Frequently Asked Questions About Florida DUI
Review the Law with Our Attorneys in Tampa
Do you have questions about DUI penalties in Florida? You may have concerns about DUI law in general, and not know where to start. We have collected a number of frequently asked questions regarding DUI, which you may review below. If you have been arrested for DUI, remember that you could face the consequences of a criminal conviction, anywhere from a misdemeanor to a felony. Do not hesitate to
contact the Tampa DUI lawyers at Parks & Braxton, PA.
We have handled thousands of DUI cases with success, and may offer you a positive resolution!
I have just been arrested for DUI. What happens next?
After a DUI arrest, you may be officially charged with a DUI and issued a date to attend court. This court hearing will determine whether you are found guilty of driving under the influence. It is the single most important event following the DUI. Individuals arrested for DUI should seek immediate legal counsel from a DUI lawyer in Tampa—not only to help them prepare a strong defense in court, but also to protect their driving privileges in a DMV hearing.
Will my driver's license be suspended?
If the arresting officer revoked your driver's license and issued you a temporary permit, then there is a risk that your license may be suspended. However, this is only if you fail to take action. You have 10 days after an arrest to schedule an appeal hearing with the Florida DMV.
If you fail to schedule a hearing within this time period, then your license may be automatically suspended. Take immediate action to contact the Florida DMV, and then get in touch with a legal professional that can help you defend your rights in the appeal hearing!
Can I refuse to take field sobriety tests and chemical breath tests?
Yes, you may refuse to take field sobriety tests and chemical blood alcohol concentration (BAC) breath, urine, and blood tests. Although there are no repercussions for refusing to submit to a field sobriety test when prompted by a police officer, this does not protect you from being arrested for suspicion of DUI after. However, it does prevent the officer from using the results of a field sobriety test as evidence against you.
In contrast, refusing to take a chemical BAC test comes with legal consequences. This is because of the Florida law of implied consent (Florida Statutes 316.1932). Many states have different versions of this law, but the rules are generally the same: all drivers give implied consent to submit to the breath test and other chemical BAC tests when asked to. Refusing to take the chemical test allows the officer to automatically suspend your driver's license.
What is the legal BAC limit?
This depends on who is driving. The legal limit varies by age and the expectations of your occupational responsibilities. There are three general categories for BAC limits: drivers under 21 years of age, drivers 21 years of age and older, and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) truck drivers. Individuals may also receive additional penalties for blowing .15% or higher.
The legal BAC limits constituting a DUI include the following:
- .02% or higher for drivers under the age of 21
- .04% or higher for truck and CMV drivers
- .08% or higher for drivers over the age of 21
What are the penalties of a DUI conviction?
DUI penalties range depending on the unique circumstances of an arrest. Generally, a DUI charge that does not involve an accident or other damages may result in minimal misdemeanor penalties. However, additional factors could increase the potential of a DUI conviction to include felony penalties. This is often the case in DUI accidents involving serious and fatal injuries or
fleeing the scene. Penalties may increase with each consecutive DUI conviction.
A first-time misdemeanor DUI conviction may result in the following punishments:
- Monetary fine between $500 and $2,000
- Jail sentence of up to 9 months
- Community service for up to 50 hours
- Vehicle impoundment for 10 days
- Driver's license suspension for 6 months – 1 year
A felony DUI conviction may result in the following punishments:
- Monetary fines up to $10,000
- Prison term of up to 15 years
- Permanent driver's license suspension
Can I keep my record clean after a DUI arrest?
A mark on your criminal record can have serious consequences on your future employment opportunities and ability to fulfill your life goals. Even if you are able to avoid a DUI conviction, a DUI arrest on your record can still harm your reputation. To protect your criminal record, our Tampa DUI attorneys may help you expunge the DUI, legally concealing it from public view.
How can an attorney help me win my case?
Skilled legal professionals will have working knowledge of Florida DUI law, and more importantly, they will understand how the law applies to the unique circumstances of your situation. Because of the law of implied consent, it is very possible that you may face driver's license suspension several times throughout a DUI case—once during the arrest, and again if you are convicted of the charges. You want a legal representative that can adapt to the changing elements of a case.
At Parks & Braxton, PA, our DUI defense attorneys in Tampa have 40+ years of collective experience. We have handled thousands of DUI cases, in which many clients have faced some of the most complex legal issues. We may help you by offering a personalized approach while maintaining a dedicated defense against the charges.
Schedule a free consultation with us today!
Our firm is available for contact 24/7, including weekends and holidays—whenever our clients are in need of legal assistance.