Many first-time driving-under-the-influence (DUI) offenders don’t take their charges seriously. Some have read about celebrities who were charged with DUI and only received what amounted to a public shaming before going to rehab. Others mistakenly believe that because DUI is such a widespread problem that it is not punished very severely.
In reality, even one guilty verdict on your record can change your life. The court takes DUI very seriously and has the ability to levy serious penalties if you are found guilty. Society also takes criminal records seriously; you could easily lose your job and have difficulty finding employment.
If you have been charged with a DUI, the best step that you can take is to call a defense attorney right away. If you live in Fort Myers, we can help. At the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A., we will plan your defense and work toward an outcome that is in your best interest. To schedule a free consultation, Call Us At 866-949-0888 Today!
1. License Suspension
Under Florida law, if you are convicted of a DUI, your license will be revoked even if it is your first offense. The revocation will last for a minimum of six months but not longer than one year.
If you depend on your driving privileges to get to and from work, then you can apply for a hardship permit, but, in most cases, you must wait at least 30 days before you can apply, meaning that the conviction will almost certainly be disruptive to your employment. Furthermore, to qualify for license reinstatement, you must complete DUI School, which takes roughly 12 hours.
2. Ignition Interlock
Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) explains that when you become eligible to have your license reinstated, you will most likely be ordered to have an ignition interlock device inserted into your car.
After it is installed, you will need to breathe into the device before the car will start, and you will periodically need to blow into it to continue driving. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured and sent to the DMV each time that you blow into the device.
You are also responsible for the fees related to the interlock system, including the installation fee, a monthly calibration fee and a deposit.
If your BAC was recorded at between .08 percent and .14 percent, then you could be imprisoned for up to six months. If your BAC was .15 or higher, you could serve 9 months.
Each of these punishments assumes that you were arrested solely for DUI and no one was injured or killed in an accident that you caused. If you injured someone while drink driving, then you could face up to five years in prison.
Don’t make the mistake of taking a DUI charge too lightly; the consequences are severe and could haunt you for the rest of your life. To speak with an attorney about your case, Call Us At 866-949-0888 Today!