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St. Petersburg DUI Attorney on Florida’s First DUI Punishments

If you have been arrested for a first DUI in St. Petersburg or Clearwater in Pinellas County (or any surrounding area including Manatee County, Sarasota County, Pasco County, Hillsborough County or Polk County), then contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at the 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:

  1. The driver’s blood alcohol or breath alcohol level was over the legal limit of .08; or
  2. The driver’s normal faculties 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 can not 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, including St. Petersburg or Clearwater in Pinellas County, the court must impose a driver’s license revocation that begins when the plea is entered and last from 6 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.

DUI Information Center

DUI Information Center

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

The Morris Law Firm, P.A. understands the direct and indirect consequences that can occur after a DUI arrest. Those punishments and penalties are particularly serious for an individual with no prior criminal record. Individuals in the military, school teachers, health care professionals, lawyers, and others with special licensing requirements may lose their ability to practice their chosen profession after a DUI conviction.

When the states are high, contact an experienced St. Petersburg DUI attorney at (727) 388-4736 for any case in Clearwater, Florida, or the surrounding areas including Bradenton in Manatee County, Sarasota in Sarasota County, Tampa in Hillsborough County, Dade City or New Port Richey in Pasco County, Florida.