A drunk driving conviction can alter the course of your future. If you were recently arrested on a DUI charge, it is essential that you understand you are not facing a traffic offense — you are facing a serious criminal charge. Depending on your situation, you might lose your license, pay some hefty fines or even spend time in a Florida jail. Your consequences will vary based on the details of your situation, too, such as whether this was your first or second offense.
If this was your first DUI arrest and your blood alcohol content registered between .08 and .14, you could possibly lose your license for anywhere from 180 days up to an entire year. On top of this, you may also have to pay as much as $500 in fines. You could even spend six months behind bars.
The penalties will be steeper if you were convicted of a DUI sometime within the last five years. A second conviction could mean losing your driver’s license for five years or longer, up to $1,000 in fines and nine months behind bars. You would also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a year or longer.
Of course, you do have an opportunity to retain your driving privileges whether this is your first or second offense. From the time of your arrest, you have 10 days to request a hearing, during which you will argue that you should get to keep those privileges. There is no time to waste on this process — once 10 days have passed, so has your opportunity to keep your license.
Drunk driving charges are about more than BAC though, and other factors such as speed, injuries or refusal to submit to an Intoxilyzer test can all influence the outcome of your case. This can leave you feeling understandably confused about how to move forward, especially if you are unfamiliar with Florida state law. Instead of leaving things up to chance, you should be sure to visit our website to learn more about your options when facing a DUI charge.