years of a prior conviction.”

Second (2nd) DUI Penalties and Punishments Under Florida Law

Florida State Statute 316.193 sets out the minimum mandatory punishments for a second DUI outside of five years including:

  1. Fine for a second DUI conviction of not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. If the driver blew over a 0.15, then certain enhanced penalties apply including an enhanced fine that may not be less than; $2,000, or more than $4,000. Florida Statute 316.193(2)(a)-(b).
  2. Community service for a second DUI conviction usually requires 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service that the individual decides to “buy out.” The courts typically allow only one-half of the hours to be bought out. Florida Statute 316.193(6)(a).
  3. Probation for a second DUI conviction requires a total period of probation and incarceration which may not exceed one year. If no jail time is required, the court will typically impose 12 months of probation. Florida Statute 316.193(5)-(6).
  4. Jail time for a second DUI conviction cannot exceed nine months unless the breath or blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or higher, in which case the court can impose imprisonment of up to 12 months. If the second conviction is within five years, then a mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days is required, during which at least 48 hours must be consecutive. Florida Statute Section 316.193(2)(a), 2, 4(b), (6)(j).
  5. Immobilization or impoundment of your vehicle is required for a second DUI conviction within five years under Florida law for 30 days, which must not occur concurrently with incarceration. If the second DUI occurred outside of five years, then a 10-day period of impoundment is required. Furthermore, the judge may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicle owned by the defendant if the vehicle is driven solely by other employees of a business owned by the defendant. Florida Statute Section 316.193(6).

Reinstating Your Florida Driver’s License After a Second DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of DUI in Florida, the court must impose a driver’s license revocation that begins when the plea is entered and lasts from 6 months to 12 months thereafter, if the second DUI conviction occurred outside of five years. The main problem is that you are not eligible for a hardship license during the six-to-12-month period, even if the prior DUI occurred more than five years earlier.

If the second DUI offense occurs within five years of a prior conviction, then you will receive at least a five-year revocation. You cannot even apply for a hardship driver’s license with the Florida Administrative Review Office until after you have served at least 12 months of the hard suspension (during which time you cannot drive for any reason).

Before the revocation period expires, you may apply for a hardship license at the Administrative Reviews Office in the county where you live after you have completed DUI school and treatment. If you wait to reinstate your Florida driver’s license until after the revocation period is over, then you must still show proof of enrollment or completion in DUI school and treatment.

Florida’s Third DUI Punishments

The minimum mandatory punishments that you will face for a third DUI conviction depend on whether the third DUI arrest is counted as being “within 10 years of a prior conviction” or “outside of 10 years of a prior conviction.”

Reinstating Your Florida Driver’s License After a Third DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of a third DUI in the State of Florida, the court must impose a driver’s license revocation. For a third DUI offense not within 10 years of a second conviction, the revocation will last from six months to 12 months, unless the last of the two convictions occurred within 5 years. If the last two DUI convictions occurred within five years, then the five-year revocation will apply. During the revocation period, the driver is not eligible for any type of hardship driver’s license under Florida law.

If the third DUI offense occurs within 10 years of a second conviction, then a 10-year revocation will apply. At least two years of the revocation period must be served before the driver can apply for a hardship driver’s license in the Florida Administrative Review Office. Before applying for a hardship license, you must complete DUI school and any recommended treatment. Other requirements apply.

Penalties for a 4th DUI in Florida

A fourth DUI can be prosecuted as a felony offense. In many of these cases, especially when the individual was not represented by an attorney for any prior conviction, your attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to file misdemeanor DUI charges. Regardless of whether the fourth DUI is prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor, a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction will cause a permanent revocation of your Florida driver’s license. Florida law does not currently contain any provision for a hardship driver’s license.

Fourth DUI Penalties and Punishments Under Florida Law

Florida statute 316.193 sets out the minimum mandatory punishments for a fourth DUI, including:

  • Fine for a fourth DUI conviction. The fine may not be less than $2,000. Florida Statute 316.193(2)(a)-(b).
  • Jail time for a fourth DUI is up to five years in Florida State Prison, as provided in Florida Statute Section 775.084, as a habitual or violent offender.

Contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. After Your Arrest for a DUI

At Morris Law Firm, P.A. we understand the direct and indirect consequences that can occur after a DUI arrest. For many people facing a DUI charge, the prospective of a permanent driver’s license revocation is unimaginable.

When the stakes are high, contact an experienced attorney.

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

See the Difference Our Service Provides
  • FORMER STATE PROSECUTOR

    Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.

  • STRATEGICALLY AGGRESSIVE

    We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.

  • TRUSTED & EXPERIENCED

    Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.

  • PERSONAL ATTENTION

    We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.

  • PROMPT COMMUNICATION

    You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.

  • SAME DAY REPRESENTATION

    The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.

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