DUI laws vary across all 50 states, as do the punishments for conviction. The penalties in Florida look very different from those in California or Massachusetts. If you’re facing a charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be served with the following penalties.

First-Time Offense
A first-time DUI conviction comes with the lightest consequences. The court will assume the first offense is a mistake you can easily prevent from happening again. Therefore, there it comes with no mandatory minimum jail time. You could, however, get 6 months for a standard DUI charge or 9 months if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .15% or higher (or you drove with a minor). You may even receive 1 to 5 years in prison if another person received “serious bodily injury” during a collision. In addition, you could face the following:

  • Probation for less than a year
  • 50 hours of community service
  • Driver license suspension from 6 months to 1 year
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days

Second-Time Offense
Penalties for subsequent DUI offenses tend to be severe. Jail time, for example, will increase if your last DUI was within the previous five years. A standard, second-time DUI charge could put you in jail for 9 months at the very least. On the other end of the scale, you could be imprisoned for 1–5 years, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. Your punishments could also include:

  • Fines from $1,000–$5,000
  • Driver license revocation for 5 years
  • Installation of an IID for at least 1 year
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days
  • Third-Time Offense

A third DUI will incur even higher penalties. If your last conviction was more than 10 years ago, a third DUI would still be a misdemeanor, and you would probably face many of the above punishments. However, if your last DUI was less than a decade ago, you will be charged with a felony. You could serve up to 5 years in state prison on top of a mandatory 30-day jail sentence. Also, some of the following penalties could be imposed:

  • Fines from $2,000–$5,000
  • Minimum 10-year driver license revocation
  • Installation of an IID for 2 years after driver license reinstatement
  • Vehicle impoundment for 90 days

Even misdemeanors can cause serious financial harm to an individual. Call our top-rated criminal defense attorneys for help with your case. Our aggressive Florida criminal defense lawyers can defend your rights as a driver. We have more than 150 years of collective experience defending people in tough situations.

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