It is no secret that a DUI case has the potential to affect every part of your life. A conviction can affect your ability to work, force you to spend thousands of dollars on fines and educational courses, and could even result in a jail term. In situations that involve aggravating circumstances such as a prior DUI conviction or bodily injuries, the penalties are even more severe.
If you are facing allegations of DUI, whether it is your first case or you have a prior record, it is essential that you understand the possible Delray Beach DUI penalties. Knowledge about the possible consequences can help you to decide whether to work towards a deal with the Prosecutor or to take the case to trial. For more insight, schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert.
The Penalties for DUI Under Criminal Law
Most peoples’ primary concern when they face allegations of DUI is the possible criminal penalties. The prospect of going to jail or paying fines is enough to intimidate anyone.
Indeed, the available penalties to a Court after a first DUI conviction are harsh. According to Florida Statute § 316.193, a first offense allows a court to sentence a person to a fine in the amount of $500 to $1000. In addition, the court may choose to impose a jail sentence of no more than six months.
Aggravating circumstances may allow the court to impose heavier penalties. For example, a second conviction in a ten-year period increases the potential fines to $1,000 to $2,000. The maximum jail sentence may also rise to as long as nine months in jail. Third convictions make DUI a Felony of the third degree. Here, a prison term of up to five years is possible.
Even a first conviction may carry serious consequences if the incident results in property damage or personal injury to another person. Depending on the exact circumstances, these cases range in severity from first degree Misdemeanors to felonies of the first degree. An Attorney can provide more information about Delray Beach DUI criminal penalties.
Administrative Penalties that Accompany DUI Convictions
Possible criminal penalties are not a person’s only concern when facing allegations of DUI. The Courts also have broad powers under the law to administer restrictions on a person’s ability to drive after a DUI.
By law, a Court must suspend a person’s driver’s license for no less than 180 days after a first conviction without aggravating circumstances. This period may be as long as one year at the Court’s discretion. Much like in the available criminal penalties, this loss of license will extend as the allegations become more severe. A third DUI conviction within ten years of any rior wil result in a mandatory ten year Driver’s License revocation. A fourth DUI conviction will always result in a permanent lifetime loss of license. In Florida lifetime means your entire life.
Even if a person manages to avoid a lengthy license suspension, the Court has other means to limit freedom of movement. For example, a second DUI conviction requires the installation of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles for a period of at least one year. Clearly, a conviction for DUI can impact every part of a person’s life.
The Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Delray Beach are Always Serious
Learning that you are facing allegations of DUI will raise many questions. Chief among these is what the potential penalties may be after a conviction. The truth is that it is impossible to predict the exact consequence of a conviction. However, the law does provide some guidance.
The Delray Beach DUI penalties for a first conviction will require the payment of a fine, the loss of license for at least 180 days, and may include a jail sentence. Non-first offenses and cases with aggravating factors can increase these penalties. Reach out to one our Delray Beach DUI Lawyers at Leifert & Leifert today to learn more about how a DUI conviction may affect your future.