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An Overview of Florida DUI Laws

Posted by Fred Koberlein, Jr. | Dec 09, 2015 | 0 Comments

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Drunk driving is a serious crime, regardless of the state in which it is committed. Each state has its own criminal penalties for dealing with DUI, and Florida is no different. Drivers who take the wheel under the influence of alcohol in this state face severe penalties from fines and loss of license to jail time. Here is an overview of Florida DUI laws and the penalties you may face if convicted.

Basics of Florida DUI Laws

DUI law in Florida covers alcohol or any other controlled or chemical substance, regardless of how the offense is proven. If the driver's faculties are found to be impaired or the breath or blood alcohol content level (BAL) is found to be at or above .08, the driver can be arrested and charged with drunken driving.

Fines

The fines applicable to DUI convictions depend on how many times in the past you have been found guilty. For the first offense, fines range from $500 to $2,000. For second offenses, fines range from $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the BAL at the time of the offense. For a third conviction that occurs within ten years from the second, fines range from $2,000 to $5,000. For each subsequent offense, fines are at least $2,000.

Certain other factors can result in higher fines. For example, if the BAL at the time of offense is higher than .15, the fines will be significantly higher. Having a minor in the vehicle will also result in increased fines.

Community Service, Probation and Loss of License

First-time offenders will be subjected to a mandatory term of 50 hours community service or a fine of $10 per hour of community service. Probation for a maximum of 1 year may also be imposed.

Depending on whether this is your first conviction or other factors are involved, your driver's license can be suspended or revoked for anywhere from 180 days to permanent revocation.

Imprisonment

Jail time for a first offender will not exceed 6 months unless BAL is over .15, in which case it can go up to 9 months. For the second conviction, prison can be from 9-12 months depending on BAL. Third offenses can be up to 12 months. Subsequent offenses can see imprisonment for up to 5 years' time. Again, the exact length depends on factors such as how high the driver's BAL is.

Misdemeanor Charges

Drunken drivers who cause injury or damage to people or property may be charged and convicted with a first degree Misdemeanor, carrying a $1,000 fine and up to 12 months' imprisonment.

Manslaughter

Accidents that result in the death of another can result in charges of manslaughter or vehicular homicide. These are second degree felonies that not only carry up to 30 years' imprisonment but will stay with you for the rest of your life.

These are just some of the penalties you may face under Florida DUI laws for drunken driving. If you are charged with this offense, never try to defend yourself. Having anexperienced Florida DUI attorney at your side can result in great reduction and even dismissal of penalties. For more information, give us a call for a free consultation today or email us through our contact page.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein, Jr.

Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law.  After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender's Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire.  Mr.  Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr.  Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006.  Mr. Koberlein's experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City's interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests.  Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area.  As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr.  Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available.  Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved.  If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr.  Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case.  Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments.  Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.

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