There is a lot of talk about DUI
, but what about the penalties for a first offense? Can you go to jail for a first DUI? How much probation would you be made to do if you were to plead guilty or no contest? What sort of conditions would I be made to complete?
Prior to my promotion to the Felony Division, I was an Assistant State Attorney
in County Court prosecuting DUIs that occurred all throughout Miami-Dade County. Now, as a
Miami DUI attorney
, I use the tools I learned while a prosecutor to exploit the inherent weaknesses in a DUI case.
But every accused person should know the maximum penalties that they are facing. But they should also know the minimum penalties, too. Yes, that’s right. Minimum penalties. In Florida, DUI carries mandatory minimum penalties.
Minimum Penalties: Mandatory adjudication (a conviction), court costs, $250 fine, 6 months license suspension, 6 months of reporting probation with the conditions of DUI school, 50 community service hours, and a 10-day vehicle impoundment (at your expense).
Maximum Penalties: Adjudication (conviction), court costs, $500 fine, 1-year license suspension, 1-year of reporting probation with the conditions of DUI school, unlimited community service hours, 10-day vehicle impoundment (again, at your expense), 1 session of the Victim Impact Panel, and 180 days in jail!
As you can see, even the minimum penalties for a first DUI are harsh. What’s worse, is that these are mandatory penalties, meaning there is little wiggle room when negotiating a plea. That is why good representation is so vital. These cases are won with motions and trial.
If you plead no contest, the prosecutor will more than likely offer you the first DUI mandatory minimum penalties. If you plead no contest on the day of trial, your penalties may be enhanced. Additionally, if you gave a breath sample and the level was .20 or higher, you are subjected to statutory enhancements, such as a $500 fine, 1-year license suspension, and 6 months with an ignition interlock device in your car – oh yeah, at your expense.
Don’t plead no contest without first talking to a DUI attorney. The long-term effects of a DUI conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life.