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When might you serve time for a Florida DUI?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | DUI

A conviction for driving under the influence in Florida can result in various penalties, including the possibility of serving time in jail. The severity of the punishment depends on certain factors.

Understanding the circumstances under which you may have to serve time is important for anyone navigating the aftermath of a DUI arrest.

First-time offense

For a first-time DUI offense, the penalties typically include fines, license suspension, probation and mandatory participation in DUI education or treatment programs. Jail time is not mandatory for a first offense. However, the court may still impose such a penalty, especially if aggravating factors exist.

Aggravating factors

In cases involving aggravating factors, the likelihood of serving time increases significantly. Aggravating factors might include multiple DUI convictions, a high blood alcohol content level or injury or property damage. Repeat offenders face harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences, as the court aims to deter future drunk driving incidents and protect public safety. Also, if a DUI results in serious bodily injury or death, the offender may face felony DUI charges. Felony charges carry more severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.

Refusal to submit to testing

Another circumstance that may result in mandatory jail time is refusing to submit to a breath or chemical test. Florida has an implied consent law. This means drivers implicitly agree to submit to BAC testing when operating a motor vehicle. Refusing to comply with this law can lead to an automatic license suspension. It can also lead to other penalties, including jail time.

By understanding the potential penalties and taking proactive steps to address their situation, individuals can work toward mitigating the impact of a DUI arrest and moving forward with their lives.



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