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Florida DUI Penalties

An Experienced DUI Lawyer Explains The Consequences

The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida can be very severe. From fines to jail time and suspended drivers' licenses, people charged with DUI face serious consequences if they're convicted.

That's why it's critical that you call us as soon as possible after your DUI charge. Attorney Mark Sieron and his talented legal team at Aguilar & Sieron have decades of experience handling these complex legal cases.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, you need to take your case seriously right from the start. Otherwise, you could miss critical deadlines for appealing your DUI conviction or obtaining a restricted driver's license, also sometimes called a hardship license.

Different DUI Penalties

Florida's DUI penalties vary mainly according to whether the person charged with drunk driving has been previously convicted of DUI- and, if so, how long it has been since the last conviction. (These penalties apply to adults who are considered impaired if driving with a BAL of 0.08 or above. The legal limit for drivers under 21 is 0.02 percent, and 0.04 percent for adults with a Commercial Drivers' License.) You can find more information about specific offenses listed below:

You can also learn more about ignition interlock devices on this page. And even if you find all the answers to your questions here, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment right away with our law firm.

Why You Need Us

Even if you believe you did nothing wrong, don't simply assume you can easily have your DUI charge dismissed. In most cases, you will need to go to court and appear before a judge. Court proceedings involving DUI charges can be very complex. And if you don't have someone who fully understands the law on your side, you might not be able to get your charges dismissed.

Our experienced legal team can work with you every step of the way, from your arrest to your appeal. As your attorney, Mark Sieron can take the following steps in your defense, including:

  • Meet with you at the police station, if necessary
  • Find out from you exactly what happened
  • Carefully analyze your arrest report for inconsistencies
  • Help you apply for a restricted driver's license (if your license is revoked)
  • Contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license
  • Interview all critical witnesses in your case
  • File motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the charges
  • Consult with experts in their field
  • Negotiate a non-criminal plea deal on your behalf
  • Appear for you in court
  • Take your case to trial, if necessary

You have too much at stake to defend yourself alone. Make sure you take your case seriously right from the start. Contact us to make an appointment at our law firm today. We would be honored to serve you and defend your rights.

First DUI Offense

Even if you have never been convicted of DUI in Florida before, the consequences can be very serious for your 1st DUI offense. Penalties for your 1st DUI conviction in Florida, which is a misdemeanor, include:

Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) of 0.08 percent or above

  • Driver's license suspended for 180 days to 1 year
  • $500 to $1,000 fine
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Ignition interlock device may be installed
  • 10-day vehicle impoundment

BAL of 0.15 percent or above

  • Driver's license suspended for 180 days to 1 year
  • $1,000 to $2,000 fine
  • Up to 9 months in jail
  • Ignition interlock device installed for 6-12 months

All of these penalties can be much more severe if someone was killed in a drunk driving accident. In those instances, the driver could be charged with DUI manslaughter, which is a felony DUI.

Knowing what to do if you have been charged with DUI for the first time can be overwhelming. As your attorney, we can work with you to get your charges dismissed or negotiate a non-criminal plea deal.

As a first-time offender, we may also be able to help you obtain a hardship driver's license, which allows you to drive to work and school, even if your driver's license was suspended. That's why it's critical that you contact Aguilar & Sieron right away. We're here to help!

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Second DUI Offense

A 2nd DUI conviction within 5 years of your 1st DUI can have very serious consequences in Florida. Penalties for the 2nd DUI charge (misdemeanor) can include:

Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) of 0.08 percent or above

  • Driver's license suspended for 5 years
  • $1,000 to $2,000 fine
  • Up to 9 months in jail, 10 days mandatory
  • Ignition interlock device installed minimum of 1 year
  • 30-day vehicle impoundment

BAL of 0.15 percent or above

  • Driver's license suspended for 5 years
  • $2,000 to $4,000 fine
  • Up to 12 months in jail, 10 days mandatory
  • Ignition interlock device installed minimum of 2 years
  • 30-day vehicle impoundment

You may be eligible for a hardship driver's license (which allows you to drive to work and school) after 1 year. But there's no guarantee you will automatically obtain a restricted driver's license after your 2nd DUI conviction. As your attorney, we can help you explore all your legal options in a timely, effective manner.

Often, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action after your DUI arrest. That's why it's important to schedule an appointment with our law firm hours or days after your arrest. If you wait, you might miss critical deadlines for obtaining a temporary driver's license or having your charges dismissed altogether.

