In Florida, even a first-time conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may have a huge impact on your life and your livelihood.
In addition to potential loss of your driving privileges, you may face steep fines, probation and other criminal penalties. With subsequent convictions, those penalties can quickly become much more severe.
If you receive a first-time DUI conviction, the court may impose a mandatory fine and revoke your driver’s license for a certain minimum period. You may also face several months’ imprisonment or impoundment of your vehicle.
If your blood alcohol level was above a certain amount or a minor was in the vehicle at the time of arrest, the court may increase penalties and require you to install an ignition interlock device in order to apply for license reinstatement.
Penalties for subsequent convictions
Florida law handles second, third and subsequent DUI convictions with increasingly higher fines, longer periods of license revocation and, in some cases, mandatory imprisonment. If your charge involved property damage or injury to others, you may also face a misdemeanor or felony conviction under state law.
Options for handling DUI/DWI charges
A DUI or DWI conviction may also leave a lasting mark on your record that could impact your job prospects, educational opportunities and housing options for years to come. That is especially true in Florida, where the court often treats repeat DUIs aggressively.
If you are facing charges, you should know that a strong legal defense may help you to see charges reduced, dropped or even dismissed.