A drunk driving charge could have a significant impact on your life in various ways, including your freedom and future interests. There are many consequences for a conviction for drunk driving, but they could reach far beyond just a loss of your license or expensive fines. Even first-time offenders may end up serving time behind bars.
Fortunately, a conviction is never your only option when faced with DUI. You have the right to fight back, which could help you avoid some of the consequences of this type of crime. With a strong defense, you may be able to mitigate the threat of losing your personal freedom.
Jail time for DUI in Florida
The length of time you may spend in jail for DUI depends mostly on your criminal record, which is the number of DUIs in your past. The sentencing guidelines for Florida drunk driving offenders is as follows:
- First conviction for DUI: For a first DUI conviction, you could face as many as six months in jail. If you had a very high BAC at the time of your arrest — .15 percent or higher — or a minor in your car, you would face no more than nine months in jail.
- Second conviction for DUI: After a second conviction, you could face up to 9 months in jail. For BAC levels of .15 percent or higher or having a minor in the car at the time, your sentence could be as long as 12 months.
- Third conviction for DUI: If it is your third conviction for DUI within 10 years, you will serve a minimum of 30 days in jail. If the time period is more than 10 years, your jail sentence will not be longer than 12 months.
The actual amount of time in jail you may face if convicted will depend on the individual details of your case. Mandatory sentencing guidelines and alcohol treatment programs may also affect your sentence length.
Your drunk driving defense
Drunk driving is a criminal offense, not a traffic offense. You would be wise to take your situation seriously, no matter if it is your first offense or you have a history of DUIs. Regardless of what is in your past, you have the right to build a defense that uniquely suits your needs and objectives.
It is beneficial to take quick action as soon as possible after an arrest or the filing of charges against you. You have the right to know your options and your rights, which can start simply by seeking an evaluation of your case.