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Gainesville DUI Lawyers

DUI Charges in FL

Under Florida law, DUI (driving under the influence) is defined as driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while one’s normal faculties are impaired or driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties for DUI can include jail time, suspension of your driver’s license, expensive fines, probation, court costs, community service, mandatory classes, and counseling sessions. A DUI conviction can also adversely affect your future prospects for school and employment making it imperative that a Florida DUI lawyer is consulted as soon as possible.

At the Law Offices of Edwards & Jones, our Gainesville DUI lawyers have defended innumerable people facing DUI charges in Florida. We can represent you both at your DMV hearing and in your criminal case. While hiring a law firm does not guarantee that you can prevent the DMV from suspending your license, it does allow you to exercise your right to a defense.

Requesting a Hearing:

If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you have only 10 days to request a formal review hearing (also called an administrative hearing) with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Failure to request a hearing will waive your right to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. In these cases, it is very important to contact a qualified DUI attorney in Florida as soon as possible, because an attorney can help you through the DUI process and file paperwork that will allow you to get a temporary driving permit to drive for work, school, medical and religious purposes.

Potential Penalties:

Another important component is the criminal case which will determine your guilt or innocence, and your sentence if you are convicted of a DUI. Florida law sets forth mandatory minimum sentences in every DUI case, and the penalties are increasingly severe for every subsequent offense. People who have been accused of drunk driving in Florida can face costly penalties, even for a first-time offense. DUI penalties in Florida are determined by a variety of factors that include:

  • Previous convictions
  • The driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
  • If there were children in the vehicle
  • The age of the driver

Penalties for First DUI Offense:

The crime of First DUI Offense is a Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida, but carries standardized DUI penalties that are more severe than a traditional Second Degree Misdemeanor.

Additionally, a person is subject to enhanced penalties if the person had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or was accompanied by a minor at the time of the offense.

Standard DUI Penalties:

If convicted of First DUI Offense in Florida, a judge is required to impose the following penalties:

  • Up to six months in jail.
  • Up to twelve months of reporting probation.
  • Minimum six-month driver license revocation, but up to twelve months.
  • Minimum fine of $500, but no more than $1,000.
  • Ten-day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle used in the DUI.
  • 50 hours of community service.
  • Completion of a 12-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course.
  • Completion of a psychosocial evaluation to determine if Substance Abuse Treatment is required.
  • Completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment.

Enhanced Penalties for First DUI Offense:

A person convicted of a First DUI Offense is subject to enhanced penalties if the person either:

  1. Had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher; or
  2. Was accompanied in the vehicle by a minor at the time they were arrested.

Breath or Blood Alcohol Level .15 or Higher:

In addition to the standard penalties, a judge must impose the following enhanced penalties if a person is convicted of First DUI Offense with a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher:

  • Up to nine (9) months in jail.
  • Minimum fine of $1,000, but no more than $2,000.
  • Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles used, owned, or routinely operated by the convicted person for not less than 6 continuous months, but up to one year.

Accompanied by a Minor:

In addition to the standard penalties already required to be imposed, a judge must impose the following enhanced penalties if a person is convicted of First DUI Offense while accompanied by a minor:

  • Up to nine (9) months in jail.
  • Minimum fine of $1,000, but no more than $2,000.

Penalties for Second DUI Offense:

The crime of Second DUI Offense is a Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida, but carries standardized DUI penalties that are more severe than a traditional Second Degree Misdemeanor.

Additionally, enhanced penalties apply if the person had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or was accompanied by a minor at the time of the offense.

Standard Second DUI Penalties:

If convicted of a second DUI offense in Florida, a judge is required to impose the following penalties:

  • Up to nine months in jail.
  • Up to twelve months of reporting probation.
  • Minimum six-month driver license revocation, but up to twelve months.
  • Minimum fine of $1,000, but no more than $2,000.
  • Ten-day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle used in the DUI.
  • Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles owned, used, or routinely operated by the convicted driver for not less than one year.
  • 50 hours of community service.
  • Completion of a twenty-one (21) hour DUI Substance Abuse Course.
  • Completion of a psychosocial evaluation to determine if Substance Abuse Treatment is required.
  • Completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment.

Enhanced Penalties for Second DUI Offense:

A person convicted of a second DUI offense is subject to enhanced penalties if the person either:

  1. Had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher; or
  2. Was accompanied in the vehicle by a minor at the time they were arrested.

Breath or Blood Alcohol Level .15 or Higher:

In addition to the standard penalties, a judge must impose the following enhanced penalties if a person is convicted of a second DUI offense with a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher:

  • Up to twelve months in jail.
  • Minimum fine of $2,000, but no more than $4,000.
  • Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles used, owned, or routinely operated by the convicted person for not less than two years.

Accompanied by a Minor:

In addition to the standard penalties already required to be imposed, a judge must impose the following enhanced penalties if a person is convicted of a second DUI offense while accompanied by a minor:

  • Up to twelve months in jail.
  • Minimum fine of $2,000, but no more than $4,000.

Third DUI Offense in Florida:

If you have been accused of a third DUI offense then Florida law provides special punishments and penalties depending on whether the third offense occurred within or outside 10 years of any prior DUI conviction. These enhanced punishments may apply even if you were convicted out of state for a prior drunk driving or impaired driving offense such as DUI or DWI.

Penalties for Third DUI Offense:

The crime of Third DUI Offense is a Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida, but carries standardized DUI penalties that are more severe than a traditional Second Degree Misdemeanor.

Additionally, enhanced penalties apply if the person had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or was accompanied by a minor at the time of the offense.

