What can happen if I’m arrested for DUI? A DUI offense in Florida can carry very significant consequences, especially if there is property damage or personal injury involved, but even more so if there’s a crash that results in a fatality. Some of the penalties may include, fines, jail time, license suspension/revocation, or the installation, at your expense, of a mechanism on your car to prevent you from driving if alcohol is detected on your breath.
Depending on the circumstances, your life, as you know it, could change forever in an instant. An experienced DUI lawyer can uncover ways to lessen, or in some cases, eliminate the charges entirely, reducing the impact on your future.
What are some of the potential penalties for DUI in Florida, depending on circumstances and whether or not there are prior convictions?
- Fines from $500 up to $5000
- Jail terms from 6 months or longer
- License suspension or revocation
Stricter punishments can be imposed for more serious offenses, such a 0.15% alcohol blood level or prior convictions, for example. These penalties may include:
- Vehicle Immobilization or Impoundment
- Installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device
- Monthly reporting probation
- Completion of a substance abuse program, at your expense, that could include a psychosocial evaluation
- Community service
In extreme cases, involving a fatality, penalties can be very severe. Vehicular Homicide is a second degree felony and can carry up to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in prison. An “Aggravated Offense”, such as Hit and Run Vehicular Homicide, is a first degree felony that can result in up to a $10,000 fine and 30 years in prison.
What other negative outcomes could affect me if I have a DUI conviction on my record?
In addition to the typical penalties that a court can impose in terms of fines or jail time, there are other consequences, which most people don’t even consider at the time. Think about your auto insurance rates and the likelihood that they will go up.
Under certain conditions, your auto insurance could even be cancelled, outright, and you could be labeled as “high risk”, which would lead to a sharp increase in insurance costs. If you lost your license or your vehicle was impounded, how might that affect your ability to work? What if you lost your job as a result of a conviction? If that were to happen, how hard would it be to find another job? Also, if you are convicted of an DUI offense with an accident, a civil suit could be filed in separate court, possibly resulting in a judgement that could add to your financial woes.
How can I justify the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer?
Although it might seem like it would be too expensive to hire a DUI lawyer, considering all that could be at stake in your life, it could wind up being a very smart decision in the long run.
If you have been arrested for DUI, the immediate aftermath can be overwhelming and figuring out how to proceed can be complicated and confusing. An experienced DUI lawyer has extensive knowledge of the traffic court system and knows precisely what to do, in a timely manner, to minimize penalties or possibly eliminate all charges in your case. If there are any weaknesses in the circumstances of your arrest, your lawyer can try to spot those issues and use that information to your advantage.
Also read DUI Florida First Offense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, call the DUI Division of The Ticket Clinic for a free consultation at 1-800-625-5232. Our Florida DUI Lawyers have been handling DUI related cases since 1987 and have resolved 10,000 DUIs and 3,000,000 traffic citations.