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drunk driving lawyerIf you are like most people who have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), one of your biggest concerns is understanding the punishment you are likely to face if convicted. In Florida, there are actually a number of factors that can affect your sentence. These include: your age, DUI history and blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest, and whether any of various “aggravating factors” apply based on the circumstances of your arrest. This article outlines the basic penalties for Florida DUIs. For additional details, you can visit the DUI section of our website.

Penalties for a First DUI Arrest

The following are the standard penalties for a typical first-time DUI arrest:

  • $500 to $1,000 fine
  • Six-month to one-year license suspension
  • Up to six months of imprisonment
  • Up to one year of probation
  • Mandatory alcohol class attendance
  • A minimum of 50 hours of community service (unless the court allows a “buy-out” option at $10 per hour)
  • 10-day vehicle impound

These are just the criminal penalties, and do not take into account the practical implications of a DUI conviction – such as increased insurance premiums. If you were driving with a minor or your BAC was 0.15 or above, the fines can increase up to $2,000 and you may be sentenced to up to nine months in jail, along with possible additional penalties.

Penalties for a Second DUI Arrest

If this is your second DUI, the penalties will vary depending on whether your previous DUI occurred within the past five years. If it did, you are facing:

  • $1,000 to $2,000 fine
  • Six-month to one-year license suspension
  • Up to nine months in jail, with a mandatory minimum of 10 days
  • Five-year driver’s license revocation
  • Mandatory alcohol class attendance
  • 30-day vehicle impound
  • Installation of ignition interlock devices in each of your vehicles after your license gets reinstated

The penalties are slightly less if your prior DUI conviction is more than five years old. In either case, as with a first-time DUI, these penalties will be enhanced if you were driving with a minor or had a BAC of 0.15 or above.

Penalties for a Third DUI

If this is your third DUI, the penalties are steeper still. If you received your previous DUI within the past 10 years, the possible punishment for a third DUI includes:

  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • Up to five years in jail, with a 30-day minimum
  • A minimum 10-year license suspension
  • Two-year ignition interlock device installation on all of your vehicles
  • 90-day vehicle impound
  • Monthly probation visits
  • Mandatory substance abuse education and psychological examination

Penalties for Fourth and Subsequent DUIs

If you already have three or more DUI convictions on your record, your next DUI will be a third-degree felony. Third-degree felony charges carry a possible $5,000 fine and up to a five-year prison term.

Additional Charges for DUIs Involving Accidents

If you caused a minor accident, you will also likely be charged with a first degree misdemeanor, which carries another $1,000 in fines and up to one year of imprisonment. If you caused serious injuries, you may be charged with felony DUI, which can also mean up to five years behind bars.

Speak with a Jacksonville, FL DUI Defense Attorney Today

As you can see, you need to take your DUI charges very seriously. Attorney Tim Armstrong can help you fight to avoid conviction or reduce the penalties for your DUI arrest. For more information, call (904) 356-8618 or contact The Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, P.A. online today.