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Penalties For Driving Under The Influence In Florida

Attention: If you have been charged with drunk driving in Florida, the Department of Motor Vehicles may be in the process of taking away your driver’s license right now.

When you are arrested for DUI in Florida, there are really two separate cases being prosecuted against you:

1. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can administratively suspend your Florida driver’s license. If you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DUI, or if the results of your breath test were .08 or above, your license will be automatically suspended unless a written demand for an administrative hearing is filed within 10 days after arrest.

2. The criminal charge of DUI can result in criminal penalties, including jail, fines, probation, and an ignition interlock device being installed in your car, DUI classes, community service, impounding your car, as well as a court-ordered suspension of your Florida driver’s license or a combination of these conditions, depending upon the facts of your case.

Our Tampa attorneys will defend you in both cases: your driver’s license suspension hearing and the criminal DUI charges.

Summary Of Florida DUI Minimum Penalties Required By Statute

  • First refusal: A first refusal to submit to breath, blood or urine test will result in a license suspension of one year.
  • Second refusal: If a person refuses a breath, blood or urine test after his or her driver’s license has been previously suspended for a prior refusal, then the second refusal will result in a license suspension of 18 months. Additionally, the person can be charged with a separate misdemeanor offense for that refusal, which is punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • Impound: May not be concurrent with probation or jail. Impound on rentals or leases does not extend beyond the lease or rental agreement.
  • Additionally: Level I or II DUI school must be completed as a condition of probation. A first DUI conviction requires 50 hours of community service.

The lawyers of Escobar, Michaels & Associates defend Florida residents, people who are vacationing in the Tampa Bay area, and who are attending college or visiting on spring break.

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