A first-time DUI conviction in Florida is a misdemeanor offense that carries a jail term of up to six months, a maximum $1,000 fine, and license suspension for up to one year. However, if certain aggravating factors exist, a first offense can result in harsher penalties—or even a felony DUI.
Common aggravating factors include the following:
- High BAC – While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .08, having a BAC of at least .15 warrants aggravated DUI penalties. A first-time aggravated misdemeanor DUI is punishable by a maximum nine-month jail term, a fine of up to $2,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
- Minor in the vehicle – If a child under 18 years old was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, it is considered an aggravated misdemeanor DUI. In addition, getting pulled over in a school zone is an aggravating factor.
- Repeat offense – Penalties for multiple offenses are even more severe since the offender should’ve learned to not drink and drive the first time around. A second DUI in Florida within five years can result in a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. A third DUI within a ten-year period is an aggravated felony offense, which results in maximum five-year prison term (with a mandatory minimum jail term of 30 days), fines no more than $5,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to 10 years upon conviction.
- Car accident – When a DUI offense involves a car accident and a minor injury and/or subsequent property damage to the vehicle, it is an aggravated misdemeanor DUI. However, if a DUI involves serious injury, it is an aggravated felony offense. If a DUI involves death, it is vehicular homicide that carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence, a fine not exceeding $10,000, and lifetime driver’s license suspension.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Miami, contact Hubbs Law Firm today at (305) 570-4802 and schedule a consultation.