If you are charged and then convicted of DUI, there are certain penalties mandated by the state of Florida that must be imposed at sentencing. In other words, regardless of whether you stand trial before a judge or a jury, and regardless of whether or not the judge or jury would favor a more lenient or stricter penalties, Florida has already decided the parameters of sentencing when it comes to DUI convictions.
That having been said, there is some leeway when it comes to sentencing as DUI convictions have minimum and maximum penalties depending upon whether it is a first or subsequent offense. For example, a first time DUI conviction will result in a fine. However, that fine could be as low as $500, but it could also run as high as $1,000. If a child was in the vehicle at the time of the DUI, the amounts shift to a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $2,000. The same is true if the driver had a BAC of 0.15 or higher.
The minimum and maximum fine penalties increase for each subsequent conviction. A third conviction could result in a fine of up to $5,000. Obviously, when combined with court costs and other fees, a DUI conviction can be extremely costly. However, fines are not the only penalties assessed. There is also the possibility of imprisonment. A first time conviction can mean up to six months in jail, whereas a third conviction means a mandatory sentence of at least 30 days to no more than one year.
Of course, whatever the penalties imposed, there are also bail, court costs, impoundment fees, loss of reputation, and difficulty in getting hired following a conviction to consider. All of these factors combine to make a DUI conviction something that most people want to avoid at all costs. Of course, common sense says that the way to avoid a DUI conviction is to avoid a DUI arrest in the first place by not drinking and driving. However, some people are, in fact, charged with DUI when they were not intoxicated. However, once charged, those people face the same penalties if convicted as the person who was seriously intoxicated.
The best chance of avoiding the most severe DUI penalties in Florida is with the legal assistance of a qualified and reputable attorney. Your attorney will vigorously defend you and work towards the best possible outcome. In many cases, an attorney can get the charges dropped before the case ever proceeds to a trial. Do not risk receiving the maximum penalties allowed by law; contact an attorney today to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future.
Are you facing DUI penalties in Florida? FloridaDUILawyer.com is a comprehensive legal resource to help when you are charged with a DUI offense in the State of Florida. These Florida DUI resources will help to prepare you for the difficult legal decisions you will need to make concerning your case. A free, confidential consultation is available to discuss your concerns and evaluate your case. Call our toll-free, Florida DUI Helpline at 1.800.687.2252 or visit us online at WebSite Page to find a law firm near you (by appointment only).