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Florida DUI Penalty Chart

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Florida DUI Penalty Chart

In Florida, the laws surrounding driving under the influence (DUI) are strict, with penalties varying significantly based on a number of factors, including the offender’s blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest and whether or not they have had any prior offenses. 

If you’ve received DUI charges in Florida, understanding the potential penalties you face is crucial.  For residents of Tampa and the surrounding areas, Attorney Andrew Buda of Buda Law offers experienced legal representation, advice, and guidance to individuals dealing with DUI offenses. 

Below, our Tampa DUI attorneys cover the consequences of DUI convictions in Florida, from fines and license suspension to possible jail time and more. We’ll also include a Florida DUI penalty chart that further clarifies the criminal penalties for various types of DUI offenses. To learn more about the potential penalties you may face based on the unique factors of your case and/or to equip yourself with a skilled Tampa DUI defense attorney, call Buda Law at (813) 322-2832 or send us a message today.

 

Is a DUI a Felony in Florida?

According to Florida law, whether a DUI is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the offense as well as the individual’s history of prior DUI convictions. Generally, a first or second DUI offense without aggravating factors is considered a misdemeanor.

However, a DUI can escalate to a felony charge in Florida under certain conditions, such as if it is the individual’s third DUI offense within a 10-year period or if the offense involves serious injury or death. 

Understanding Florida DUI Penalties

Florida enforces strict penalties for DUI offenses, as prescribed by Florida Statutes § 316.193. These penalties are designed to serve both as a punishment and a deterrent to mitigate the risk of future DUI behavior. The penalties vary based on several factors, including the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the arrest and the number of prior DUI convictions on their record, if any. 

Potential DUI penalties may include:

  • Fines: The monetary penalties for a DUI offense can be substantial, often increasing with each subsequent DUI conviction.
  • License Suspension/Revocation: DUI convictions typically result in driver’s license revocation or suspension for varying periods.
  • Jail Time: Incarceration is a possibility, especially for repeat offenders or those with a high BAC.
  • Probation: Offenders may be placed on probation in Florida, requiring them to follow specific terms set by the court.
  • DUI School: Offenders may be required to complete DUI school, aka a DUI education program, to address and prevent future DUI behavior.
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment: Offenders may undergo an evaluation for substance abuse problems and, if necessary, complete a treatment program.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: For certain offenses, especially repeat offenses, an ignition interlock device may be installed in the offender’s vehicle to prevent operation if alcohol is detected in their breath.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: The state may impound the offender’s vehicle for a specified period, particularly for repeat offenses.
Florida DUI Penalties

Penalties for Florida DUI Conviction

DUI offenders face a range of criminal penalties depending on the nature of their offense. Below, we’ll cover the various consequences that individuals convicted of a DUI in Florida may encounter depending on the circumstances surrounding their case, including penalties for a first conviction, prior convictions, DUI-related accidents, underage DUIs, and DUIs with aggravating factors present.

1st DUI in Florida

For a first conviction of a DUI in Florida (without any aggravating factors present), offenders may face any combination of the following penalties: 

  • Fines: $500 to $1,000.
  • Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 for each required hour of community service.
  • Probation: The total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.
  • Jail Time: Up to 6 months. 
  • Vehicle Impoundment: 10 days, not concurrent with incarceration.
  • Driver License Revocation: Minimum of 180 days up to 1 year.
  • DUI School: Required completion of a 12-hour DUI school course.
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation: Followed by any treatment recommended.

2nd DUI in Florida

For a second DUI conviction in Florida, the penalties increase in severity:

  • Fines: $1,000 to $2,000. 
  • Jail Time: Up to 9 months. If the second conviction occurs within 5 years of the first, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days is required.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: 30 days if the second conviction is within 5 years of the first conviction. 
  • Driver License Revocation: Minimum of 5 years if the second conviction is within 5 years of the first; may apply for a hardship reinstatement after 1 year. Otherwise, revocation for at least 180 days up to 1 year.
  • DUI School: Required completion of a 21-hour DUI school course.
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation: Followed by any treatment recommended.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Required for at least 1 year.

3rd or Subsequent DUI in Florida

For a third DUI charge in Florida (and subsequent violations), the penalties become even more severe, particularly if it occurs within 10 years of a prior conviction:

  • Fines: $2,000 to $5,000.
  • Imprisonment: Up to 12 months. For a third conviction within 10 years, this may increase to 5 years with a mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. The court may also order alcohol or drug abuse treatment programs as part of the imprisonment.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: 90 days if the third conviction is within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction. This is not concurrent with incarceration.
  • Driver License Revocation: At least 180 days up to 1 year. If the third conviction is within 10 years of a second conviction, a minimum of 10 years is required; may apply for a hardship reinstatement after 2 years. 
  • DUI School: Required completion of DUI school and any substance abuse treatment recommended following a substance abuse evaluation.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Required for at least 2 years.
DUI Penalty Chart Florida

DUI Accidents

In Florida, causing an accident that results in property damage, serious bodily injury, or death while driving under the influence significantly escalates the severity of penalties.

Involving Damage to Property

A DUI that results in damage to property or non-serious injury to another person is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. In addition to possible license suspension, community service, substance abuse education, and a DUI supervision program, the penalties for this level of offense may include:

  • Fines: Up to $1,000.
  • Jail Time: Up to one year.
  • Probation: Up to one year.