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Third DUI Offense

A 3rd DUI conviction within 10 years of your 2nd DUI in Florida could result in some very serious penalties. These penalties can include:

Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) of 0.08 percent or above

  • Driver's license suspended for 10 years
  • $2,000 to $5,000 fine
  • Up to 5 years in jail, 30 days mandatory
  • Ignition interlock device installed minimum of 2 years
  • 90-day vehicle impoundment

BAL of 0.15 percent or above

  • Driver's license suspended for 10 years
  • $4,000 to $5,000 fine
  • Up to 10 years in jail, 30 days mandatory
  • Ignition interlock device installed minimum of 2 years
  • 90-day vehicle impoundment

After 2 years, drivers convicted of DUI for the 3rd time may be able to obtain a hardship driver's license, which allows people to drive to school and work. But don't automatically assume you will get your driver's license back after 2 years. You will likely need to go to court and demonstrate to the judge that you have made a serious effort to turn your life around.

As your attorney, we can work with you every step of the way after your 3rd DUI arrest. We can examine whether the arresting police officer followed Florida's rules and regulations involving a DUI arrest, including:

  • Did the officer correctly administer a breathalyzer test?
  • Did the police officer have probable cause for stopping your vehicle?
  • Were the test samples from your breath, blood or urine test stored properly?
  • Were you made aware of your rights upon being arrested?

We can carefully analyze your arrest report and look for any possible discrepancies that can help lead us to a positive outcome. Attorney Mark Sieron previously worked as a prosecutor before embarking on a successful career in private practice more than three decades ago. We're prepared to do whatever it takes to vigorously defend your rights in such a serious case. Contact us to learn more.

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Fourth DUI Offense

Among the most serious DUI cases we handle, a 4th DUI conviction at any point during your lifetime in Florida can have very serious consequences. These penalties can include:

Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) of 0.08 percent or above

  • Driver's license permanently revoked
  • $2,500 fine
  • Up to 5 years in jail or prison
  • 2 years ignition interlock
  • 90-day vehicle impoundment

You cannot apply for a hardship driver's license at any point if you have been convicted of a 4th DUI offense in your lifetime. That's why it's so important to contact our law firm as soon as possible. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Attorney Mark Sieron can vigorously defend your rights and examine every legal aspect of your case. Whether it's examining if the arresting police officer followed all the rules when administering a DUI test to whether law enforcement officials properly stored your DUI test results, we'll leave no stone unturned in pursuit of justice on your behalf.

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Penalties for Higher BAL

You can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida if your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is 0.08 percent or higher in most cases. The threshold is lower if you're a commercial truck driver (0.04 percent) or under 21 years old (0.02 percent).

But what some people might not realize is the penalties can be significantly steeper if your BAL is 0.15 percent or higher, under Florida law. The penalties are the same for both in terms of having your driver's license suspended. But the minimum fines and maximum jail time are different. These penalties include:

1st DUI Conviction with BAL of 0.15 percent or above

  • $1,000 to $2,000 fine
  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Ignition Interlock Device installed for 6 months minimum

2nd DUI Conviction with BAL of 0.15 percent or above

  • $2,000 to $4,000 fine
  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Ignition Interlock Device installed for 2 years

3rd DUI Conviction with BAL of 0.15 percent or above

  • $4,000 fine
  • Ignition Interlock Device installed for 2 years minimum
  • Same amount of prison time - at least 30 days in jail, up to 10 years in prison

You have too much at stake to try to tackle your case on your own. That's why it's critical that you contact our law firm and schedule an appointment with attorney Mark Sieron. A former prosecutor, attorney Sieron knows how the legal system works and knows how to get results. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Ignition Interlock Device

If you are convicted of DUI in Florida, the judge will likely order you to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). This device prevents people from starting their vehicle if they have too much alcohol on their breath. Before starting the vehicle, the driver must breathe into the IID. If the driver's Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is too high, the vehicle will not start.

How long you are required to have an IID installed in your vehicle varies depending on whether you have been convicted of DUI in the past. For example:

  • 1st DUI Conviction - IID installed for 6 months if BAL of 0.15 percent or above.
  • 2nd DUI Conviction - IID installed for 1 year.
    • If BAL of 0.15 percent or above, IID installed for 2 years.
  • 3rd DUI Conviction - IID installed for 2 years.

In most cases, the IID is set to prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver's BAL is 0.05 percent or higher. At that level, all it would take to set off the device would be three 12-ounce beers for a 180-pound man.

And even while you're driving, you might have to pull over and breathe into the IID. That's because many IIDs have been programmed to ask drivers to give test samples within 3 minutes at random intervals.

Then there's the cost of an IID. In most cases, you will be responsible for paying for:

  • Installation of the device
  • A monthly monitoring fee
  • Additional insurance premiums

Over the course of 6 months or several years, these expenses can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. That's why it's critical that you contact our law firm immediately if you have been charged with DUI in Florida. Otherwise, you might be required to install an expensive, annoying Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle.

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