Penalties for a Fort Lauderdale DUI Arrest

A Fort Lauderdale DUI arrest has the potential to do more than halt your driving privileges. It can result in jail time, major fines, and close the door to many opportunities – including those years down the road that may not even be on your radar yet. It can be tough to wrap your mind around the fact that one mistake made in a moment of poor judgment can have such a serious and lasting impact – but it’s true. The best way to minimize a negative outcome and long-term implications (some of which you may not have even realized existed) is to hire a Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorney. Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer

While driving impaired is often a one-time error for a lot of people, it’s something police in Broward County come across a fair amount. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there are roughly 1,300 DUI arrests in Broward in an average year. Along with assaults, drug arrests, and theft, it’s among the top 5 most common criminal charges filed in Broward County.

Florida DUI Statutes

F.S. 316.193 is the primary Florida DUI statute. It spells out the criteria for determining driver impairment and the potential penalties.

One of the first things people want to know after a DUI arrest is, “Am I going to jail?” The answer is, “Probably yes, at least for booking. But how long you stay there – and the seriousness of the other penalties you face thereafter – depends on a number of factors that are going to be specific to your case.”

If it’s your first offense, you’re over the age of 21, don’t have a BAC of 0.15% or higher and you didn’t cause an accident, hurt anyone, or have a child under 18 in the car, you’re most likely facing a second-degree misdemeanor. You’ll be looking at fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, up to 6 months in jail, up to 1 year of probation, 50 hours of community service, vehicle impoundment, possible interlock ignition mandate, and completion of a DUI substance abuse course.

If any of those other factors do come into play, it’s going to increase the severity of the penalties you’re facing. A second DUI is a first-degree misdemeanor, with fines up to $2,000 and jail time up to 1 year. If you’re arrested for Fort Lauderdale DUI with a child in the car, now you’re facing up to 9 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000, plus mandatory ignition interlock for six months.

It becomes a felony offense if it’s your third or subsequent offense and/or you caused a crash that hurt or killed someone or from which you fled the scene.

Why Hire a Fort Lauderdale DUI Defense Lawyer

DUI offenses can’t be expunged from your criminal record in Florida. It’s always going to be better to avoid conviction – even if that means pleading down to a lesser charge – if at all possible. In a lot of cases, the evidence might not be as strong as officers thought it was. Even if you know you made a mistake, hiring a DUI defense lawyer can help minimize the negative impact this whole episode has on your life.

If you have been charged with DUI in Fort Lauderdale, call The Ansara Law Firm today for your free initial consultation at (954) 761-4011.

Additional Resources:

Arrest Totals and Index Arrests By County, FDLE

More Blog Entries:

6 Ways Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyers Fight the Charges Against You, June 6, 2024, Fort Lauderdale DUI Defense Lawyer Blog

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