Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious crime in Florida. The state takes DUI charges very seriously and often seeks the maximum penalties in order to punish alleged offenders and make an example of them.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with DUI, it is absolutely critical that you reach out to a criminal defense attorney with experience handling DUI cases. As former state prosecutors, our Orlando DUI defense attorneys know that these cases are prosecuted by top members of the state's legal team. For this reason, we encourage you to contact our firm for counsel right away.
When you are arrested for or charged with DUI in Florida, several things happen. First, you will face criminal penalties, including possible jail time and steep fines. You will also face certain administrative penalties, including automatic driver’s license suspension.
Here are the main things you need to know if you are arrested for DUI in Florida:
- Your driver’s license will automatically be suspended
- A DMV suspension stays on your driving record for 75 years
- You have 10 days to request a DMV hearing to keep your driving privileges
- Your license can be revoked for 6 months to several years up to permanent revocation
You must act quickly after a DUI arrest, as you have very limited time to challenge your driver’s license suspension. We encourage you to reach out to our Orlando DUI defense attorneys now to learn how we can help you fight to keep your driving privileges.
Florida DUI Laws
In Florida, as in all 50 states, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This is known as DUI, and it is punished harshly by law enforcement and prosecutors.
The law applies to all types of motor vehicles, including automobiles, commercial vehicles, boats, and more. Additionally, even if someone is not actually operating a motor vehicle at the time of arrest but is found to have a reasonable capacity to do so, such as sitting in the front seat of a parked vehicle with the car turned off but the keys in the ignition, could be charged with DUI.
In Florida, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of:
- 0.08% – all non-commercial drivers 21 and over
- 0.04% – all commercial vehicle drivers 21 and over
- 0.02% – all drivers under the age of 21
Additionally, you can be charged with DUI if your BAC is below the legal limit, but the police officer believes you to be intoxicated or impaired to the extent that you do not possess normal faculties.
What Are the Penalties for DUI in Florida?
The penalties for DUI in Florida depend on certain factors, such as whether you have been convicted of DUI before, whether there were any children in the vehicle at the time, and whether you allegedly caused an accident that resulted in injury to or the death of another person (vehicular manslaughter).
Below is a general overview of the possible penalties you could face if you are charged with:
- First-Time DUI: Up to 6 months in jail, $500 to $1,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation of 180 days to 1 year, and possible installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to 6 months
- Second-Time DUI: Up to 9 months in jail, $1,000 to $2,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation of 180 days to 1 year, and IID installation for up to 2 years
- Third-Time DUI: Up to 12 months in jail, $2,000 to $5,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation of 180 days to 1 year, and IID installation for up to 2 years
Other possible penalties include probation, community service, vehicle impoundment, and more. A third-time DUI is charged as a felony, and may come with harsher penalties if certain enhancements are present. For example, if you are convicted of a third DUI offense within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction, you could spend up to 5 years in jail and have your driver’s license revoked for 10 years.
If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for on our website, or if you are seeking information specific to your case, do not hesitate to contact Ali & Blankner and set up a free and confidential consultation with one of our Orlando DUI defense attorneys.
What Is the Florida DUI 10-Day Rule?
You have 10 days following an arrest for DUI, or drunk driving, to take action to stop the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. You must request a hearing within 10 days of being arrested for DUI, or your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of six months or more.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) can have life-altering consequences for all involved parties. Even if you were driving alone and caused no injury or property damage, a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs faces serious legal penalties if arrested. This is especially true in Florida, where DUI laws and penalties are some of the toughest in the nation.
It is important that you act quickly and reach out to our team at Ali & Blankner right away. We need to discuss a counterattack, as well as how to defend your driver's license and what happens at a DHMSV hearing. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment with our team.
At the law firm of Ali & Blankner, our attorneys are ALL former prosecutors with more than 85 years of total combined experience. Many of our lawyers have earned AV® Ratings from Martindale-Hubbell®, as well as a listing in the organization’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. We focus a significant portion of our practice on criminal defense cases and have handled thousands of DUI cases just like yours.
Our firm is recognized as one of the area’s leading DUI defense law firms. We have handled well over 100,000 cases, successfully achieving the results our clients needed countless times. Our goal is to not only help you protect your rights and navigate the criminal justice system but also to serve as a source of information, guidance, and counsel throughout the entire process.
Click the link below for more information and access to some of our DUI defense resources:
The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.T.M.
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Case Dismissal. DUI
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While many people think their charges are solidified the moment an officer puts them in the back of a police car, cases are never this simple. There is no denying that everyone makes mistakes, even law enforcement. From incorrectly handling test results to failing to read your rights, these mistakes can lead to evidence being suppressed in your case, ultimately strengthening your defense while weakening the prosecution's case against you.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may be able to challenge:
- The Initial Stop: When an officer doesn't have probable cause to pull a driver over, the evidence obtained following the stop may be thrown out.
- Field Sobriety Tests: These tests are extremely subjective and can be proven to be insufficient evidence on their own for DUI charges.
- Chemical Tests: Incorrect calibration, failure to administer tests correctly or at the right time, and mishandled results can all nullify this evidence.
- Actual Blood Alcohol: Sometimes a person's blood alcohol can rise over a short duration, giving a false indication of an illegal BAC, even though they were legal when driving.
- Police Conduct: If the arresting officer acted improperly in any way or violated your rights somehow, any evidence obtained in the wake of this may be inadmissible.
At Ali & Blankner, we develop individualized approaches and innovative defense strategies. Our team can evaluate the evidence and look for possible holes in the prosecution’s case. We strongly recommend that you get in touch with our firm today to discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced Orlando DUI defense attorney.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss what can be done in your or your loved one's case. In addition, we offer flexible payment plans and will work with you and your financial status.