Standard Third DUI Penalties:

If convicted of a third DUI offense in Florida, a judge is required to impose the following penalties:

  • Up to twelve months in jail.
  • Up to twelve months of reporting to probation.
  • Minimum six-month driver license revocation, but up to twelve months.
  • Minimum fine of $2,000, but no more than $5,000.
  • Ten-day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle used in the DUI.
  • Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles owned, used, or routinely operated by the convicted driver for not less than two years.
  • 50 hours of community service.
  • Completion of a twenty-one (21) hour DUI Substance Abuse Course.
  • Completion of a psychosocial evaluation to determine if Substance Abuse Treatment is required.
  • Completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment.

Enhanced Penalties for Third DUI Offense:

In addition to the standard penalties, a judge must impose a minimum $4,000 fine if the person is convicted of a third DUI offense and:

  1. Had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher; or
  2. Was accompanied in the vehicle by a minor at the time they were arrested.

Penalties for Third DUI outside 10 Years of any Prior Conviction:

  • First Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail;
  • Fine between $1,000 and $2,500; and
  • An ignition interlock device for two years after the person becomes eligible for a driver's license.

Penalties for Third DUI within Ten Years of Prior Conviction:

The crime of a Third DUI within Ten Years of a Prior Conviction is a Third Degree Felony and assigned a Level 3 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of a Third DUI within Ten Years of Prior Conviction in Florida, a judge is required to impose the following penalties:

  • Minimum thirty days in jail, but up to five years in prison.
  • Up to five years of reporting to probation.
  • Minimum ten-year driver license revocation. However, can be reduced to two years on a hardship reinstatement.
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Ninety-day impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles owned by the driver.
  • Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles owned, used, or routinely operated by the convicted driver for not less than two years.
  • 50 hours of community service.
  • Completion of a twenty-one (21) hour DUI Substance Abuse Course.
  • Completion of a psychosocial evaluation to determine if Substance Abuse Treatment is required.
  • Completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment.

Enhanced Penalties for Third DUI Offense:

In addition to the standard penalties, a judge must impose a minimum $4,000 fine if the person is convicted of a third DUI offense and:

  1. Had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher; or
  2. Was accompanied in the vehicle by a minor at the time they were arrested.

Penalties for Fourth DUI Offense:

The crime of fourth DUI offense is a Third Degree Felony and assigned a Level 6 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of fourth DUI offense in Florida, a judge is required to impose the following penalties:

  • Up to five years in prison.
  • Up to five years of probation.
  • Permanent driver’s license revocation. However, can be reduced to a five-year suspension on a hardship reinstatement
  • Minimum fine of $2,000, but no more than $5,000.
  • Impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles owned by the driver.
  • Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device upon all vehicles owned, used, or routinely operated by the convicted driver for at least two years.
  • Community service.
  • Completion of a twenty-one (21) hour DUI Substance Abuse Course.
  • Completion of a psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment.

Enhanced Penalties for Fourth DUI Offense:

In addition to the standard penalties, a judge must impose a minimum $4,000 fine if the person is convicted of a fourth DUI offense and:

  1. Had a breath or blood alcohol level of .15 or higher; or
  2. Was accompanied in the vehicle by a minor at the time they were arrested.

Importance of a Florida DUI Lawyer:

If you are facing charges for driving while intoxicated or another criminal traffic violation, it is crucial to have a qualified attorney representing you in court. An attorney can challenge the evidence against you and get your charges reduced to reckless driving or even dismissed.

Gainesville Attorney for Underage DUI:

If you or a loved one has been charged for alleged underage drunk driving, the consequences may include a six-month license suspension for a first offense and a BAC of .02% or higher, and up to a year suspension for a second offense.

If the driver's BAC is .05% or higher, a mandatory DUI education program must be completed prior to the reinstatement of their license.

DUI Defense Strategies:

Even if you were drinking or using drugs, the state cannot necessarily convict you of DUI. The issue is not whether you had been drinking or using drugs – it is whether you were drinking or using drugs to the extent that you were impaired and whether the state can prove it.

Most people accused of drunk driving do not know their constitutional rights. For example, the police cannot pull you over unless they have a valid and legal reason for doing so. If you are pulled over, you are not required to take a field sobriety test. We advise our clients not to take either the field sobriety exercises or the Breathalyzer test. Even if you did take the tests, the results could be challenged for technical reasons.

We would be happy to discuss your case in full detail to determine what kind of defense strategy can be used in your situation. Speak with our Gainesville DUI defense lawyers today.

Take Action Now to Save Your License:

Being arrested for a drunk driving offense can happen to anyone. Just one too many drinks can set you over the legal limit – even if you do not feel intoxicated or drunk. Prosecutors take driving under the influence seriously, and they will pursue the highest possible penalties. It is important that you have an aggressive advocate on your side.

How Can The Law Offices of Edwards & Jones Help You:

Choose the Law Offices of Edwards & Jones to defend you because:

  • We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • We have handled over 1,000 cases
  • We offer free jail and in-home consultations
  • We provide thorough attention to your case
  • We exhaust all available avenues of defense
  • We work our hardest to obtain a favorable outcome

Contact us today at (352) 329-3632 to receive skilled legal guidance and effective representation from our DUI lawyers in Gainesville.

Hear It From Our Clients

We Are Committed to Client Satisfaction
  • “It is my opinion that he is clearly one of the best lawyers in the city of Gainesville.”

    - Everette Sr.
  • “Mr. Edwards believed in us and took a chance, we will forever be in his debt.”

    - Colin
  • “He put his heart into that case.”

    - Jan
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Why Hire Edwards & Jones?

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