If you’re not prepared, the legal system can chew you up and spit you out–especially if you choose not to adequately defend yourself against the consequences of going through that system. First, make sure you find a qualified DUI lawyer. Even if you’re innocent of the charges against you, don’t think you can make it without a good defense. If you’re prosecuted for the charge of DUI, these are some of the penalties you might incur.
The penalties for DUI become more extreme depending on circumstance. If this is your second offense, then you can expect to be hit even harder. Florida issues tens of thousands of DUI tickets each year, but not all of them go to court. Don’t panic.
For a first conviction you could experience the following penalties:
- A fine between $250 and $500.
- A year or less of probation.
- Six months or less in jail. If you were driving under the influence while a minor was present in the vehicle, then this figure changes to nine months or less.
- Up to fifty hours of community service.
- Up to twelve hours of DUI school.
- Your license may be revoked for at least 180 days.
The figures change substantially with each subsequent charge. If this is your third DUI charge in less than a decade, you’ll experience the following substantial penalties:
- You’ll spend a minimum of thirty days but up to five years in jail.
- Five years or less of probation.
- You’ll pay a fine of no less than $2000 and no more than $5000.
- Your license will be suspended for ten years.
- You’ll face mandatory substance abuse education.
- Your vehicle will be impounded for three months.
If these penalties weren’t enough, you’ll also be paying legal fees and ballooned insurance premiums. It isn’t worth it! Don’t drink and drive. Most lawyers offer free consultations to discuss the circumstances of your arrest, so take advantage in order to find the one for you.