DWI and DUI Crimes & Penalties in Tallahassee

Florida DUI Crimes & Penalties

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that comes with severe fines and penalties. In the State of Florida, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) measures 0.08% or higher it is illegal to drive a car regardless of whether or not you are actually impaired.

Additionally, if you are operating a car or are in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another substance which impairs your normal faculties, you will be charged with DUI/DWI. Even if you have a valid medical prescription from your doctor, you can still face charges if the prescribed medication impairs your ability to drive your car safely.

Administrative Sanctions and Criminal Penalties

In the State of Florida, if you are charged with a DUI you will be subject to both administrative proceedings and criminal proceedings. These proceedings are independent of one another meaning you will face both administrative sanctions and criminal penalties.

Florida DHSMV Administrative Sanctions

When you are cited for a DUI, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will take action to suspend your driver’s license. The DHSMV has the authority to impose the following administrative sanctions:

  • First DUI Offense: Suspension of your license for six months
  • Second DUI Offense: Suspension of your license for one year
  • First Refusal to Submit to Testing: Suspension of your license for one year
  • Second Refusal to Submit to Testing: Suspension of your license for 18 months
  • Third Refusal to Submit to Testing: Suspension of your license for 18 months

It is important to note that you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to challenge your license suspension. This means you will need to contact an attorney immediately. My law firm has extensive experience helping individuals keep their licenses after they have been arrested for driving under the influence. I will thoroughly review your case and explain all options that may be available to you under Florida law.

Criminal Penalties

DUI offenders in Florida also face harsh criminal penalties that are independent from the administrative suspension of the driver’s license. The specific fines and the amount of jail time imposed will depend on whether you are a first time or multiple DUI offender, your BAC level, and whether you were involved in an accident that killed or injured someone or caused property damage.

Florida DUI Fines

  • First Conviction: Fine of $500-$1,000. If your BAC is 0.15% or more or a minor was in the vehicle, $1,000-$2,000.
  • Second Conviction: Fine of $1,000-$2,000. If your BAC is 0.15% or more or a minor was in the vehicle, $2,000-$4,000.
  • Third Conviction: Fine $2,000-$5,000. If your BAC is .15% or more or a minor was in the vehicle, not less than $4,000.

Florida DUI Jail Time:

  • First Conviction: Up to six months in jail or up to 9 months if your BAC is 0.15 % or higher, or a minor was in the vehicle.
  • Second Conviction: Up to nine months in jail or up to 12 months if your BAC is .15% or higher, or a minor was in the vehicle.
  • Third Conviction: Up to 12 months in jail or if your third DUI is within 10 years, up to five years (this is a felony conviction).
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Up to five years in jail (this is a felony conviction).

If you are involved in a drunk driving accident and a death occurs, this is considered DUI Manslaughter in Florida. DUI Manslaughter is a second degree felony, punishable up to 15 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, if you cause property damage or injure another person, your DUI will be a first degree misdemeanor in Florida and you can face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Contact a Tallahassee Drunk Driving Attorney

When you have been involved in a DUI incident in Tallahassee or Panama City, Florida you need to contact a lawyer immediately. Gus Soto holds membership in both the National College for DUI Defense and the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, he will take all steps possible to protect your rights and help you fight your DUI charges. Learn more by visiting the pages below or by contacting Attorney Gus Soto at 888-440-7686.