DUI is strongly frowned upon not only by the common public, but also by every car insurance company in America. Those who simply state that a DUI is unacceptable for any reason whatsoever often fail to realize that Florida’s .08 alcohol limit can quickly be exceeded if you have consumed a single beer, or a glass of wine less than half an hour prior to being pulled over if you don’t weigh enough. Most people don’t think about what happens once you’ve been arrested for DUI until it has already happened; and many don’t realize just how beneficial hiring an Orlando attorney who specializes in DUI cases can truly be. The hefty fines and jail time that can come from being arrested in Florida for DUI can severely harm your professional and personal reputation if you are convicted of the charges.
First, it is important to understand that a DUI charge is much different than a speeding ticket, and that a typical traffic ticket attorney is not going to be enough to help convince the judge that you should be given another chance. The reason for this is that a traffic ticket lawyer may not fully understand exactly what penalties you are facing as a first time DUI offender. So exactly how bad can the penalties be for a first time DUI in Florida?
If you are by yourself, or only have other adults in the car with you at the time of arrest, then you are only looking at a maximum jail term of 6 months. I know, you’re probably thinking “only 6 months, that’s a long time!” Well, if you happen to have someone under the age of 18 in the car with you, that jumps to up to 9 months in jail, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg or consequences.
Besides potential jail time, you are also going to face fines. If convicted, you will be fined no less than $500 and no more than $1000. It is important to also remember that these fines do not include court costs, which in some areas can be up to $150 per offense. So, if you were charged with DUI, happened to be missing your license or registration on you, and didn’t have your seat-belt on at the time, you may be tacking on a few hundred more dollars to your fine totals. As if all this wasn’t bad enough, the list of consequences continues.
Unless the car that you were driving is your family’s only means of transportation the car can be impounded for up to 10 days. Once the 10 days has passed then you will be required to pay an additional fine in order to remove it from impound. The catch here is that you aren’t going to be able to drive it away from impound anyway, as your license will be suspended for 6 months following conviction. The other major problem that you are going to be facing is that you are going to need your car in order to complete all of the work that you are going to have.
See, another consequence to your first DUI is that you are going to have to complete 50 hours of community service, or pay an additional $500 to opt out of the community service. It’s also important to note that as a first time DUI offender, you will have to complete DUI School as well, which of course isn’t free, and may cost upwards of $300. All of these possible fines can quickly cost you thousands of dollars, jail time, your job, and also result in public ridicule and personal costs for years to come.
It is important, however, to remember that all of these consequences result only after a conviction. There are many people who are in place to help you avoid that conviction in the first place, starting with a good DUI attorney. Orlando can be a wonderful place to drive once again for you by taking the time to ensure that you find a qualified Orlando attorney.
Call Skubiak & Rivas P.A. for a Free Consultation at 407-894-4449.