Florida DUI Laws

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida can be more than emotionally distressing – it can result in jail time, expensive fines, lost driving privileges, and a permanent criminal record.

If you have been charged with DUI in Florida, the faster you get professional legal assistance, the better your chances are of prevailing in a criminal case. You only have 10 days to file an appeal to the pending administrative license suspension, which is triggered by Florida DUI laws, following your criminal arrest.

At Woolsey Morcom, our DUI defense attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your legal options and taking every measure necessary to protect your rights and liberty. Contact today at (904) 638-4235

Unlike other states, The State of Florida does not treat driving under the influence of alcohol as a traffic offense but instead, the law makes DUI a criminal offense with potentially serious consequences. To convict you of DUI, the prosecutor must prove that you were in physical control of a vehicle while:

·       Your faculties were impaired by alcohol, or

·       Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.08 percent or higher

These laws differ slightly for individuals under the age of 21 or who drive a commercial vehicle. Anyone under the age of 21 can be charged with a DUI if he or she has a BAC of 0.02% or higher, and a commercial driver can be charged with a DUI if he or she has a BAC of 0.04% or higher.

At Woolsey Morcom, we can assist in DUI cases whether or not they involve breath or blood test results over 0.08. We will build an individual defense strategy based on the evidence against you and the circumstances of your case. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights.

 Possible Penalties for a DUI in Florida

There are many possible penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida, both imposed by the criminal court and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The court can issue a sentence for probation, fines, or even jail time, as well as other requirements such as drunk driving education classes or community service.

The following are possible penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida:

1.     DUI First Offense

·       Fine of up to $1,000

·       Imprisonment for of up to 6 months or probation for up to a year

·       License revocation for a minimum of 6 months

·       Mandatory 50 hours of community service


2.     Second DUI Offense

·       Fine of up to $2,000

·       Imprisonment for up to 9 months

·       Minimum sentence of 10 days if convicted within 5 years of a first offense

·       License revocation for a minimum of 6 months and 5-year license revocation if convicted within 5 years of a first offense


3.     Third DUI Offense

·       Fine of $1,000 – $2,500, or $2,000 – $5,000 if convicted within 10 years of a first offense

·       Imprisonment for up to 12 months, with a minimum sentence of 30 days if convicted within 10 years of a first offense

·       License revocation for 5 years, or 10-year license revocation if convicted within 10 years of a first offense


4.     Fourth DUI Offense

·       Minimum fine of $1,000

·       Prison sentence of up to 5 years

·       Permanent license revocation


The specific penalties you face will depend on whether you are accused of causing bodily injury and whether you have prior DUI convictions within a certain period of time.

You only have 10 days after being arrested for DUI charges to take action until the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tries to suspend your driver’s license. If one does not act during these ten days, there will be DUI penalties including the potential suspension of their license.

Florida DUI Defenses 

In Florida there are many defenses that are available to people arrested and charged with DUI. Each DUI Case is unique and needs to be fully investigated for every possible defense. Even in DUI cases where the evidence of guilt is overwhelming, a properly prepared defense can result in significant reductions in penalties the Defendant receives.

The following list contains some of the Florida DUI defenses that may exist in your case.

·       Physical Evidence:

This type of evidence may involve things such as video, photographs, tire tracks, receipts, etc. There are a number of defenses which may exist regarding physical evidence collected by law enforcement in a case. For example the evidence collected not being consistent with the crime charged or improper procedures used in the collection of the evidence.

·       Suppression of Evidence:

In many cases, evidence may be suppressed due to improper search and seizures. This means that the evidence would not be able to be used against the defendant at trial making it difficult or in some cases impossible for the State to prove their case.

·       Suppression of Statements:

In many cases, due to a lack of warnings or improper interrogations techniques, statements of the Defendant may be suppressed. In some cases, suppression of the defendant’s confession or statements could be the difference between them being found guilty or not guilty.

·       Inadequate Investigation

Many times law enforcement will not thoroughly investigate a case or they may conduct improper investigations which may result in a number of defenses in a case. For example evidence not collected or tested by law enforcement that might have provided information as to the defendant’s innocence.

·       Testimonial Evidence:

This type of evidence involves the statements of any victims, witnesses and police officers in relation to the crime. There are a number of defenses which may exist regarding any testimonial evidence in a case. For example, contradictions between the victim, witnesses or officers version of evidences.

·       The Defendant’s Evidence:

In some cases, the Defendant may be able to provide evidence or defenses which help show their innocence or weaken the case against them. For example alibi evidence that would contradict the State’s case or whether the defendant had any physical or medical conditions that may have affected them.

 See a Lawyer!

Our team at Woolsey Morcom is diverse and highly experienced. Our attorneys have experts in every field to deliver unparalleled results in DUI cases. Put our attorney’s collective experience in your corner and rest assured that your case is in the best hands.

Contact our firm online or call at (904) 638-4235 for Free Consultation right away.

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