The state of Florida has enacted steep penalties for those who are arrested for a DUI. The punishment becomes more severe whenever a driver has a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, is driving with a minor in the vehicle, or has been previously arrested. Each subsequent arrest results in increased fines and penalties along with restrictions against one's freedom for much longer periods of time.
First Arrest-BAC .14 or lower
A first DUI arrest is considered a misdemeanor and carries a mandatory probation sentence of six to 12 months. A judge may also impose a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days. Other fines and penalties for a first arrest include:
When a first arrest is due to a BAC content that is .15 or higher, or if a minor was present in the vehicle, additional penalties are assessed, including:
Second Offense within Five Years
A second DUI within a five-year period is still considered a misdemeanor; however, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days. Probation is also mandatory at this point and is typically 12 months in duration. Other penalties include:
Third DUI within 10 years
When a driver is arrested for a third DUI within a 10-year period, the offense increases to a felony. This requires a minimum of 30 days in jail, with the maximum being five years. Some of the time may be served in an alcohol- or drug-abuse treatment program, and this is left to the judge's discretion. Other penalties for a third DUI include:
Hiring a DUI Attorney in Orlando
The fines associated with a DUI arrest can be very high. The best way to avoid paying them is to be found "not guilty" in a court of law. For this reason, it can be a smart idea to hire an Orlando DUI lawyer with a successful track record of acquittals. He or she will carefully examine all the evidence to see if charges can be dropped or reduced before attempting to go to trial. The money spent on an attorney could not only reduce the amount of fines, but allow drivers to maintain their freedom as well.