Clearwater DUI Penalty Lawyer
Florida has some of the harshest penalties for DUI-related offenses in the country. Even basic, first-time DUI offenses in Florida carry significant mandatory requirements. There are also significant changes in the consequences depending on a variety of factors, contact our experienced Clearwater DUI lawyer.
Basic DUI, first offense
A basic DUI involves a driver who either refused to take a breath test or had a BAC between .08 and .15 and did not cause an accident. A first time DUI without any aggravating conditions does not require jail time but does carry a maximum sentence of up to six months in county jail. Some of the mandatory requirements are:
- A fine between $500 and $1,000
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 1 year
- Vehicle impoundment for 10 days, unless the family raises a hardship defense
- 50 hours of community services with the possibility of being able to pay $10 an hour in lieu of performing community service
Basic DUI, second offense
The penalties become much more significant for a second offense within five years of the first conviction for DUI and include:
- A fine between $1,000 and $2,000
- A mandatory minimum of ten days in jail, with a maximum of 9 months in county jail,
- 5-year driver’s license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment for 30 days, unless the family can show hardship
Felony DUI in Florida
Basic DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors. However, a felony DUI is possible if this is your third offense within the past ten years or fourth or subsequent offense regardless of any timing. Furthermore, causing serious bodily injury during a DUI accident, or taking someone’s life, are both serious felony charges.
- Third offense – For a third offense within the ten years, you face a mandatory license suspension of 10 years, a minimum mandatory 30-day jail sentence and $2,000 fines. You could also face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
- Fourth or subsequent offense – For a fourth or subsequent offense, there is a mandatory permanent driver’s license revocation. There is no mandatory jail time, but these offenses still carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- DUI causing serious bodily injury – If someone is seriously injured in a DUI accident that you are responsible for, you are facing felony charges. This includes a 5-year maximum sentence. Under Florida’s criminal scoresheet system, even if someone has no prior criminal history, they could still face a recommended sentence near or even above the maximum of five years in prison based on the injuries caused.
- DUI manslaughter – DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. There is also a four-year minimum mandatory sentence of incarceration which can only be waived based on an agreement with the prosecutor.
Talk to a Clearwater DUI Attorney Today
The consequences of a DUI conviction are remarkably high in Florida. The criminal defense team at King Law Group has helped many people obtain the best possible outcome in their case, including many instances of charges being reduced or dismissed altogether. If you’ve been arrested for any kind of DUI in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, Tampa or anywhere else in the Tampa Bay area, call today to learn more about how we can help you.