Know the Difference: 3 Types of DUI Charges in Florida

You’ve spent the night out having a good time with friends, and you’ve only had a couple of beers, so what’s the harm in making the quick 10-minute drive to your house? You grab your keys and head home, you think you’ll be there in no time, but that all ends when suddenly red and blue flashing lights appear in your rearview mirror. You’ve been pulled over.

Driving under the influence is a serious crime. Not only are you putting your life at risk by getting behind the wheel while impaired, but you are also putting everyone around you at risk as well. Even the consumption of two drinks can impair your judgment and affect your ability to multitask, which is critical when it comes to safely operating a vehicle.

Before you get behind the wheel, make sure you understand the different types of DUI charges, as well as their serious consequences.

First-Time DUI Though it may be an offender’s first DUI offense, the consequences can still be very serious. They face $1,000 in fines, six months of jail time, possibly losing their license for six months and mandatory community service. First-time offenders may have the chance to receive a hardship license. This allows them to drive to and from work, school, church and medical appointments, but they typically will not be granted this license until they have completed a 30-90 day suspension.

For individuals who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, a judge may mandate that an ignition interlock device (IID) be placed on their vehicle for six months or longer. An IID will be placed on the vehicles of offenders who had a BAC of .15 or higher or if they had a passenger under the age of 18 in the car.

Multiple DUI Offenders with multiple DUI charges face even more serious consequences in the state of Florida. Punishments including hefty fines up to $5,000 in some cases, the placement of an IID on the vehicle and vehicle impoundment are just some of the penalties that offenders may face.

In addition, the offender will face much more serious jail time. If it is their second DUI, the offender faces up to nine months in jail; one year if the BAC is .15% or higher; one year with a passenger under 18 years of age; one year if there was property damage; and five years in prison if there is a resulting bodily injury.

Felony DUI In the state of Florida, a third or subsequent DUI within 10 years, a fourth or subsequent DUI or a DUI that results in serious injury or death to another individual is classified as a felony. Depending on the details of each case, offenders face serious penalties.

If an offender is convicted of a felony DUI, offenders face up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. After a fourth DUI conviction, the offender’s license will be permanently revoked.

If you’re facing criminal charges associated with drinking and driving, contact the Law Office of Joseph Cerino today.

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The law office of Joseph Cerino handles all matters of litigation, concentrating in family law including divorce, custody, child support, paternity, alimony, property division and domestic violence, as well as, criminal defense and appeals in Southwest Florida.

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