Facing any kind of criminal charge in Florida can be frightening, especially when it is something as serious as a DUI. Driving under the influence can be dangerous for both the driver and other people on the road. Therefore, the state of Florida has strict laws in place to discourage individuals from driving while intoxicated. The severity of the penalties given will depend on the kind of charge the defendant is facing. They are also determined by how many previous DUI charges are on their record.
There are several things you might need to know about Florida’s DUI laws. These include the penalties an individual may receive if they are convicted.
The state of Florida defines “being under the influence” as when an individual is impaired enough that their normal capabilities, such as their reaction time or judgment, are negatively impacted. Florida law states that an individual may be charged with a DUI if they are found to be driving or physically controlling a vehicle while they:
If you are pulled over while showing no signs of impairment, but are still found to have a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you may still be arrested and charged with what is known as a “per se DUI.” A per se DUI does not require the same burden of proof as the average DUI charge. Instead, it focuses on the fact that an individual’s BAC was over the legal driving limit.
The consequences for a DUI conviction in Florida become more severe as you accumulate more charges within a 10-year period. A judge will make the ultimate decision on the consequences that you face. They will base it on a variety of factors, such as:
The average penalties for DUI convictions in Florida are as follows:
If they are not aggravated, the initial DUI charges an individual will face are usually still classified as misdemeanors. However, there are some cases where an individual may be charged with a felony DUI. These instances include:
A: If a driver is pulled over for the suspicion of being under the influence, the implied consent law requires them to consent to blood, urine, or chemical tests. This allows law enforcement officers to calculate the amount of drugs or alcohol that were in their system. If a driver does not consent to these tests, they will immediately face a license revocation for at least one year.
A: An Ignition Interlock Device, otherwise known as an IID, is a hand-held machine that is installed inside a vehicle. It measures the breath of the driver before they can start the car. The user must blow into the mouthpiece for a certain period, wait for it to calibrate, and can then begin operating their vehicle once they pass. Individuals with one or more prior DUI convictions will most likely have to have an IID installed. This is intended to prevent potential DUIs in the future.
A: Florida has very strict laws regarding how DUIs are placed on criminal records. Unlike other states that only require a DUI charge to stay on an individual’s record for 10 years, the state of Florida will keep any DUI conviction on your record for 75 years. Essentially, this means that it will stay for the entirety of your life. Florida also does not allow DUI convictions to be expunged from an individual’s record.
A: No matter the severity of your charge, it is always important to find an experienced West Palm Beach, FL DUI Attorney who can represent you in court. The penalties for a potential DUI conviction are quite severe. Working with a skilled attorney can give you a stronger chance of beating your charge. Additionally, an attorney can help you navigate the legal proceedings you will be involved with. They can also build a compelling case to defend you against your charges.
DUI charges in Florida are a serious offense. At the Law Offices of Nellie L. King, our team has extensive experience working in the field of criminal defense. We have helped countless clients find resolutions to their cases. We understand how overwhelming and stressful situations like these can become. That is why we are committed to offering criminal defense services that our clients can count on. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge in southern Florida, do not wait to reach out to our team at the Law Offices of Nellie L. King today.