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Is a DUI a Felony in Florida?

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Felony DUI

Florida treats DUIs harshly to protect innocent citizens on the roadways of the Sunshine State. While the level of conviction depends on your charges, any DUI arrest should be taken seriously. Many DUI charges are considered felonies, especially if you are convicted of a subsequent DUI or if your actions resulted in the death of another individual. Even if your charges result in a misdemeanor DUI, you could lose your driver’s license and end up with a criminal record that haunts you for years.

However, there is still hope. You can fight your charges and even get a hardship license to keep driving after being arrested for DUI. With our legal team on your side, you can ensure your rights are protected and that you are not unfairly convicted. We offer a free, confidential consultation so you can discuss the details of your case free of charge. Call now to schedule your initial consultation with our skilled team of DUI attorneys at 863-662-9602.

What Are DUI Laws in Florida?

DUI laws in Florida are strict, and these charges can be difficult to beat. It is important to understand the laws you are up against so you can work with your attorney to develop an adequate defense. Some important aspects of Florida DUI laws include BAC requirements, your rights during the traffic stop, and how DUI laws affect minors.

BAC Level Requirements

In Florida, drivers are not permitted to exceed 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. When law enforcement officials pull you over for suspected DUI, they may give you a breathalyzer, chemical, or urine test to determine your BAC. While you cannot be forced to take the test, you may face legal repercussions if you refuse, such as automatic license suspension.

Traffic Stop Laws

Individuals who are pulled over in Florida have certain rights. Police officers must have reasonable cause to suspect you are driving under the influence. This may include observing your body language and condition during a routine stop. You can still be arrested for DUI even if you were not driving recklessly. However, you still have constitutional rights that must be respected, including the right to remain silent and to know the precise reason for your arrest.

Laws for Minors

Minors in Florida are under stricter laws than adults. A minor may not operate a vehicle, including a watercraft vessel, with more than 0.02% BAC. Minors with between 0.02% and 0.08% BAC will have less severe consequences than those arrested for driving with more than 0.08% BAC, but could still face reprimands from their high school or university.

What Penalties Could I Face for a DUI Conviction?

A DUI conviction can mean different things depending on the details of your case, such as whether this is your first or subsequent DUI. Additional aggravating factors, such as causing physical or property damage, can increase your penalties. Any DUI can result in the loss of your driver’s license and vehicle impoundment. You may also be subject to mandatory DUI school and the use of an ignition interlock device.

In general, DUI penalties in Florida include the following:

  • First DUI – fines between $500-$1,000 and up to six months in jail
  • Second DUI – fines of up to $2,000 and up to nine months in jail
  • Third DUI – fines between $2,000 and $5,000 and a jail sentence of up to 12 months
  • Fourth and subsequent DUI – felony charges and fines of at least $2,000 with no maximum, over five years in jail, and indefinite license suspension
  • DUI manslaughter – felony charges with fines of over $10,000 and four years in prison

Facing such stiff penalties can be frightening, but you can still have hope of getting your charges lowered or your case dismissed when you hire skilled DUI attorneys like those at our law firm.

How Can I Fight My DUI Charges?

It is possible to fight DUI charges in Florida, although the stigma against drunk drivers makes doing so difficult. Hiring the right lawyer is essential when facing any DUI charge, and most especially when you are a repeat offender or have caused serious bodily injury to someone due to driving under the influence. Your lawyer can help you know how and when to exercise your right to remain silent during the investigation to prevent accidentally incriminating yourself. They can also investigate to provide evidence that you do not deserve the maximum sentencing.

Your attorney can work with you to develop a defense that protects your rights and get you positive results in your case. Some examples of defenses in drunk driving cases include mistaken identity, illegal traffic stop, and inaccurate breathalyzer results. Your lawyer can also help you enroll in diversion programs to lessen your sentence, such as community service and drug or alcohol addiction programs. Our skilled legal team can even help you keep your license or apply for a hardship license.

Should You Hire DUI Attorneys?

Being arrested for DUI is extremely serious, and you should get immediate legal help from a trusted professional, such as those at our law firm. We have over three decades of experience helping clients defeat their DUI charges, giving us the knowledge and insight to get your case lowered or dismissed.

DUI charges can be devastating for the individual and their family. You could lose your driver’s license, making getting to work or school impossible. Having a DUI on your record can drive up your insurance rates and make it difficult to get a job. Don’t take any risks with so much on the line! Call our compassionate, capable legal team today to discuss your case with us in a free initial case review.

Our attorneys understand Florida law and are committed to getting positive results for our clients. Don’t hire inexperienced attorneys when it comes to your DUI charges. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at 863-622-9602.

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