Reliable Representation When You’re Facing DUI Charges
Learn more about the DUI laws in Florida
The Jacksonville defense attorneys at Shafer Law, P.A. have the experience, professionalism, and aggressive litigation style to competently represent you if you face a DUI charge in Florida. We understand the seriousness of a DUI charge and are fluent in the Florida laws that govern DUI.
Understanding what makes you guilty of a DUI
You can be found guilty of a DUI in Florida if you are in actual, physical control (even if parked) of a vehicle (even a bicycle) in the state of Florida (even on private property) while under the influence of any substance (alcohol, medication, drugs, etc.), to the extent that your normal faculties are slightly impaired. DUI is a criminal offense that is proven by demonstrated impairment of normal faculties, or unlawful blood alcohol content (BAC) of.08 or above. The legal limit for drivers under 21 is 0.02 percent; 0.04 percent for adults with a Commercial Driver License (CDL).
The punishments for DUI in Florida are serious
If you’re convicted of a DUI, your punishment may vary based on your prior record and on the facts of your arrest. The Florida Statutes assign penalties for DUI offenses as follows:
- First DUI conviction — Under § 316.193(2)(a) a person convicted of a first-time DUI can be sentenced to a maximum jail term of six months, and fined between $500 and $1,000. The fine is set between $1,000 and $2,000 if the defendant’s BAC was.15 or higher, or if the driver had a minor in the vehicle. The court can order probation of up to one year. There is also a mandatory imposition of 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 per hour of community service required. A driver license is revoked for a period of 180 days to one year.
- Second DUI conviction— FS § 316.193(3) increases the maximum jail sentence to nine months for a standard DUI and 12 months if the driver BAC was.15 or higher, or if a minor was in the vehicle at the time. The fines are set between $1,000 and $2,000, but if the driver’s BAC was.15 or higher, or a minor was in the vehicle, the fines run between $2,000 and $4,000. The license revocation can run up to five years.
- Third DUI conviction — FS § 316.193(3)(b) sets out different punishment depending on the time frame for the three convictions. If the third conviction occurs within 10 years of the first, the crime is a third-degree felony, which allows for imprisonment of up to five years. The court also orders the installation of an ignition interlock device on the driver car for a period of two years. If the conviction occurs more than 10 years after the first conviction, the sentence can run as long as 12 months, along with a fine of $2,000 to $5,000. The fine cannot be less than $4,000 if the driver’s BAC was.15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle. The driver license revocation can last up to 10 years.
- Fourth or subsequent DUI conviction — Under FS § 316.193, a fourth or subsequent conviction for DUI is a third-degree felony, and calls for a maximum prison sentence of five years. The fine is not less than $2,000. There is also a mandatory permanent revocation of the driver license.
These penalties are severe, but as you can see, the law gives the court great discretion within the range of potential penalties. So, even if the facts are against you, an experienced and determined criminal defense attorney can help minimize the consequences of your arrest.
Contact our firm for more information about the specific penalties for DUI convictions
The attorneys at Shafer Law, P.A. in Jacksonville are capable of protecting your legal rights and building a solid defense for your DUI charge. Call us to schedule your initial appointment at 904-450-5872 or contact us online. We serve clients in Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns counties, and our office is conveniently located on North Pearl Street, just blocks from the Duval County Courthouse Annex and Central Station on West Bay Street.