South Florida Criminal Attorney
Free Case Evaluation
DUI Penalties Aggressive Trial Attorney With a Reputation for Success

Penalties for a DUI in South Florida

Defense from a South Florida DUI Attorney

The state of Florida had over 33,600 DUI convictions in 2011, with 2,274 of those occurring in Miami-Dade County. Local law enforcement are adamant about keeping the streets of Southern Florida safe, but this does not always mean that their actions are correct. Unfortunately, drivers may be accused of drunk driving without actually having committed the offense. Whether a law officer did not have probable cause to stop the driver or the person's blood alcohol content (BAC) level was not over the legal limit, there are many DUI defenses that can be used to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Get started on your case today with a free consultation. Contact us.

Why do I need a South Florida DUI attorney?

With the help of a qualified and diligent South Florida DUI lawyer, your chance of a successful verdict may be greatly improved. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Eric Matheny understands how the other side of the courtroom operates. With this invaluable knowledge regarding the various tactics used by the prosecution, he has the upper hand.

What Are Typical Penalties for a DUI?

Consequences for driving under the influence vary on the driver's BAC level, if they were under the age of 21 and what number offense this is on their record. Under Florida State Law, there is a Zero Tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. If a law enforcement officer were to pull over any individual under the age of 21 and if their BAC was at .02 or higher, their driver's license would be automatically suspended for 6 months. Below we have listed some of the potential penalties involved for different DUI offenses:

First-Time DUI (with a BAC from .08 to .14 percent):

  • Maximum 6 months in jail
  • Fines from $500-$1,000
  • License Suspension for 180 days to one year
  • DUI School
  • Fifty hours of community service, along with a community service fine
  • Vehicle impoundment for 10 days

First-Time DUI (with a BAC above .15):

  • Maximum 9 months in jail
  • Fines from $1,000 to $2,000 (this also applies for a DUI with a minor in the car)
  • Ignition Interlock Device installation for up to 6 months
  • All other additional penalties listed above

Second DUI (with a BAC from .08 to .14 percent):

  • Maximum 9 months in jail (with 10 days mandatory if previous offense was in last 5 years)
  • Fines from $1,000-$2,000
  • License Suspension for 5 years (if previous offense was in last 5 years)
  • DUI School
  • Ignition Interlock Device installation required for 1 year
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days (if previous offense was in last 5 years)

Second DUI (with a BAC above .15):

  • Maximum 12 months in jail (with 10 days mandatory if previous offense was in last 5 years)
  • Fines from $2,000 to $4,000 (this also applies for a DUI with a minor in the car)
  • License Suspension for 5 years (if previous offense was in last 5 years)
  • Ignition Interlock Device installation required for 2 years
  • DUI School
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days (if previous offense was in last 5 years)

Third DUI:

  • Considered a 3rd degree felony if within 10 years of last offense
  • Jail time from 30 days to 12 months (mandatory 30 days if previous offense was in last 10 years)
  • Fines from $2,000-$4,000 ($4,000 minimum for a DUI with a minor in the car or BAC above .15)
  • License suspension for 10 years (if the offense was within 10 years of last offense)
  • DUI School
  • Ignition Interlock Device installation required for 2 years
  • Vehicle Impoundment for 90 days (if previous offense was in last 10 years)

Not only can these penalties cause financial and emotional hardship for you or your loved ones, the mark on your criminal record can also mess with your future. Applying for certain jobs, housing or even educational opportunities could be marred by having a DUI conviction. In addition, many of these penalties can make it difficult for you to sustain your current job. If your driver's license is suspended you will not be able to go to work freely on your own and community service or DUI programs could run into your normal work schedule. Do not put your future at risk, but retain the legal representation of a South Florida criminal lawyer who truly cares about your unique situation. Attorney Eric Matheny has tried over 50 jury and non-jury trials and is passionate about protecting his clients' rights.

Former Prosecutor Defending Your Freedom

Spending his first years out of law school by working as the Assistant State Attorney for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, Attorney Matheny learned quickly how to handle everything from DUI charges to felony cases. During his career as a prosecutor he learned the tactics and information that is needed to prove that someone is guilty. With this insider knowledge, he has been able to anticipate the words and actions of the prosecution in his own clients' cases. Having been featured in various local publications such as the Miami New Times and the Sun Sentinel, he is esteemed as a reputable legal advocate.

At The Law Offices of Eric M. Matheny, P.A., it is our goal to prepare a solid case for each of our clients that not only keeps them out of jail, but gives them the best possible opportunity at a fresh start. We also work extensively with those that want their criminal record cleared later down the road, as we assist those seeking expungements. It is most ideal; however, to avoid a conviction in the first place.

Please do not hesitate to contact our firm located in Miami Lakes to schedule your initial appointment. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be of service to all of our prospective and current clients.

What Our Clients Have to Say

The Client Experience
  • “Eric is a great lawyer.”

    - Former Client
  • “In a stressful and confusing time Eric was like a breeze of fresh air.”

    - Camila
  • “If you want the best look no further.”

    - Michael

What Makes Attorney Eric M. Matheny the Right Choice?

  • Tried 50+ Jury & Non-Jury Trials

    Attorney Eric M. Matheny has tried enough cases to know that every case deserves a unique strategy in the courtroom. Our firm keeps your future in mind and always protects your rights.

  • Recognized Criminal Defense Attorney

    Attorney Eric M. Matheny has been named among the “Best Criminal Lawyers in Miami” three years in a row: 2017, 2018 and 2019, by Expertise.com.

  • Experienced Former Prosecutor

    With an insider’s perspective on the justice system, he has the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case to make wise decisions about how to proceed with your defense.

  • A Trusted Voice in the News

    A featured commentator on The Rick Jensen Show on WDEL, on the radio program “Let's Talk About,” and in the Miami New Times, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, and other publications.

  • Payment Plans Offered

    We believe everyone deserves high-quality legal representation at an affordable rate.

Begin Building Your Defense

Contact Our South Florida 
Criminal Defense Attorney Today
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.