Out-of-pocket costs. Embarrassment. Damage to reputation. Loss of freedom. Loss of job. These are some of the consequences of driving under the influence (DUI) arrest and conviction.
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Northeast Florida, you’ll want to know what you’re facing in the weeks, months and even years to come. A drunk driving arrest is a serious matter that should never be taken lightly. That’s why it’s important to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. You will need someone you can trust who can help minimize the impact of your arrest. A Florida DUI attorney can help you.
What happens if I’m pulled over on suspicion of DUI?
Under Florida law, you can be convicted of drunk driving if it’s proven that you have a blood alcohol level that is at least .08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Police can also test your breath alcohol level to determine if it’s more than .08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
If a police officer suspects you of drunk driving and places you under arrest, you will first be placed in a police cruiser. The officer then will take you to the nearest police station or jail, according to Very Well Mind. At the station, the police will take your mugshot and fingerprint you.
You will have to appear in court to face your charges. If you enter a not guilty plea and decide to fight the charges, it’s likely that the prosecutor will show a video of you failing the field sobriety test (if you took one – we'll mention here that you legally can and should refuse field sobriety tests). Such videos are either made using a police dashboard camera or in the jail where the DUI suspect was booked.
What happens if I’m convicted of DUI?
A drunk driving conviction – even if it’s your first time – can result in a loss of your driver’s license for some period of time. For a first offense without injuries to others, you will lose your license for a minimum of 180 days, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You may be eligible for a hardship license to get to work or school but it’s not automatic.
Here are other potential impacts of a DUI conviction:
- Fines: At least $500.
- Imprisonment: For first conviction, up to six months imprisonment at the court’s discretion.
- Probation terms: It’s likely you will have to follow probation terms even if you are not given any jail time.
- Alcohol education programs: The court may include a residential alcoholism treatment program and enrollment in a DUI school.
- Alcohol evaluation: Your alcohol consumption will be evaluated to determine if you have a drinking problem.
- Increase in auto insurance rates: Insurance companies consider you a heightened risk to others after a DUI conviction, which means your rates will increase.
- Mandatory ignition interlock device: Individuals with a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .15 or higher must install an ignition interlock device.
How a defense attorney can help
Make no mistake about it: a DUI conviction can turn your life upside-down. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Aguilar & Sieron, P.A., we understand the consequences of a drunk driving arrest. We are committed to fighting for the rights of clients who have been charged with a DUI in Florida. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.