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Criminal vs. Civil Penalties for DUI in Florida

Driving under the influence conviction in Florida results in both civil and criminal penalties. While you and other drivers might fear the criminal penalties, the civil consequences of a DUI conviction can be just as problematic. 

The criminal penalties increase in severity for repeat DUI offenders, as do the civil ramifications. What is more, you can face civil ramifications for a DUI stop and arrest even if you are not convicted of DUI. 

Criminal Penalties for DUI in Florida

If the court finds you guilty of DUI, you will face jail time and fines. Depending on how many prior DUI convictions you have, the court could sentence you to up to five years in prison.

The fines for a DUI conviction begin at $500 for a first offense and progressively increase for repeat offenders. For instance, a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction can result in a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Civil Consequences of a DUI Arrest and Conviction

Civil consequences operate independently of a criminal DUI proceeding. This means that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can impose some of these penalties even if your DUI case has not been resolved, or you are found not guilty. 

If you refuse to submit a breath test, for example, you may face a license suspension of between one year and 18 months. 

A DUI conviction can also result in a license suspension of between 180 days and one year. You could also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car for up to two years.

Contact a DUI Attorney in Florida for Assistance

Helping you keep your license and avoid the harsh civil and criminal consequences of a DUI arrest and conviction is the job of your Florida DUI lawyer. Call Shrader, Mendez & O’Connell, Attorneys at Law at (813) 360-1529 to enlist our help in your defense.

Posted in DUI