The prospect of a DUI conviction can be overwhelming for many people, particularly first-time offenders. The consequences of a first-time DUI in Plantation are generally lower than those with multiple convictions. However, these penalties can still have a dramatic impact on your livelihood.
If you are facing a DUI charge for the first time, you are entitled to Legal Counsel. Hiring a private DUI Attorney to represent you in these cases could be the best way to protect your rights and avoid a conviction.
Criminal Penalties for DUIs
Significant criminal penalties can come with a first-time DUI arrest and conviction in Plantation. Even though this usually results in the lowest level of DUI charge according to state law, there is a risk of additional Jail time for anyone found guilty of their first DUI.
The major penalty for a DUI conviction involves incarceration. Whether or not a person faces time behind bars for their first DUI will depend on the circumstances. There is no minimum sentence in these cases, meaning the Judge has the right to suspend some or all of a sentence following a conviction. However, there is a maximum sentence for this offense. The most Jail time a person could face depends on the facts of the case. Most of the time, a first-time offender faces no more than six months in Jail. Some factors could increase that time, including:
- Passengers under the age of 18
- Blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more
- Causing an accident involving property damage
- Causing an accident involving serious bodily injury
In addition to Jail time, there is also the risk of monetary fines. In most cases, if convicted of a first-time DUI offense, the penalties could vary from $500 to $1,000. This amount can also increase based on the situation. For example, the maximum fine is $2,000 if there is a passenger in the vehicle is under 18. The maximum penalty is $5,000 if there was an accident with serious bodily injuries.
DUI Administrative Penalties
The consequences of a first-time DUI arrest and conviction extend beyond Jail time or fines. There are also administrative consequences that can impact an individual facing these charges. These administrative penalties focus on a motorist’s license to operate a vehicle under state law.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has the power to suspend a person’s driving privileges following a DUI arrest. This suspension is automatic. Administrative penalties are separate from the criminal charges in a DUI case, meaning this license suspension can go into effect before a criminal trial occurs.
For first-time offenders, the administrative suspension of a license typically lasts six months. This period could be extended to one year in cases where a driver refuses to submit to testing for their blood alcohol level. The state does offer hardship licenses in some cases, which allow individuals to drive to school or work during limited hours. A Lawyer in Plantation can work to decrease the administrative penalties for a first-time DUI offense.
An Attorney Can Fight a First-Time DUI in Plantation
If you are facing a first-time DUI in Plantation, now is the time to seek legal counsel. These cases are often defensible, and you could avoid a conviction entirely. Our team is ready to help you defend any charges and protect your rights. Reach out to experienced Legal Counsel today to schedule your confidential consultation.