Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs is a serious crime in Florida. No traffic stop should be taken lightly, even if for a routine traffic violation. There are many factors that can lead a law enforcement officer to suspect DUI, even if no impairment actually exists. Unfortunately, DUI suspicions often lead to an arrest. If you have been charged with DUI in Florida, it is imperative that you retain the services of an experienced Florida DUI defense attorney. An aggressive defense is what is needed to avoid the penalties which come with a first DUI conviction. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), penalties may include:
- Fines – A first conviction carries a fine of at least $500, but no more than $1,000, unless the driver's breath or blood alcohol level (BAL) registered at.15 or greater or there is a person under the age of 18 in the vehicle, in which case the minimum fine is $1,000 and the maximum is $2,000.
- Imprisonment – A first conviction may carry a maximum six months of imprisonment. If the driver's BAL registered at .15 or greater or there is a person under the age of 18 in the vehicle, the maximum sentence increases to nine months. If there is damage to property or person the maximum sentence is a year in jail.
- Community Service – A first-time conviction requires that the offender complete 50 hours of community service or pay ten dollars for each hour of required community service.
The above penalties become much harsher for second and subsequent offenses. Additional penalties for a first offense include: mandatory probation, mandatory vehicle impoundment, completion of an alcohol/drug treatment program, mandatory suspension or revocation of driving privilege, and/or installation of an ignition interlock device. Additionally, the completion of a DUI School, which includes a substance abuse evaluation is also mandatory.
These penalties can have severe consequences for a person's personal and professional life. If you are facing DUI charges in Florida, the aggressive Florida DUI defense lawyers at Musca Law can build an effective defense against unnecessary penalties and/or unjust prosecution on your behalf. Contact us today to discuss your case at (888) 484-5057.