DUI as offense, DUI penalties
DUI charges are a criminal offense in Florida. This means that if you are convicted of the crime of DUI and plead guilty, you will be sentenced as a criminal defendant. Hiring a lawyer is highly recommended since there are many legal and technical arguments you need to understand, and sometimes the lawyer has subpoena witnesses and take other steps to strengthen your defense. Peter M. Dennis Law offers free initial consultations and 24/7 availability.
Is DUI a felony in Florida?
In Florida, first and second offenses are usually misdemeanors except in cases of property damage or personal injury. Third offense can be filed as a felony, especially if it occurs within ten years. Fourth offense is always a felony.
It is typical that DUI misdemeanor sentences include fines, probation, suspension of the driver’s license, car impoundment and DUI-related treatment.
What penalties am I facing regarding my driver’s license? How long is my license suspended?
When you get arrested, your license is immediately taken by the police officer and suspended. You may have a citation to drive on but that is only good for ten days. To extend your ability to drive and to get a temporary permit, you need to file for an administrative review hearing.
If you don’t apply for the hearing within ten days, you are not allowed to question the suspension of your driver’s license. You’ll automatically get a six-month suspension if you blew over a 0.08, and a 12–18 months of suspension if you refused to provide a breath sample.
What penalties am I facing in the criminal court?
In criminal court, you will be facing up to one year in jail for a DUI conviction. You could be facing more time depending on the charges and the nature of the facts in your case.
The criminal court penalties are listed in the chart below.
Are there any other penalties for DUI?
Courts in the Fort Myers area also often sentence people convicted of a DUI to Probation or order the use of an Ignition Interlock Device.
How does DUI affect car insurance?
In Florida, the insurance companies can cancel your contract if you are convicted of DUI. Your existing car insurance can be entirely canceled or you might need to buy a high-risk insurance that is more expensive.
The fee increases of $2,000 per year can be expected if you are convicted as a DUI driver. For those who have a significant past history of traffic offenses, costs can be much higher.