In Florida, driving under the influence (DUI) is a very serious crime. As a result, people with DUI convictions may face a variety of penalties. This includes fines and jail times, which vary according to the severity of the offense.
Here is what you can expect when faced with a DUI. Keep in mind that penalties can increase based on the circumstances of the crime.
Fines vary according to the number of previous DUI offenses. First convictions incur minimum fines of $500 and maximum fines equaling $1,000. By the second conviction, the minimum fine increases to $1,000, while the maximum fine is $2,000. As for a third conviction within ten years of the previous one, minimum fines are $2,000, while maximum fines total $5,000. Having a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher can increase these fines further.
The amount of jail time received also varies according to the number of offenses. Upon first convictions, jail terms cannot extend beyond six months. Second convictions receive a maximum jail term of nine months unless a minor was in the vehicle at the time. In this case, the maximum term is less than 12 months. By the third conviction, mandatory jail terms span 30 days, 48 hours of which must occur consecutively.
Third-degree felony charges accompany so-called repeat offenders. These are individuals who receive a third conviction within ten years of the previous one or have four or more DUIs. However, a person can also receive a third-degree felony conviction if they cause a major bodily injury while driving drunk.
Understanding the penalties involved with DUIs is crucial to protecting your rights. It can also help you prepare for any court proceedings since you will know just what to expect.