Legal Fees & Real-Life Costs of a Florida DUI ChargePublished: Aug 19, 2022 by Erika Valcarcel
A night out at your favorite bar can be fun but costly. Not just because of a potentially high bar tab, but because you could decide to drive home, get pulled over by local law enforcement, and charged with a DUI.
What you spent at the bar will be overshadowed by court costs, legal fees, possible jail time, license suspension, probation, and other expenses from drunk driving charges. And these do not even cover the collateral consequences of a DUI arrest.
What is Considered “Driving Under the Influence (DUI)” in Florida?
According to Florida Statute § 316.193, a DUI is defined as driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while:
- Under the influence of alcohol, a harmful chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that it impairs a person’s normal faculties; or
- Having a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08 percent or more.
There are many ways the state can hit you with a DUI charge. Besides getting arrested multiple times for DUIs, you could face charges if you’re arrested for drinking while operating a boat, a CDL-class vehicle, out-of-state, if you caused death while driving, or driving while high.
What are the charges for Sarasota DUI Offenses?
The type of DUI that you are being charged with determines what your state-levied fines will be:
- Fines between $500 and $1,000
- Jail time of six months maximum
- Court ordered ignition lock for up to six months if BAL 0.15 percent or more or a minor is in the vehicle
- License revocation of 180 days to one year
- One year maximum probation
- Fines between $1,000 and $2,000
- Jail time of nine months max
- Court ordered ignition lock for a one-year minimum, two-year minimum if BAL 0.15 percent or more or a minor is in the vehicle
- License revocation for a minimum of five years, eligible for hardship reinstatement after one year
- One year maximum probation
- Fines between $2,000 and $5,000
- Jail time of 30 days minimum to 12 months maximum jail time if charged as a misdemeanor, up to five years if charged as a third-degree felony.
- Court ordered ignition lock for at least two years
- License revocation for a minimum of 10 years, eligible for hardship reinstatement after two years
- One year maximum probation if charged as a misdemeanor, between one and five years if charged as a third-degree felony
- Fines of not less than $2,000
- Jail time of not more than five years
- Court ordered ignition lock for at least five years
- Permanent license revocation, eligible for hardship reinstatement after five years if no prior DUI-related convictions
- One-year maximum probation if charged as a misdemeanor, between one and five years if charged as a third-degree felony
What is the 10-Day Window for Driving Privileges in Florida?
In Florida, your license is immediately suspended upon your DUI arrest. However, you can still drive to work for ten days, but you have to keep your ticket as proof. After ten days, you will find out if your license will be fully suspended, reinstated with limited work privileges, or reinstated entirely.
What are the other costs associated with DUIs?
The costs and punishments covered are only the tip of the iceberg regarding DUI charges. Aside from the court fees, you will need to pay for impound costs, ignition lock installation, legal fees, and any damages to the involved vehicles.
Plus, you must pay every fee associated with reinstating your license on top of public transportation fares so you can still get around. In extreme cases, you could be sued for medical or funeral costs by anyone else who was injured or killed while you were driving.
Call a Sarasota, FL Defense Attorney to Fight Your DUI
Selecting a DUI lawyer to represent you for a drunk driving defense can be challenging. Contact attorney Erika Valcarcel if you need someone to help reduce your DUI charges. She is the DUI defense attorney you need and has been aggressively defending her clients for years.