Involving Serious Injury

A DUI offense that causes serious bodily injury to another is classified as a third-degree felony in Florida. The penalties for this are significantly more severe and may include:

  • Fines: Up to $5,000.
  • Imprisonment: Up to five years in state prison.
  • Probation: Up to five years of probation.
  • Driver License Revocation: Minimum of three years.

Involving Death

A DUI offense that results in the death of another person is charged as DUI manslaughter in Florida, which is a second-degree felony. The penalties for such a charge might include:

  • Fines: Up to $10,000.
  • Imprisonment: Mandatory minimum of four years, up to 15 years in state prison.
  • Probation: Up to 15 years of probation.
  • Driver License Revocation: Permanent revocation is possible, with eligibility for a hardship reinstatement after five years under certain conditions.
  • Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fines may be imposed.

Note: If the offender fails to give information or aid (hit and run) in the event of a DUI death, the offense is elevated to a first-degree felony, with penalties including up to 30 years in prison.

Florida DUI Penalties Chart

Underage DUI Penalties

Underage DUI offenders—those under the age of 21—are subject to specific penalties due to the state’s zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. The key threshold for underage DUI is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02% or higher, significantly lower than the 0.08% limit for those of legal drinking age. The potential penalties for an underage DUI in Florida include:

  • License Suspension: 6 months for a first offense, and 1 year for subsequent offenses.
  • Mandatory DUI School: Offenders are often required to attend a DUI education program as part of their sentencing.
  • Community Service: Judges may order community service as part of the penalty for underage DUI.
  • Evaluation and Treatment for Substance Abuse: Offenders may need to undergo an evaluation for alcohol dependency or substance abuse, with any recommended treatment to follow.

Note: If an underage driver’s BAC is 0.08% or higher, they can be charged under the same laws and face the same penalties as their adult counterparts.

Aggravated DUI Penalties

While Florida statutes do not specifically define an “aggravated DUI,” certain factors can lead to increased penalties beyond those for a standard DUI. This includes having a very high blood alcohol content (typically 0.15% or higher) or having a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense. Depending on the circumstances of the case, aggravated DUIs in Florida may result in:

  • Fines: Between $1,000-$5,000
  • Imprisonment: Up to five years.
  • Probation: Up to five years.
  • License Revocation: Anywhere between one year to life.
  • Community Service: 50 hours of community service.
  • And More!
Criminal Defense for Tampa DUI

What Happens If You Refuse a DUI Test? 

Florida drivers are subject to the state’s implied consent laws, which means that by operating a vehicle, they automatically agree to submit to chemical tests (breath, blood, or urine) to determine alcohol or substance levels if suspected of DUI. If a driver refuses to take a DUI test, there are immediate consequences.

A first refusal results in an automatic driver’s license suspension for one year. A second or subsequent refusal, however, is considered a misdemeanor crime and may lead to a license suspension for 18 months. 

Florida DUI Penalties Chart

1st and Subsequent Offenses

  1st Offense 2nd Offense (if within 5 years of first conviction) 3rd Offense (if within 10 years of prior convictions)
Fines $500-$1,000 $1,000-$2,000 $2,000-$5,000
Jail Time Up to 6 months Up to 9 months Up to 5 years
Probation Up to 1 year Up to 1 year Up to 1 year
Community Service 50 hours Court’s Discretion Court’s Discretion
License Revocation 180 days – 1 year 5 years 10+ years
Vehicle Impoundment Up to 10 days 30 days 90 days
Ignition Interlock Device 6 months 1 year 2 years

DUI Accidents

  Property Damage Serious Bodily Injury Death
Fines Up to $1,000 Up to $5,000 Up to $10,000
Jail Time Up to 1 year Up to 5 years Up to 15 years
Probation Up to 1 year Up to 5 years Up to 15 years
License Revocation Up to 1 year 3+ years Permanent
Community Service 50 hours Court’s Discretion 50 hours

  With Aggravating Factors

  1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Fines $1,000-$2,000 $2,000-$4,000 $4,000 +
Jail Time Up to 9 months Up to 1 year Up to 5 years
Probation Up to 1 year Up to 1 year Up to 5 years
Community Service 50 hours Court’s Discretion Court’s Discretion
Ignition Interlock Device 6+ months 2+ years 2+ years

Why You Need a Skilled Tampa DUI Defense Attorney

Navigating DUI offenses in Florida requires a deep understanding of both the law and the nuances of local legal practices. With that in mind, for anyone facing DUI charges, having a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney like those at Buda Law is crucial. Your attorney can provide invaluable assistance, from challenging the evidence to negotiating with prosecutors to navigating the court system and beyond. 

Andrew Buda and his team’s experience and familiarity with Florida courts and DUI cases can significantly impact the outcome of your case, potentially reducing the penalties you face and achieving the most favorable resolution given the circumstances.

Tampa DUI Defense Attorney

Call Tampa DUI Lawyer Andrew Buda For a Free Consultation Today

Facing criminal charges of any sort can be a daunting and stressful experience, especially with the potential for severe penalties looming in the distance. That’s why it’s crucial to act fast and seek professional legal assistance if you’ve been charged with a DUI offense in Florida. 

At Buda Law, we regularly handle all kinds of DUI cases, from standard DUIs to commercial DUIs, drug DUIs, BUIs, and so much more. Rest assured, we have the skill, resources, and dedication to fight for the best possible outcome for your unique situation.

Facing DUI charges in the Tampa area? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced criminal defense attorneys at our law firm. You can reach us by phone at (813) 322-2832 or via our online intake form. The sooner you get in touch, the more we can do to help – so call today!