Understanding the Different Types of DUI Charges in Florida
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there are nearly 50,000 DUI arrests on an annual basis. In the state of Florida, charges associated with driving under the influence (DUI) are often lumped into the singular term of “DUI”. However, many people may not know that there are numerous types and levels of DUI in Florida. Regardless of the DUI offense, those convicted of a DUI-related charge can lose their privilege to operate a motor, face potential jail time, and fines. Thus, it is extremely important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney following a DUI arrest. A knowledgeable attorney who understands the law can prove to an invaluable asset as you fight for your freedom.
Florida state law breaks down DUI related offenses into the following categories:
- First Offense DUI: This is typically a misdemeanor offense and your license may be suspended for up to six months. However, if you refuse to submit to the breathalyzer or chemical testing then your license may be suspended for one year. In addition, you can face a fine of up to $1,000 and a potential jail sentence of six months. You will also be put on probation and required to complete 50 hours or more of community service.
- Second Offense DUI: In most cases, this is also considered a misdemeanor. If your license had been suspended in the last five years then this second DUI conviction will result in a license suspension of five years. The offense within five years of the first conviction also carries a minimum jail sentence of 10 days with a maximum sentence of nine months. You will also have to install an ignition interlock device in your car for one year and pay a fine of up to $2000.
- Third Offense DUI: If your previous two DUI convictions were more than ten years ago then this too will be considered a misdemeanor offense. However, if one of the offenses was within the last ten years then this offense will be considered a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of the felony then your license will be suspended for ten years and you will face a jail sentence ranging from 30 days to five years. In addition, you may face fines of up to $5,000 and you will need an ignition interlock device on your car for at least two years.
- DUI with Serious Bodily Injury: This offense is a third-degree felony and you can face up to five years in prison. This offense also carries potential probation and fines of up to $5,000. You may also have to pay the victim restitution upon your conviction.
- DUI with Property Damage: If you cause property damage then you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and you could serve up to one year in jail. You will also have to serve one year of probation, face fines of up to $2,000, and complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service.
- DUI Manslaughter: This conviction is a second-degree felony and carries a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years. You will lose your license permanently and you will have to pay fines of up to $10,000.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you have been charged with DUI it is critical that you immediately speak with a criminal defense attorney. During this time the prosecution will be doing everything in their power to build a strong case against you. Thus, it is critical that you find defense that will be able to advocate on your behalf and stand up for your rights. At the Baez Law Firm our dedicated DUI defense team understands your situation and has the ability to effectively fight for your freedom. Call us today at 800-588-BAEZ for a free consultation.