Ringsmuth, Day & O’Halloran, PLLC - Fort Myers Criminal Defense
Former Prosecutors

Why you should avoid a first DUI conviction

As harsh as the penalties are for a first DUI conviction in Florida, the consequences are far worse if you are convicted a second time within five years. For example, instead of a 90-day to one-year revocation of your driver's license, you face a five-year revocation.

Rather than assuming you will never get a second DUI conviction, it's important to do everything you can to avoid a first conviction.

What are the penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida?

The penalties for a first DUI conviction are:

  • Driver's license revocation of from 180 days to one year with a possibility of a hardship license to drive to and from work
  • From $500 to $1,000 fine
  • While jail time is not mandatory, the judge can order a jail sentence of up to six months

The penalties are higher if you have a minor in the vehicle or you have a BAC of .15 or higher. You may also face higher insurance rates and employment consequences.

What are the penalties for a second DUI conviction?

The penalties for a second DUI conviction are:

  • Driver's license revocation for five years, with no hardship license for the first 12 months
  • From $1,000 to $2,000 fine
  • Jail time of from 10 days to nine months

The penalties are higher if you have a minor in the vehicle or you have a BAC of .15 or higher.

How can I avoid a DUI conviction?

The best way to avoid a drunk-driving conviction is to hire a cab or use a designated driver if you consume alcohol before driving. If it's too late to avoid arrest, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Just because you failed a field sobriety or breath test does not mean the state can convict you of drunk driving.

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