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
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
45+ 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.